Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

IBM Watson is famous for its escapades on the Jeopardy! TV quiz show. IBM has been collaborating with oncologists to leverage the question-answering technology in deciding on the best medical treatments for individual patients. And, in recent months, IBM has been engaging with businesses to put Watson to work in banks, retail stores, and corporate offices. IBM Researchers have their own ideas–featured in the 5in5 predictions. But it’s clear that there will be no end of uses for cognitive computing technologies like Watson that can learn, reason and interact with humans in ways that are more natural to us.

That’s where you come in. As a scientist, an engineer, a marketer, or an entrepreneur, your skills and ideas will be essential for inventing the new era. For consumers of technology, social networking gives you a seat at the table where the future is being designed. Your voices will shape the thinking of technologists and the services they offer to you.

That’s why we’re inviting people of all types to pitch in and help identify promising uses for Watson and other cognitive technologies. We got a number of smart suggestions in response to our call for ideas on Dec. 17. (Read on for details.) Now, we’re renewing our appeal. The best ideas get Watson T-shirts!

Jan Pasek and friend

Jan Pasek and friend

The winner of the first round is Jan Pasek, who goes by the nickname of Johnny Pasho. He’s a 27-year-old data storage administrator at IBM’s delivery center in Brno, Czech Republic. His idea is to use IBM Watson technology as a digital companion for elderly people–helping them to interact with other people and to navigate life more successfully.

Johnny wrote: “There was always a big gap between parents, grandparents and their offspring. Nowadays it seems like the world we live in has almost nothing in common with the world we’re conceived in. These changes are very hard to translate into life experience of our older folks. I am thinking of cognitive appliances that would be able to communicate with elderly people and help them understand today’s world in terms they understand.”

Some of the other suggestions are also intriguing:

From Chandan Sanilya, a technical consultant at an IBM’s delivery center in Kolkata, India: “We could make smart phones SMARTER by enabling them to send SOS messages or distress calls automatically to predefined set of numbers in emergent situations… The device can be equipped with sensors to keep a tab on pulse rate, heart beat, body temperature, peripheral noise and other physiological attributes of the user. The data can be constantly monitored by intelligent software to identify abnormal readings.”

From Rick: “I would suggest applying cognitive computing to essential functions, such as growing food for the people and surviving on this planet. By analyzing and tracking water tables, aquifers, weather patterns, historical data, etc. Using predictive systems and regression analysis, advise the farmers when the best time to plant their seed, and when and how much water is required, localized to the needs of each specific farm or agricultural community. There is much efficiency to be gained and the benefits are pervasive.”

From Jim: “Since in science, what we don’t know is just as important as what we know, I would suggest posing the question, ‘What don’t we know about (insert topic)?’ or, ‘What is classified as unknown in the literature on (insert topic)?’”

While blue-sky thinking sometimes rewards us with brilliant ideas, more often its the ideas that are closely related to our own experiences that turn out to have the greatest potential impact. In the case of Johnny Pasho, he was thinking about three of his grandparents, now deceased, with whom he regrets not having deeper communications and connections. He has had a much closer relationship with his surviving grandparent, Drahomira Steigerova, who has always had a youthful outlook on life and tremendous curiosity about current happenings. “With the others, I didn’t talk about a lot of things because I didn’t think they could relate. I just talked to them about what they had lived through. It would be great to have an app or companion that could help bridge the gap,” he says.

Johnny also sees a use for IBM Watson in his own professional life. He’s one of those people who seems to have an idea a minute. But he finds that unless he talks to others about his ideas, he doesn’t think very deeply or critically about them. Therefore, a lot of his ideas don’t go anywhere. But what if Watson could play the role of a brainstorming buddy–batting ideas back and forth, probing for insights. “Working with Watson could solve this problem for me,” Johnny says.

I’m about to get Johnny’s size requirements and send an IBM Watson T-shirt his way. So, what’s your T-shirt-winning idea?


To learn more about the era of cognitive systems, read Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing.

And Follow IBM Smarter Planet on Google+

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Given the many talents of Watson I will suggest three areas of activities:

1. Healthcare:
– Use Watson to identify correlations between cancer drugs and other drugs that have not been administered to cure cancer but for other purposes to see if such combinations benefit the patient (potentially also linked to genome type) and then afterwards use Watson support doctors in selecting these complex combinations of drugs.
– Use Watson to identify reasons for readmission of patients to hospitals after being discharged and then afterwards using Watson to support healthcare personnel in selecting the right combination of follow-up check, support, prevention or advice to the patients to avoid readmission.
– Use Watson to identify potentially poisonous combinations of drugs (many patients receive more than one drug and very little is known about how drugs interact)and then afterwards using Watson to support doctors in avoiding such combinations.

2. Political unrest:
– Use Watson to analyze Tweets or mobile phone conversations in geographical areas of high tension (e.g. CAR, Congo, large demonstrations)to predict and suggest preventive actions to stop the tension of building into violent conflict before it happens.

3. Use in IT operation:
– Use Watson to learn and automate IBM service delivery in SO. Very few tasks can not be automated in an IBM data center or even distributed environments and huge savings can be obtained from reduced labor and increased quality of services. Watson will sit on top of IBM/OEM system management and service management tools to substitute human labor. The amount of historical data to teach Watson is colossal.

Posted by: Christian Bredkjaer
January 30, 2014
12:45 pm

Personally, I would challenge my Watson Labs friends to develop the best currency hedging service for large multi national companies. My program works pretty well but I’m sure some of my former co-workers could do significantly better with Watson.

Posted by: Paul Hendricks
January 27, 2014
6:00 pm

Here’s an idea: I have been struggling recently to select a replacement car – it takes so much time and needs so much knowledge to make a good job of it. First there are all the questions about what you need and what you’d like – functionality vs good looks, performance vs economy. Then there are an almost insuperable number of models and variants to consider, all with price implications. Then there’s the question of new vs second hand, and if you get into looking at second hand cards then there’s the question of what features were on model xyz two years ago.

Pretty much all the information about cars is available on the internet, both hard facts (eg performance, fuel consumption) and opinions in all the reviews of cars in newspapers and magazines, and you could include sentiment analysis from Facebook and Twitter etc.

So Watson could start by asking questions about need and values and lifestyle, a bit like the way people rate appetite for risk in investment planning, and get a good psychological profile for the user as well as the hard facts about what is required. Watson could then analyze the huge volume of information about what cars are available (new and used) and come up with some reasoned recommendations – now that would be really valuable!

Better still, if you didn’t like the recommendations and explained to Watson why not, that could provide further input about your needs and values so that the next iteration would probably come up with a better selection of alternatives!

Posted by: Mike Barrie
January 27, 2014
2:28 pm

Watson – From Doctor’s Companion to Scholar’s Companion

A modern Muslim scholar spends over 7 years studying the Quran (Holy book for Muslims) and the Sunnah (Sayings & Practices of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) alongside DOZENS of other Islamic texts in order to understand Islam and help answer and resolve questions posed by the local Muslim population.

These questions may relate to religious practices such as what invalidates prayer or to everyday issues such as food being halal etc

When a Muslim Scholar is asked a question, his answer/opinion will always be based on the above mentioned texts and/or practices.

