The television show Jeopardy! inspired an IBM research team to build a supercomputer named Watson that successfully took on the
The television show Jeopardy! inspired an IBM research team to build a supercomputer named Watson that successfully took on the challenge of playing Jeopardy! and beat the other human competitors. Since then, Watson has evolved into a question-answering computing platform that is now being used commercially in the medical field and is expected to find its use in many other areas. Watson is a cognitive system built on clusters of powerful processors supported by IBM’s DeepQA® software. Watson employs a combination of techniques like natural-language processing, hypothesis generation and evaluation, and evidence based learning to overcome the constraints imposed by programmatic computing. This enables Watson to work on massive amounts of real-world, unstructured Big Data efficiently. In the medical field, it is estimated that the amount of medical information doubles every 5 years. This massive growth limits a physician’s decision-making ability in diagnosis and treatment of illness using an evidence-based approach. With the advancements being made in the medical field every day, physicians do not have enough time to read every journal that can help them in keeping up to date with the latest advancements. Patient histories and electronic medical records contain lots of data. If this information can be analyzed in combination with vast amounts of existing medical knowledge, many useful clues can be provided to the physicians to help them identify diagnostic and treatment options. Watson, dubbed Dr. Watson, with its advanced machine learning capabilities, now finds a new role as a computer companion that assists physicians by providing relevant real- time information for critical decision making in choosing the right diagnostic and treatment procedures.
Questions for Discussion
1. What is a cognitive system? How can it assist in real-time decision making?
2. What is evidence-based decision making?
3. What is the role played by Watson in the discussion?
4. Does Watson eliminate the need for human decision making?
This problem has been solved!
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