It’s theme week!
As an extra challenge to blogging, I sometimes like to come up with a larger thought and do a series of posts during the week that relate. Sometimes I tell where I am going and sometimes I am not. This week’s theme is “What we really need to be learning in school”.
To start things off is an announcement (H/T Gizmodo) by IBM that their Watson supercomputer will become a cloud based service. I think I have heard about this before but it’s still worth noting again. Basically Watson is a massive collection of 16,000 computers linked together in such a way as they can answer natural language questions. It’s Siri’s much smarter brother. 🙂
Right now they want to focus more on medical applications. You can imaging in the future a doctor feeding their data in to Watson and getting a bunch of possible diagnosis’s. Forget Dr. House, this computer will do it better (but not as snarkily). As is often the case, the biggest beneficiaries will be in the third world. You could take a smart phone, outfit it with some biometric sensors and have Watson give you a diagnosis for very little cost.
Will this put doctor’s out of business? Nope. The medical field is growing so fast this will be a necessary supplement to try to keep costs under control. No doctor will have ever had this much medical information so I wonder if Watson will be able to suggest connections between seemly unrelated illnesses.
This is just the beginning of this trend of making data more accessible. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see this moving into schools. Heck, why not use Watson in medical school? Information is no longer scarce. What is scarce is the ability to put it together in new ways.
- Supercomputer Genius Watson Is Headed for the Cloud
Watson, the Jeopardy-winning supercomputer developed by IBM, could become a cloud-based service that people can consult on a wide range of issues, the company announced last week. “Watson is going to be an advisor and an assistant to all kinds of professional decision-makers, starting in healthcare and then moving beyond. We’re already looking at a role for Watson in financial services and in other applications,” says John Gordon, Watson Solutions Marketing Manager at IBM in New York.
Whatever applications IBM settles on, with the cloud already making computer storage available to us in ways similar to utilities like gas and electricity, it will be fascinating to see if artificial intelligence is the next commodity it delivers.