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Posted by: Kok Mun
January 16, 2014
8:48 am

Can Watson learn infant language and translate to parents ?

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if there is a webcam kind of product that I could install on the cradle that could capture the gestures and sounds that infants produce and let the parents know – then it can be sold as a product .

Can there be a similar product which can be fixed to pets – and translate their language and speak with humans ?

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January 15, 2014
8:12 pm

Watson’s benefit to us, encompassing from congnitive computing, AI, language processing up to sociological fields in health sciences, psychology etc. has raised the ante higher, of how humans continue to learn today and discover more possibilities in the future.

I believe that Watson can serve as a bridge between the government and to its constituents. Given that there is a timely issue of freedom of information, funds transparency, misuse of funds and the likes, we can use Watson as the medium where it can be able to relay to us the details of a particular government project, how the funds are being managed, who are involved and other information in such a way that we can easily understand and not be intimidated by just summary reports and figures. This project will be beneficial in rural provinces, especially when most people are not aware on how these projects are implemented. We are basically giving the government the benefit of the doubt. Thru Watson, we will be more informed on how the government responds to us and to the pressing issues of the country.

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Posted by: ines
January 13, 2014
7:55 pm

The influx of important updates after a disaster often induces chaotic paralysis. At a national level, obtaining input from all stakeholders (every affected citizen + rescue service + government response + aid organizations) is difficult, however making sense of it all is often impossible.
A system that could enable mobile phone users to send an SMS or short voice message would revolutionize life saving responses post-disaster. These messages already have a geolocation attached, but making sense of the message, collating the aggregated needs, comparing those needs to the resources available and plotting them against the current state of transport and logistical capacity from moment to moment is a very complex job… but not impossible!
The most pressing need is a means to intake and process the messages. Human volunteers in a crowdsource scenario are quite capable but a centralized data mechanism is essential to successful response. There are very few technology providers with the trust and capacity of IBM and governments will be willing to enable access where they have been reluctant to open up to NGO’s and private citizen groups of volunteers.
Watson could manage a high percentage of message traffic and then farm out the low probability items to humans. The disaster community has been wanting for a coherent data strategy and we could provide it.. worldwide.

Posted by: Om Goeckermann
January 13, 2014
5:20 pm

Fact checking presidential debates would be awesome!

Posted by: Tammy Mittelstaedt
January 13, 2014
4:10 pm

My suggestion, is to use Watson as a data detection device to prevent unauthorized usage of a person’s credit card information. Due to Target’s and Neiman Marcus I think Watson can introduce a “cyber-security” prevention application to help fellow customers or shoppers.

Posted by: Maria Kovac
January 13, 2014
3:34 pm

I think Watson could replace a psychotherapist. Watson would listen emphatically for 45 minutes, and every time the patient paused, Watson would utter something like “uh huh”, “I see”, or “tell me more about it”. Watson could analyze all of the verbalizations made by the patient in the initial forty-five minutes. Then, Watson could make some relevant statements to make the patient feel better. Watson could say things like “I understand why you feel the way you do about (fill in the blanks), but you might want to consider doing this next time (fill in the blanks).” It could be done much more cheaply than a real therapist with about the same effect. It could be done from the comfort of one’s own home as opposed to traveling to an office. Watson could multi-task and handle a large number of patients at one time, unlike his human counterpart. If the patient felt like he needed more time than the customary fifty minutes, Watson could process his credit card for additional time. This will revolutionize psychotherapy. However, it might not work in Toronto and should be tested thoroughly there.

Posted by: Mike Kelly
January 13, 2014
1:26 pm

I would like to suggest that we use Watson to predict the toxicology of new (and existing) chemical entities and formulations. Of course Watson’s ability to quickly scour large databases of actual toxicology studies, do structure-activity relationships and such would add an exciting new offering to chemical companies for preparing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs and SDSs). In addition I propose that Watson be used to predict the most protective glove and garment material for new and old chemical entities based on the existing body of chemical-material combination degradation and permeation data.

Posted by: Ernest Timlin
January 13, 2014
12:27 pm

After some suggestions, for instance from Komal Verma, Mark Dixon , Seema , Ty Youngs and the shared idea from Jan Pasek, I realized that they are embracing what makes a world more convenient and better through the creation of simple interactions for all of us to use in our daily basis.

I believe that, with the right interface, Watson can be used by all.

An example is how we all spend hours in several state/government services, spending several hours just to fill one form that sometimes must be handled by another service or location.
Besides the time we spend to handle our needs concerning some services, we must also consider the elderly, witch fight to interact we technology and with the misleading information sometimes provided by state/government service.

The ideia is to use Watson for centralizing services information, using cognitive interaction with the end user.
I believe that smart cities are not just massive surveillance, but also be used for easy access to simple services.

How about we create a physical Kiosk with Watson, for information requests, and in real time get all the steps and requirements to achieve certain service goal/request.
Probably would be easier to centralize all bureaucracy in one Watson :), making services more effective and cheap for all tax payers.

Remember the Oracle in “Artificial Intelligence” ? Remember holographic artificial intelligence librarian in “The Time Machine” ?

Developing relations with governments, study solutions to centralize services, reducing expenses, and gathering data to help them take next steps.

Paulo Dias

Posted by: Paulo Dias
January 13, 2014
10:36 am

I’m very often ask myself why world so rarely transform one kind of energy into other kind of energy -> in example to gain electricity. We are starting to think about it… but it is not enought… We use wind, we use heat from servers, we use light, but why we don’t use, sea wave, car traffic, people move, electromagnetic waves, lightning. I would like to propose watson to make investigation and find solutions for gaining renewable energy for world. Transform one energy to another.

Posted by: Richard
January 13, 2014
10:22 am

Watson could be offered as a first level call center or service desk

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January 13, 2014
10:13 am

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Posted by: Sebastian
January 13, 2014
8:41 am

The whole “IBM Internal Service desk” can be transformed to Watson powered. This will create a self-help environment for all IBMers and reduce phone costs/resource costs/etc..
The service desk resources can be deployed for other Client value added work.

Posted by: jitendranath palem
January 13, 2014
8:38 am

Content search in Video files. For Eg: If you type “statistical modeling” in any search engine, it will return hundreds and thousands of videos..but the search is based on the file name alone…can we use Watson to do content search in the video file ? This would lead to a big innovation..

Posted by: jitendranath palem
January 13, 2014
8:32 am

Wouldn’t it be good idea to have Watson act as a self-helf or service desk for each of the client that we have in GTS(SO Delivery)? All we have to do is ..feed the incident/problem/change data that we have for every account(client) and build a natural known error database and deploy this solution at client’s the clients/end users can use this robust “Watson based known error database” before they call helpdesk/service desk. Ofcourse, there is a price we can quote for this to be deployed at clients environment.

Posted by: jitendranath palem
January 13, 2014
8:31 am

I can think of two ideas for Watson
1: Incorporate it into our Wellness programs – we have tools today where we can log what we eat, how we workout, etc. You can access articles and helpful information to figure out a plan for yourself, but if Watson could get hold of you what you do, what works well and doesn’t work well, and cross reference that with health articles, it could be your fitness / wellness coach! It could prescribe a workout routine, what foods you ate on days you performed really well, what foods might have a history of negatively impacting the way you felt later, and could even incorporate training goals (like a race). This could reduce illness, increase energy levels, and keep down healthcare costs.
2. The helpdesk of the future! What’s your problem, what have you tried, cross-reference against what has worked for other people. Faster service and easier than searching a knowledge base, hoping you picked the right keywords!

