Meet Watson, IBM’s supersized Siri with designs on mobile

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IBM’s Watson has been four years in the making and at the close of that development period the AI was used to beat human contestants on American game show Jeopardy. Now IBM has something a little smaller in mind for Watson 2.0.

The current version of Watson is doing work for Citigroup Inc. and Wellgroup Inc., analysing financial and cancer data respectively. Watson 2.0 however will be a far smaller voice-activated application that will be able to answer user’s questions, along the lines of Apple’s Siri. On steroids.

At the moment Watson takes up considerable space, packing the power of 6,000 desktop computers into ten racks of IBM Power750 servers. The company is working on making Watson energy efficient enough to insert into mobile devices, though it isn’t expected to be ready before 2015. It still has a lot of learning to do before then.

IBM’s vice president of innovation Bernie Meyerson has said “The power it takes to make Watson work is dropping down like a stone. One day, you will have ready access to an incredible engine with a world knowledge base.”

According to IBM’s Katharine Frase “In 2.0, we hope to give him more senses. A guy could say into his phone, ‘Here’s where I am and here’s what I see,’ lifting it up to take in images of the environment.”

Source: Bloomberg Image: IBM

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