One of the most interesting things I’ve heard about and enjoyed at the second session today was IBM’s latest innovation “Watson”. According to IBM, Cognitive systems like Watson may transform how organizations think, act, and operate in the future.

Data is growing on daily basis, with all things connected, the transfer of data has become essential in our daily lives. A statistic states that 800% in the next five years is the size of data growth rate, and 90% of that data is actually two years old.

Watson can be used amazingly in the Health Care industry. Research shows that only 20% of knowledge phyicians use to make a diagnosis is evidence based! Creepy huh? And so, one in five diagnoses are either incorrect, incomplete, or could be leading to fatal results.

We are seeing the third wave of technology on the way for a smarter planet, and Watson is almost the answer that IBM is hoping would make a difference. When Watson first started, it was the size of the room. Today it’s the size of the fridge, and before you know, it will probably be the size of a tablet.

So how does Watson work? Here is an example from their website: ”

“A physician can use Watson to assist in diagnosing and treating patients. First the physician might pose a query to the system, describing symptoms and other related factors. Watson begins by parsing the input to identify the key pieces of information. The system supports medical terminology by design, extending Watson’s natural language processing capabilities.
Watson then mines the patient data to find relevant facts about family history, current medications and other existing conditions. It combines this information with current findings from tests and instruments and then examines all available data sources to form hypotheses and test them. Watson can incorporate treatment guidelines, electronic medical record data, doctor’s and nurse’s notes, research, clinical studies, journal articles, and patient information into the data available for analysis.

Watson will then provide a list of potential diagnoses along with a score that indicates the level of confidence for each hypothesis.” 

The Watson team focused on three key capabilities: Natural language processing, Hypothesis generation & Evidence-based learning. It can be used beyond healthcare, possibly in education and call centers, and it could be making a big difference across the world very soon.

Mr. Bashar Kilani Territory Manager @IBM Middle East closed off by saying “We are trying to invite the computer Watson to the MiddleEast” – I really hope so – Would love to see the capabailities in the Arab World!