Posted by: Caryn Woodruff
January 13, 2014
7:32 am

There are thousands of research going on around the world. We are feeding data to mathematical and statistical models and generating answers for the research question. In this regard, researchers are using various software products, some of which are from IBM like SPSS. If we can build a cloud services for Watson that can be used by researchers, and Watson can be equipped by research methods to generate the answers (capabilities of SPSS, MATLAB like software built into Watson), not only it will be a tremendous breakthrough in education and research, Watson will also continuously learn from the ongoing research and be able to provide social, business, medical and scientific decisions to the problems that we face.

Posted by: Santanu Mukherjee
January 13, 2014
4:48 am

Would be better if we have limited number of sessions of Watson with hands on for IBMers that can generate more practical “doable” ideas in solving many local and client problems. This can also be used in enhancing Watson.

Posted by: ryellamr
January 13, 2014
3:15 am

It’s a known problem in science that the original data gets lost or becomes inaccessible after a while (data storage cannot be accessed any more, paper printouts get unreadable, etc.), so that they cannot be re-evaluated or re-visited any more. That’s a huge wast of money and information.
Watson could help to close that gap by collecting unstructured raw data and the published results, and allow further analysis.

Posted by: Frank Marschollek
January 13, 2014
12:57 am

I suggest the Watson can be used to analyze the Car COE Pricing strategy in Singapore, because it is major hot button issue that Transportation Authority is trying solve.

Many car buyers are looking for a fairly balanced system which considers interests of Private Car owners , public transport commuters and also of the transportation authority.

The CAR COE pricing is complex issue, which I believe will need analysis of past COE trends, road usage patterns, Types of CAR category, old vehicle break-downs patterns, motor traders feedback and so on..

Posted by: madhav vaze
January 12, 2014
11:59 pm

We can use Cognitive computing in Cars,traffic management and prevent accidents and save lives, we can use it in the education industry, aircraft, water management if we set the mind to it, we can use it to reduce the number of codes, and make it much simpler as possible for the future generation.
We can use in developing or under developed countries to make a it developed enough to sustain.

In short we can use it to bring a social change, and reduce the negatives, or convert them into positives. There are various industries can use Watson, and change for better in reality.

Posted by: Bharat Rajashekar
January 12, 2014
11:02 pm

Watson should be used for Predicting trends and finding associations in Linear Time Invariant Data like Stock Market.

Posted by: Kallakuri Surya Krishna
January 12, 2014
4:59 pm

Telco’s CEO sentence: In the network is the intelligence. We own the network and we are going to use it.

Apart from unstructured (which has very high potential but also more uncertainty) there is huge amount of structured
data that could be put to work

smarter planet and smarter cities : sensors everywhere, network or communication and intelligence

In a smarter city where there are sensors for many things, what if Watson (probably engagement advisor+discovery+analytics)
is installed in the Telco with access to the main systems where there is all the structured information of customers
plus access to internet for all unstructured data from those customers and
there is another Watson installed in the smartphone of the customer that can communicate with the central Watson.

That intelligence accessible from the smartphone that actually works as a human-sensor could help making smarter decisions for the Telco customer in the smarter city. The Telco could monetize all its information turning into value for the customer

Posted by: Aitor Goirigolzarri
January 12, 2014
4:31 pm

IBM is changing. One important way of IBM change is how talent is identified, how is developed and how the IBMer is evolving. In the near future the leaders are going to be identified and developed based on a different system. Watson could be put to work in this way.

Posted by: Aitor Goirigolzarri
January 12, 2014
4:10 pm

Now that Watson goes mainstream with Watson group, an ecosystem is created in order to exploit its use its time to exploit behond english language as well. At least there should be Watson for the most spoken languages like Spanish for instance.

Posted by: Aitor Goirigolzarri
January 12, 2014
11:50 am

I think it could be very interesting to make working together our famous Mainframe Computers (currently zEC12) and Watson.
On the mainframe, we are generating a lot of statistic data which are called SMF records and which are stored during several months or years.
Could Watson be able to analyze them ?
Watson could help to determine how will be the workload in the next months, do we have some improvement to do in our system, do we have to plan an upgrade to a new model and to which one, do we have some tuning or optimization to do in our WLM policy or PR/SM configuration, in CICS transactions, in DB2, in the applications ?

Posted by: Didier RENE
January 11, 2014
3:24 pm

So there are two modes, one is analysis and synthesis of existing data to provide diagnosis, the other is projection of future events based on current trends. Being better able to do the synthesis on incomplete data sets would be valuable.
One thing regarding code generation is that I can write perfect code, but it would break on encountering the real world. Providing real world events and being able to coalesce those into writing code would be a productive thing, without the need to do iterative design generation and paring.

Posted by: Rob Wilson
January 11, 2014
2:12 pm

I recently posted an idea into the Innovation Hub that I think would be a good idea.

Posted by: Michael Macioci
January 11, 2014
12:58 pm

As more open data and civic hacktivism puts municipal codes and other laws online in machine readable formats, I’m wondering if Watson can be used to analyze the codes holistically to identify useless, outdated and conflicting laws with an eye towards rationalizing the organic mess we have created at all levels of government.

Posted by: Mark Dixon
January 11, 2014
12:52 pm

I’m wondering how Watson could be leveraged to produce recipes and menus to fit certain medical conditions, given time restrictions for meal prep and business travel.

I’m currently looking to increase my fiber intake and otherwise alter my diet to address rising levels of cholesterol and glucose (not critical, just don’t like the trend as I age).

I’ve asked for the last 10 years of my medical record so I can at least plot the changes in my various lab reports and start to see (hopefully) some improvement in the relevant indicators.

I have a feeling I will have to wade through a ton of info to get what I want…a month of healthy eating recipes.

Posted by: Mark Dixon
January 10, 2014
4:03 pm

I love Alan Willard’s idea about streamlining the process for FDA approval. I also think it would be great to have Watson available for all medical researchers. I’m thinking specifically of those working on rare diseases. It’s such a specialized field with work scattered across the globe. It would be great to have Watson to pull all the data together and make recommendations on next steps, treatment ideas, areas to investigate for cures, etc.

Posted by: Kim
January 10, 2014
3:30 pm

In the US, I keep reading that we are expected to have a shortage of physicians in the near future. How about having Watson identify those individuals, at a very early age (5, 10…?), who would be best suited to move into the healthcare field. By partnering with the top hospitals, maybe we can help most of those individuals fulfill that potential.

Secondly, what about education in general. Maybe Watson can help identify effective and efficient methods of teaching our younger generation to keep them more engaged in the learning experience.

Posted by: Les K
January 10, 2014
3:30 pm

Language is a biggest barrier in any communication. Currently, English is used as the primary language for communication around the world and everyone need to learn it, if he or she is not a native speaker.

