IBM’s Watson will be made available in a more powerful form on the internet

by on November 14, 2013 at 7:17 am in Books, Current Affairs, Data Source, Economics, Education, Film, Food and Drink, Games, History, Law, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Science, Sports, The Arts, Uncategorized, Web/Tech | Permalink

Companies, academics and individual software developers will be able to use it at a small fraction of the previous cost, drawing on IBM’s specialists in fields like computational linguistics to build machines that can interpret complex data and better interact with humans.

That is a big deal, obviously.  The story is here.

1 Rahul November 14, 2013 at 7:47 am

The article makes it sound they are offering raw CPU hours like a conventional super-computing cluster. Is that what this is? If so, it might actually be an interesting signal.

2 john personna November 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

Super-computing is quite cheap. NVIDIA® Tesla® GPU Accelerators are available at a price similar to early PCs. The really amazing thing, IMO, is the LACK of applications for them.

A supercomputer is cheaper than your car, but you still don’t want one.

(If Watson were a genuine AI Oracle, with a 1-800 number, I might call and ask a few questions, but we are not there.)

3 Millian November 14, 2013 at 9:10 am

“Uncategorised” was going a little too far.

4 Ray Lopez November 14, 2013 at 9:27 am

Ho-hum, boring. Once again the chess world anticipated this move a few years ago. The latest version of Fritz 13, the chess playing software, allows you to “use the cloud” to analyze a move. chances are somebody else has either analyzed this position (if an opening), or you can rent computer time from the cloud to solve a computer position (usually the time is donated for free, but you can also pay the owner of the computer that provides their PC to the cloud). Chess is life.

5 julio November 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm

You, and the article, focus on the “computing in the cloud” aspect, which is indeed not news. Watson is new technology, which is now being made available; that IS news.

6 john personna November 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm

As I understand the “Watson” family of technologies, they need a lot of intensive development on any target domain. Am I right? If so, “Watson” will slowly expand domains, making incremental impacts in each.

7 Ray Lopez November 15, 2013 at 1:52 am

As john personna has schooled you, Watson is nothing more than IF/THEN rules in a conventional relational database, powered by IBM hardware. Nothing revolutionary there, unless you consider what Dr. Cobb did 40 years ago as revolutionary. The new part is indeed cloud computing.

8 Blunt Instrument November 14, 2013 at 10:14 am

The first software developer to sign up is a former manufacturer named Cyberdyne Systems. Someone alert John Conner.

9 Ignacio November 14, 2013 at 10:19 am

This is actually quite exciting.

10 D November 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

Speaking of Watson, another academic just got Watson’d for being a little too honest.

11 AyeJay November 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Get lost spammer.

12 Bill November 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I think one of the future uses of Watson will be in giving the answer to a family, with a parent or loved one in the hospital, to the following question:

“Watson, what are the chances, given my loved one’s history and condition, of survival and for how long or will it be futile care?”

I’d rather hear from Watson than a person who stands to gain from giving futile care.

13 John Mansfield November 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm

This calls for an anti-Turing test. How would we know that this dispassionate analyzing machine isn’t a person or team faking it?

14 john personna November 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Ask it about tropical fish?

The Watson technology is a wonderful development, but it is not general. It is more magic-trick than real flying-on-a-broom.

15 Stephen November 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Presumably it could easily learn economics and combine those rules with a comprehensive assessment of data – including the price of eggs.

Where is Ned Ludd when you need him?

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