One idea from my side: We can use Watson to bridge that gap. Example, let Chinese or India or Spanish communicate in their own language and lets Waston translate it. This can help to understand each other much better. Sametime, will help to increase business, tourism etc…

Posted by: Amit
January 10, 2014
12:54 pm

Give Insights to Open Source Data. As an example, the Open Source Data Available to the County where I live – Mecklenburg County, North Carolina:

What are the insights for this data? How do the different data sets intersect with each other? Any suggestions for Mecklenburg County to improve County Services?

Posted by: Robert Mapstead
January 10, 2014
12:25 pm

Extremely thrilled that IBM has done this. I would like to understand how a Watson system can be seeded with some initial cognizance and how systems can learn from one another. Is some work being done in this area ?

Posted by: Venkatesh Gopal
January 10, 2014
12:18 pm

When a client calls in to IBM support – use Watson as first point of contact to gather most commonly needed problem determination and log information from the client based on product being supported and most common problems – and then store this such that when client first engages with an IBM support person we will already have the debug information available in our systems – saving the client and IBM time.

Posted by: Mike Cannon
January 10, 2014
10:37 am

A few ideas –

1.) Teach Watson to find performance metrics in many different businesses so employees can stay focused on creating and not logging past work.
2.) Create a 3D avatar( perhaps customizable )for Watson to interface with people through new technology such as the Oculus Rift VR headset. Teach 3D Watson how human verbal language is related to human body language. Create ways to interact with Watson in this 3D manner. We could teach Watson to create a 3D VR world based on what we ask him to create. Teach him the ability to visualize our ideas in architecture, design, art sculptures, engineering (any kind), product design, fashion design, etc… .
3.) Teach Watson how we like to see data visualized and then have Watson show us this at any moment.
4.) Teach Watson finance, stock market and how to read company reports to help investors find and visualize information faster.
5.) Teach Watson to teach( perhaps simple tasks at first. We should help him learn how we learn.

Posted by: Zachary Henderson
January 10, 2014
10:14 am

Identify gaps in knowledge of kids when they are following courses and lessons @ school.
Further let him help improving the way teachers and education material should be developed to get better and faster education.

Posted by: Ruud Kerckhoffs
January 10, 2014
9:46 am

Would like to see a super assistant who can tap into the vast knowledge of data, along with being able to control/launch applications. A vast integration into devices, cloud, home, and financial. A way to talk to Watson and have better search ques then what you get with siri/google now. A more ai response that learns from you and assist you on a daily bases.

Posted by: Anousone Sithiphanh
January 10, 2014
8:46 am

Match making: One phenomenon which has always been there, since the start of humankind is our behavior traits.
Now when Everything one does is out there: songs I like, movies i watch, my jobs, skills, behavior etc etc.
I would like Watson to give me suggestions on friends, jobs, groups, places from across the world.
And yeah, with match-index. It may as well warn me if the index is too low before any type of relationship is started.

Posted by: Piyush Bothra
January 10, 2014
8:42 am

World Language Bank

While I browse responses of fellow enthusiasts I realized that one thing keeps recurring often. That is Watson being based on English language, which is of course the right way to go in the beginning, but we should leverage it’s ability to learn and create a holistic language learning machine.
Complex algorithms may be created to help Watson “crack” the language and learn it effectively. Of course it would have to layout the grammar first and foremost and then work on vocabulary, thus leading to a wholesome language knowledge.
These algorithms should reflect current “english” setup, since it seems to work above expectations. It should be able to map out the phonetic side of language and map each “sound” with appropriate letter or sign. Upon this foundation it might generate questions, that would help it learn more and expand it’s vocabulary and also the understanding of syntax and dialects.
This appliance would be first used with different Universities around the world to ensure, that top linguists in each language group are used to interact with Watson. After the first phase it might even dig deeper and learn dialects of which there are thousands all across the globe.
Learning all there is to learn about Worlds languages would be the first step to enable Watson to teach the World back, not just it’s english speaking part ! Think about it ;)
Last but not least, the UN acknowledges around 5-6 thousand different languages not counting all the obscure dialects that are used in segregated locations. They also report that there are languages dying every year that have almost no chance to reappear later on, since their native speakers are long dead. Watson would help to preserve this knowledge for future generations. This comes from a person, that lives in a linguistically interesting area, that has it’s own dialect that is slowly fading into oblivion.
Keep the ideas flowing, some of the things suggested here are top notch !

Posted by: Johnny Pasho
January 10, 2014
8:19 am

Use Watson cognitive technoligies creating a service to help individuals as well as companies to manage/control there various virtuals indendities and lives (The Internet does not forget, but humans do have a right to forget and be forgotten)forstering security and the “digital” quality of life.

Posted by: Andy
January 10, 2014
7:20 am

Great! Really exciting move, Watson day 1 — what would I do?
*** I’d want ideas that are feasible for 2014 ***

a) use Watson internally at IBM to … clean up our own data. Customer names and addresses, for instance (I work on CCMS). If Watson could do that for our data, that data clean up process could be a product / service offering. Big Data today is full of junk, but would be more valuable if it was Big Accurate Data.

b) Teach English! There are hundreds of Millions of people wanting to learn better English. Watson should be teaching them all, $1/ month (first 3 months free?), improving their speaking, reading, writing, and accents.
Plus, Watson should be learning itself how to understand the student’s particular accents and phrases, so when they use a smartfone to talk to Watson, they’ll be talking natural language, not texting it.

Inside IBM, many employees are non-native English speakers — Watson could help each of them, individually, practice on parts of English they have trouble with by using subject they like (horses, sports teams, games, politics).

Natural Voice use is a huge killer app — teaching English would help Watson become the best Voice Recognition engine ever.

(This is a dup comment — left today same one on the 15 Dec blog post)

Posted by: Tom Grey
January 10, 2014
5:19 am

When I think to Watson, I imagine it like a huge computer chassis. But, if I imagine Him like a robot I wonder what I can make with if it is able to see me.
Adopting some cameras or a controller like the XBox’s Kinect and developing a reliable recognition system of faces and movement, we would have the opportunity to use it in several environment: presentation of products interacting with customers who would be called by name; organizing teamwork where the purpose of the project involves the selection of the team and the division of tasks according to their skills; surveillance in prisons or hospitals, monitoring the accuracy of a surgeon during an operation or monitoring the patient in rehabilitation and so on, everywhere, in places where individual recognition is useful and essential!

Posted by: Luca Brighenti
January 10, 2014
5:09 am

1. Watson could help to do the logistics that everybody on earth gets food and clean water without paying. Also a small room or apartment and other “minimum things” to make the life at least acceptable.
Those who have enough food, water, money etc. should finance that as well as churches and other non-profit organizations. Also companies could polish their reputation helping financing that.
2. Watson could find out and optimize what’s needed where and when and how to train everybody and especially job-less or poor people on every place of the world to help themselves and each other – and finally even invent new jobs for human beings to “make the world better”…

Posted by: Hiltrud Stuckert
January 10, 2014
4:49 am

Aside from the power to see, will Watson we able to have to power to hear?

Something that can receive all kinds of audio data, store samples, automatically sort them using data that was previously “learned”, and identifying and cataloging them with minimal human interface. This can be useful for scientists in cataloging animals (birds, mammals) in a particular area without being intrusive, and maybe help in discovering new species or even re-discover ones that were thought to be extinct.

Posted by: JM Chua
January 10, 2014
4:48 am

There is no common agreement on whether or not climate change is caused by human influences or not. Let Watson analyze all research on this topic and provide us the answer.

Posted by: Jeroen Reizevoort
January 10, 2014
3:59 am

Inward Facing : Use Watson to help drive down cost and increase effectiveness in audit process and risk control. If Watson understands the corporate audit programs, it can be used to profile and assess performance by entities to these programs. It can suggest target audits based on profiling. It could reduce the amount time spent by auditors on site and reduce the size of audit teams thereby saving cost and contribute to IBM’s bottom line. (by analysing data sets and data responses, suggest next actions, most could be done remotely or if on site at a fraction of the time it takes people to sort through) It could also be a foundational proof point of it’s ability for risk profiling and compliance which no doubt will be a big area for Watson commercially.

Posted by: Tony
January 10, 2014
12:47 am

Watson should become every individuals personal advisor and assistant.
Think of “Google+Siri+Wikipedia+Knight Rider+your translator”

If it is going to be a success in terms market Watson, then it has the potential to completely transform multiple industries.
The world becomes even more transparent. You would always know the best decision for your individual current life situation.
It will change a lot of businesses and will change the way enterprises market their products/services.

Posted by: Julian
January 9, 2014
11:42 pm

I think Watson can be of great use in public transport. Imagine getting up everyday and asking a simple question like “what is the fastest way I can get to the office today?” and Watson replying with the whether it’s a good day to drive or take public transport. This could depend on traffic conditions, weather, fuel rates and so many factors. Or how many times have you been in a new city and want to know what would be the best route and transportation option to take to a destination? Again factor in time, cost of travel, least number of hops, number of people involved in the journey and you again have a multitude of factors to consider.

Posted by: Nilesh Joshi
January 9, 2014
10:49 pm

Use Watson to correlate the theories of human migration and the language implications related to that migration

Posted by: Tracy
January 9, 2014
9:53 pm

Watson can be used in the fields of politics to determine whether politicians are being truthful about their record. The media pushes either right or left agendas and is very successful at biasing the viewer by not presenting the politician’s record. This causes us to have very misinformed voters and unqualified leaders.

Watson can be taught to look at historical events, laws passed and the constitution to determine whether the politician is telling the truth about his record and whether the law he is pushing are lawful.

Watson can also be taught to look at economics and determine whether policies being pushed by elected officials have proven successful in the past.

Posted by: Leo Gonzalez
January 9, 2014
6:58 pm

I say we step outside our comfort zone and get WATSON it’s own reality show. The possibilities are endless.

Posted by: Robert Combs
January 9, 2014
2:44 pm

Can Watson be applied to application development, debug, and porting applications to a new platform. In open source development the collected wisdom of problems, bugs and identified solutions are publically available in email lists, bugzilla records, and source repositories. There is lots of email of the form “I found this problem” “in package” . “I propose this work around / solution” .

If 1st email does not have the solution, one or more of the responces will have suggestions. Multi-platform computing and application porting seem like a opportunity for machine intelligence. Especially as the world wide collected wisdom is already online.

Posted by: Steve Munroe
January 9, 2014
1:59 pm

From a technical support perspective, what if Watson analyzed technical support databases for when systems fail, and was able to predict what sets of circumstances most often cause the failures? IBM could not only improve their internal technical support, but also provide the information to the hardware/software developers for them to improve their products.

Posted by: Dan
January 9, 2014
1:58 pm

I haven’t heard much about the potential to Law Enforcement. Watson could become a criminal profiler.

Posted by: Robert Combs
January 9, 2014
1:51 pm

Put two Watson centers in Toronto.

Posted by: Come_on-meow
January 9, 2014
1:03 pm

Watson can be used as a personal financial advisor- financial literacy and retirement planning a huge problem. Most people don’t have a good understanding of their spending and savings habits, let alone a strategy for investments and retirement planning. Watson could develop a personalized plan for every individual or family and offer regular coaching and advice as humans progress through their life.

Posted by: Andrew O
January 9, 2014
12:25 pm

Watson could help CIO’s to be more engaging. A company as big as IBM, it is difficult to connect all the information to manage the portfolio and the needs deep within the business. Data that we wrestle with regularly, applications that are similar, individuals and brands that support it, users, various types of costs, compliance attributes, link to strategic roadmaps, upstream and downstream interfaces, support of business processes, new investments, sunset plans, support of mobile, social, cloud and analytics, capability gaps and overlaps.

Posted by: Alison Sorbet
January 9, 2014
11:39 am

Watson is a big thing but if it does not speak languages it’s not a big deal for non english-speaking countries

Posted by: jlgraupera
January 9, 2014
11:36 am

Have it data mine the “big data” set of IBM’s post-sales support databases so as to get statistics on any issues with IBM products; so as to then use this data to enhance quality improvement processes.

I.e. use Watson as a conduit and tool for continual improvement for IBM’ customer facing technologies.

Goal being over iteration to enhance IBM’s product line, keeping it the epitome of the world.

Posted by: Stewart Alexander
January 9, 2014
10:55 am

Use Watson for the efficient management of food distribution between warehouses and supermarkets in real time (i.e. expected sales of food product A is XX in the coming week, adjust transport schedule accordingly). Perhaps this could prevent unnecessary food waste?

This could perhaps be done by using data such as:
- food sales data of previous years (i.e. which seasons are peaks for a particular product),
- location of the supermarket and warehouse,
- transport schedules,
- the number of products transported each trip for a specific food product,
- transport time
- Food product expiry dates
- demography of the location (i.e. profiles of buyers)

Posted by: Penelope
January 9, 2014
10:11 am

With the projected increase in Alzheimer’s and other dementia, how about building upon Jan’s idea? How can Watson help those who suffer from dementia in the earlier stages live a better life? Helping them maintain a daily routine, minimize danger (tie into smart appliances), provide background on their lives and plans when desired to reduce frustration (who is this person visiting me?, what am I supposed to be doing today?, why is today an important day to me?).

Posted by: Regina Corry
January 9, 2014
10:03 am

These are some great ideas submitted but I think our problem so far has been implementation of the technology in a way where value to the client exceeds upfront cost.

Peculiar timing of this asking for ideas right at a time the Wall Street Journal claims Watson driven sales are <$100 million since it's inception.

Perhaps the question we should be asking is not how to use the technology, but how to increase adoption rate of the tech?

Posted by: Thinking
January 9, 2014
9:45 am

It takes years of repetitive lab testing to qualify a new medication before it’s approved by the FDA and available for patient use. Can Watson help to significantly reduce this testing by using the results over a much shorter test period to provide predictive/prescriptive analysis in order to streamline the process, and make life saving medications available to patients much earlier?

Posted by: Alan Willard
January 9, 2014
9:43 am

Build, make a web service that the public can use.

Posted by: Yizhuan Yu
January 9, 2014
9:22 am

This is a pedestrian request. I would LOVE to apply Watson cognitive computing to revolutionize the way business help desk/customer service type voicemail prompts work in order to get you to the appropriate person in the most efficient and effective manner while minimizing wait times, dropped calls, lack of passing on information previously stored/requested, etc. (-8


Posted by: Denise
January 9, 2014
9:12 am

Can Watson be used in project management? By feeding the main project scope and historical data, it should be able to provide cost analysis, schedule,risk factors and resource requirement etc. That would really help the project management world to run successful projects.

Posted by: Geetha Roberts
January 9, 2014
8:25 am

In order to harvest the most of energy from renewable sustainable resources, IBM Watson could do in-depth analysis of geophysical data, analysing globe surface with the goal to identify the most efficient spots for sustainable solar, ocean wave from and wind power plants.

Volumes and durations of sunlight per square unit, or speed and directions of winds, or power measure for waves could be analysed as initial data along with the GIS and/or meterological data.

Once the optimal spots are found, where wind and wave and solar can work interchangeably, accumulating energy from one source
and releasing as another. Maybe some solar power-fuelled “repeaters” in the ocean can vibrate waves where sea relief and special
current conditions are all it takes to invoke resonance effect that could then use “artificially augmented” waves harvesting their
power the at specific remote calculated points.

And maybe the same goes for winds too and ocean wave power plants could run the wind ones. The idea is to devise a global chain of different vibrations, where intial impulses can resonate with greater effect, using nature phenomena and natural locations with all their conditions as amplifiers.

Whether that would work, we will never know unless IBM Watson helps us.

Posted by: Saulius Veinsreider
January 9, 2014
6:38 am

Make Watson part of the Mars One team!

If the idea is for human settlement on Mars to aid our understanding of the origins of the solar system, the origins of life and our place in the universe, then adding Watson to the team will help answer important questions and make decision in this process. Watson can also help with understanding human isolation issue and advise astronauts how to cope with solitude issues that we are not even aware of now. The human mission to Mars will inspire generations to believe that all things are possible, and Watson just needs to be part of it.

Posted by: Predrag
January 9, 2014
5:04 am

Many inventions/discoveries in the field of Chemistry and Bio-chemistry have been made by accident. Bio-informatics now helps us reduce the time taken as it uses complex computer systems to analyse and process biological data much faster than bio-technologists could before. But this still requires a set plan under set conditions to arrive at a set result.
One good use for Watson would be to categorize all the properties of different chemicals and compounds, how they react with each other in different conditions, their effects and use a sort of ‘brute-force’ algorithm to try different permutations and combinations. Watson just might be able to ‘discover’ a whole lot of medicines and other useful compounds that we could use to better our world.

Posted by: Siddharth Kannan
January 9, 2014
4:18 am

Watson should be able to address 1st level medical diagnosis – the services provided by a GP or local nurse for instance. describe the symptoms and ask the question ‘what is the cause’.

It’s ability to injest text and data and apply meaning to the language should mean that you can point it at ‘The Lancet’ and other texts that most medical practitioners do not have the time to keep up with, and allow it to suggest causes that may have been overlooked (similar to the cancer solution already in existence).

Being a consolidation point for many patients should allow the identification of trends and patterns that an individual practitioner cannot see.

Posted by: Mark Round
January 9, 2014
4:03 am

Watson should be put to use in ‘law enforcement’. All the records relating to crime, criminals, etc should be digitised and stored. This can then be used by police, law enforcement agencies to quickly identify the criminals and provide justice to the victims. All the police station across the nation should have the visibility to this information.

Posted by: Pushpa
January 9, 2014
3:26 am

create algorithms that determine which people will work better in which team through a collection of objective questions. Thus the group made will be made impartially and personal equations will not be considered. This is of growing importance as in most organizations team based approach for problem solving is followed.

Posted by: vijayakumar narayanappa
January 9, 2014
2:33 am

Watson can be used for helping visibly or physically challenged or hearing impaired people by guiding them in directions , helping them in decision making , even helping them analyzing situation and could even help them in career building or just helping them in daily activities.
Watson can became there a friend in need…..:)

Posted by: Komal Verma
January 9, 2014
2:06 am


There are a lot of NGOs in India who help mobilize people who are willing to teach young students. These citizens visit one school or another teaching kids basics of Math, Science, Arts and Language.

Kids are exposed to new and exciting theories but then , their exposure is limited to 1) What the teacher knows 2) What the curriculum defines.

Though most people believe that for underprivileged kids , this is a good start, I beg to differ. This is the new generation, our future. And they should be exposed to the best of the best technologies so that they can create the best future for our planet.

Watson could help kids understand what they are good at, help them understand their bent of mind and then customize learning programs for them.

Not everyone can be a math wizard the same way not everyone can be paint masterpieces.

Watson could create a set of tests could help students realize their gift and then help them pursue their goal by creating custom education programs.

Posted by: Amitabh Jasuja
January 9, 2014
1:10 am

Can we use watson to simulate the early stages of the universe?
What the LHC has been doing in the last decade, watson can complement the research with its computing capability.

Moreover, can this be used to attempt to find a possible solution to the validity of the superstring theory (physics), which
the proponents claim to be ultimate contender of the Grand Unified Theory. If the later can even be attempted,
watson will be remembered as the most intelligent AI in the decades to come :)

Posted by: Saikat
January 8, 2014
10:34 pm

I would like to see Watson become a household word like Google. IBM can set up these Watson Analytical Centers for medical diagnostics, Mechanical, Financial etc. Clients would be medical centers, Financial brokerage firms etc. These clients would connect via a secure network built just for Watson. Clients would each have a detailed profile based upon their industry. Billing would be calculated in units called Watsons. I believe this can be an enormous success.
More details to come

Posted by: Kingsley Edwards
January 8, 2014
7:39 pm

One common problem that can be find all around the world is bullying in school. It has always existed, and will certainly continue.
However, it has evolved recently with the use of social networks. Kids go back to home, and the bullying will continue on the social networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc…)
Now, with the cognitive science, such bullying pattern should be recognizable by Watson (provided that enough information is provided in amount). It would be nice to team up with associations that are fighting against bullying, and help develop a Watson tool to recognize sign of cyber-bullying.
This way, we could help those associations do a better prevention. The earlier the bullying case is detected, the better can it be solve without getting to the dangerous phase (such as severe depression or suicide).

BTW, a similar kind of tool could certainly be develop with Watson to detect early signs of depression (for instance in tweets).

Posted by: Erwan Le Bras
January 8, 2014
5:54 pm

What about using Watson as a repository for physical security data, as well as cyber security data? You then have the ability to pose questions to Watson regarding investigations
of breaches or insider threats. For example, if someone has not entered a building, then they should not be logged on to the system that day.

Posted by: Don
January 8, 2014
5:23 pm

In marketing we try to predict the customer’s next behavior and next need. It would be great if we could let a few of the customers talk to Watson, and let Watson try to understand needs and behaviors. This could also be a great marketing promotion for IBM offering customers “your chance to talk to Watson”.

Posted by: Jeff Levine
January 8, 2014
4:57 pm

I’d envision a day when I’d go to a nearby Walgreens, have them take my blood, then it goes to the lab and full profile readout goes to Watson who analyzes it, drops me a short note in my smartphone informing me : your cholesterol is high and given your family history and risk of heart attack Watson recommends you should take 2000 mg Niaspan and 10 mg Lipitor daily. The prescription has been ordered, filled, and will be delivered to your door. Your bank account has already been charged for both the lab work and prescription and a follow-up blood appointment is scheduled for 90-days. You will get a reminder. Have a good day, Watson.

Now that would be disruptive vs. how it’s done today !

Posted by: Pete
January 8, 2014
4:10 pm

use Watson to assist IBM sales reps by assessing all the data that is available about our customers internally and externally and providing guidance on where customers need help and where IBM has good solutions. Provide qualified leads to reps based on the rep’s territory and identify the customer they need to contact. Prioritize the leads with the highest propensity to buy at the current time and with the highest dollar potential. Include major competitors and provide the best approach for selling IBM solutions over the competitors.

Posted by: Mike Henty
January 8, 2014
4:04 pm

Use WATSON for our pets health
I posted this idea out on our Innovation Hub. Please click on the promote button if you like it (and then please note that I wear XL tee shirts :-)

Posted by: Kurt Acker
January 8, 2014
3:57 pm

After reading some of the other suggestions on specific applications, rather than trying to pick another winning “app” or apps. We really should be looking at expanding potential channels that could be developing multiple apps for Watson (ie view Watson as a platform).

Here are a couple suggestions, one pulled from ancient history as technology business goes, and the other more recent times.

1. IBM, at least in the far past(like the 70s and 80s) had a University “Loaner” Program that used to provide either at a discount or through donation our hardware/software to many leading Universities. As result, most of the Comp Science grads learned on our HW and SW and as as result purchased it. A similiar approach could be used to leverage the University environment again to innovatate new applications and uses across multiple fronts. Anything successful would either have immediate licencing consequences etc and/or SW purchase impacts. The benefits would be two fold: one, more people would be innovating potentially relevant apps (like Apple does for its platforms), the second, putting a new market presence back in the next generation of Comp Science, Comp Eng grads, technologists, etc at the college level.

The second suggestion is to post Watson on the Web as a “Web Presence/Tool” like Google’s Search Engine capability but instead of an Adverstising platform, allow others see it first hand, the capability, derive some value out of it, and similiar to the above suggestion with the Unversity program, leverage as both a marketing presence/lead for an application development process. A link to the sales team could be provided as leads to identify perspective candidates / apps. Again driving licencing opportunities created and identified from this process. Lastly this again would create a direct market presence with the general public. Even the Jeopardy capability could be potential starting point for this web presence.

Posted by: Ty Youngs
January 8, 2014
3:49 pm

I would like Watson to work on world hunger. There must be some brilliant ways to better balance supply with need. Even in the US, a significant number experience food insecurity yet we waste so much and suffer from chronic diseases associated with obesity.

Posted by: Nancy Rivera
January 8, 2014
2:34 pm

Use to support an App to help evaluate stocks and market trends.

Posted by: Fran
January 8, 2014
2:07 pm

Okay here is a big idea that could use Watson thinking.

There is a great deal of global concern around the subject of employment front right now. With nearly 200 million people unemployed in the world today (the under employment number is nearly double that) governments and individuals are beginning to rethink 21st centure skills and work. There are about 4.6 billion people of working age today and we are all becoming hyper-connected via the web and various smart technologies to work globally. There is a huge alignment problem, where people may have the skills or most of the skills to perform the work but they are not connecting to right sources. There are many growing hubs of connection to work (Linkedin, Glass Door,‎) but they do not share a common taxonomy or reference system. If you think medical records are misaligned, imagine the problem of sorting through 4.6 billion resumes. Since nearly of 50% of all jobs that will be coming in the next ten years are currently not even taught in schools and universities, we also need to apply better analytic models in order to point people and educators to the future of work and shift thinking from where it is today to where it needs to be.

’Hey Watson I’m looking for a person (or team of people) with medical training, level 1 computing technology knowledge, a smattering of environmental management experience, two working languages and knowledge of sub-Sahara Africa travel. We see several such roles emerging globally. Can you provide me with a list we can start with’?”

Posted by: Charlie
January 8, 2014
2:06 pm

Watson can dethone google search if open to public.
Search engine with capability of creating articles on-demand rather than rely on GOOGLE Retrival engine will not only help world to make better place to live but will help IBM to share one of the best innovation to this world and bottom line get some of the pie of the billion dollar Advertising revenue.

Posted by: MD ALI
January 8, 2014
1:57 pm

My thought is we should use Watson as a thinking assistant based on all of the collective historical knowledge we have at its disposable. I see Watson at a turning point for mankind. Like an un-objective, outside view of mankind.

We should let Watson come up with its own ideas; let Watson think outside of the box. Just like humans do. Really challenge Watson; like abstract thinking based on all of its knowledge. And how we can get there?

Some questions I would offer would be -

1. Based on all of the historical knowledge of mankind; what accomplishable top three things should we humans be refocusing on to improve our fellow man?

2. What steps should mankind be doing to towards the top three things in question 1 within 5 years?

I also see where the global warming has or is happening based on the glacier ice pack retreat patterns. So, that water is lost in the ice (solid state). Next the other two water cycle states of matter are liquid and gas. Water much more quickly moves between these two other states of matter. Based on this, I have noticed an increase in the floods (natural disasters).

So my next challenge question would be -

1. Based on our Global warming patterns, reduction in glacier ice pack and an increase of natural disasters (flooding); How can mankind do a better job of using this reallocation of the water cycle?

2. What recommended actions should mankind do to capture these changes and accomplish this reallocation towards its better use?

Posted by: Jim
January 8, 2014
1:56 pm

How about something basic like call center support. Since Watson has the ability to digest data and learn from it; one would think this technology could be used across industries to streamline call center support OR be positioned to improve self-help capabilities for Consumers trying to resolve an issue with any product or service on-line. Also, the metrics are readily available to the producer of the product(s) or service(s) to make improvements. Finally, such an arrangement could be a cloud-based offering.

Posted by: Wayne Somers
January 8, 2014
1:21 pm

Ingest socio-economic data, politcal, laws and regulations, competitive data, global demand data and innovation sources to make better business decisions. A Business brings their data and it is combines with a growing pool of analytical data. Analytics are performed and recommendations are made to the businesses.
Answer questions like:
- when should we kill off a product?
- what is the predicted uptake for new product x? eg. Pet Rocks
- what do I have to do to double my business in 10 years?
- where is then next business growth spike coming from and why?
Downstream revenue opportunities
- GBS business re-engineering
- application development projects
- technology platforms for enablement
- global resourcing
- Business Resilience

Posted by: Rodney Yip
January 8, 2014
1:07 pm

Global Law Enforcement. Ingest data from global sources and allow investigators to ask Watson questions. eg. show crimes committed using a thermal lance, show murders involving the removal of yearbooks, show use of toluene as an accelerant.

Establish a pursuit team ingest data. If an organization gives data, they get to use Watson for free. If they do not give data, they pay for use on an ad hoc basis.

Downstream revenue opportunites include:
- perdictive analysis for counter-terrorism
- predictive areas of conflict given socio-enconomic factors
- tools for non-urban law enforcement (no place to hide for bad guys)
- urban planning analysis for emergency management
- resource planning for optimized law enforcement
- deadbeat dad location??
- global biometric identification system?

Posted by: Rodney Yip
January 8, 2014
12:48 pm

Take global weather and seismic data and make sense of the information. Ask Watson questions like where is the next typhoon going to hit or which regions are about to be blasted with a winter storm. Watson can save lives by giving people minutes, hours or days of prep time.

Downstream business opportunities:
- consulting work for developing alert systems
- coastal flooding stidies to refine the impact projections
- multi-source data correlation
- flood, tsunami and earthquake analytics for researchers
- land use studies for urban planning (Smarter Planet)
- building code development and management based on risks identified by Watson
- emergency resouce management

Posted by: Rodney Yip
January 8, 2014
10:06 am

Watson would be a fantastic tool in patent law applications. Watson could perform mass searches of publications across the world to determine whether an invention has been done before.

Posted by: Peder
January 8, 2014
9:34 am

Use Watson to find associative patterns across vast amounts of currently unassociated data; making systems more efficient by eliminating over design and improving their maintenance & operation.

Posted by: Josi Dasilva
January 8, 2014
9:22 am

Watson First

What if every class room had a Watson that could work with each child to help him/her learn what they are interested in learning and also optimize on teaching the group of kids how to learn and do stuff together (based on what Watson ‘learned’ about each kid and gaming models of human interactions).

Posted by: Dan Wetzel
January 8, 2014
4:30 am

Mystery shopper. Evaluating how good or bad your service is compared to others and where and how you can improve.

Personal shopper. When I want a (new) device I will read many reviews of the device itself and then evaluate where to buy. Sometimes ending up not buying it as I dont find a good outlet or deem the price is outside my budget.

Posted by: Werner de Jong
January 8, 2014
4:28 am

Travel disruption. Whenever we shut a rail route, a road, or an airport, we have a large body of frustrated customers failing to get to their destination. The most common complaint of such travelers is that they don’t know what is going on. Watson, acting as a customer service representative, can be rapidly scaled up for the demand peaks in a way that the traditional response centers cannot. It can intelligently provide travel information and monitor public responses via social media to understand sentiment.

That is quite apart from the possibility of Watson providing advice to the administrators of the road network, by analyzing past responses and accident blackspots to determine optimal responses.

Posted by: Ben Lambert
January 8, 2014
2:42 am

Think of it
I think Watson can definitely be a good assistant in our Juriscidiction…
“Justice Delayed, is Justice Denied” I have personally known many people who have been visitng courts for years for something that seems very trivial issues.

What if Watson can help Judges segregate facts and emotions and apply logic….. and help based on historical data deliver relevant judgement in a timely manner…

What if Watson can help build more transparency in government deals’ this will ensure that our ministers are not eating away all our tax payers money and not indulge in huge scams…..

Posted by: Seema
January 8, 2014
1:44 am

Imagine profiling all the individuals in the world. Age, Gender, Marital Status, Income, Expense, Preference, Needs. If Facebook can have a billion users, Watson’s market is much bigger. Individuals can agree to provide their personal data to Watson and allow being approached by product suppliers with customized offer. For example, I may have taken down a Google Note that I need to go shopping for a car this weekend. Given my family info from Medicare, family income & savings details from my bank, Watson can alert local car dealers that a new Client is in the market. I can setup how much info I want shared. Watson will continue to learn my preferences. Local dealers, based on my profile setup can send me special offer for this weekend. On the other hand, Watson can tell me how much I earned this month from various sources, how much we as a family spent on various sources. Top 3 deals we could look at to reduce certain expense and save money for the car. A lot of benefit for me without a massive monthly price tag. The how would Watson get paid? The same way Google does. Watson will just do it better. Instead of Sellers paying for clicks, they will pay for solid sales leads. Real time data on who viewed their offer, for how long, in which section. Who is ready to buy. Who is just shopping around. The possibilities are endless.

Posted by: Mehmud Sharif
January 8, 2014
1:07 am

“According to the CIA World Factbook, almost 75% of the world’s 775 million illiterate adults are concentrated in ten countries (in descending order: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Extremely low literacy rates are focused in three regions: South Asia, West Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa”. — Wikipedia
We can use cognitive computing technologies to teach humans who are bound to get education and making them independent in all aspect. We can not only increase the literacy rate of this planet but also prove the world that a smarter, peaceful planet can exist.

Posted by: Arpan Saha
January 8, 2014
1:05 am


Watson could be used as a Tutor, to teach basic level courses to advanced courses – based on the audience. It could interact with the course takers and based on their level of understanding of the topic, start tutoring from that level. It could answer all the queries and basically replace the work of a tutor. It could revolutionize teaching techniques.

Posted by: Utkarsh Rathod
January 7, 2014
11:34 pm

Use of Watson in Patent Proof Development Program to find out if any IBM patent is infringed by any competitor’s hardware, software, or services product.

Going thru’ enormous Patent-database is becoming humanly impossible. I think, Watson’s natural language processing capabilities can be put to work for the Patent Proof Development Program. Watson systems can help us discover unique data correlations between vast amounts of structured and unstructured text from patent/publication databases. Based on its “confidence level” [as shown in Watson Jeopardy game] on correlation between IBM’s patents/publications and competitor’s disclosures, it can provide some leads/pre-screening results. Later, that can be analyzed manually by the subject-matter-experts.

1. IP monetization/licensing deals.
2. Improvement in the quality of future patent submissions.

Posted by: Ashutosh Misra
January 7, 2014
10:47 pm

I would love to see Watson as a travel companion, combining the knowledge of transportation options, sightseeing, accomodations, restaurants, weather, and local activities all integrated with GPS functionality linked into a smartphone app. By then learning what the traveler’s interests, loyalty programs and preferences are, Watson could recommend adventures and experiences that would really expand the world to leisure and business travellers.

Posted by: Donna Walker
January 7, 2014
6:43 pm

Watchson: a Watson-powered smartwatch. The Watchson would cross analyze user input, online references, professional libraries, social networks and real-time physiological monitoring at my wrist as well as data from sensors measuring the local environmental atmospheric data. The data goes directly to the Watson cloud where it is cross-analyzed against all data sources for pattern identification and best probability resolution. The summarized findings and recommendations are sent back to the user through the device’s visualization capabilities. Watchson notices my body temperature, circulation and skin moisture have suddenly changed, as has the ‘ambient aroma’ in my vicinity, does a quick analysis incl. my foursquare check-in at lunch, and social media posts from other restaurant patrons and prompts me with: “75% probability that the pickle in your Cheesecake factory burger was bad, should I order some maalox from the CVS nearest your route” (and an ask for the smartwatch mfr: with a pie chart and map of course all projected from my watch with an r2d2-like 3d projector.)

Posted by: Sebastian
January 7, 2014
6:41 pm

Predict weather patterns! Weather is so essential to our daily lives if it be the food we eat, the travel we embark upon, the cost of gasoline. All things are impacted by the weather. I have traveled and noticed that it doesn’t matter where you are weather forecasters only appear to be about accurate 50% of the time. Think of the natural disasters we would avoid, the food/supply chain enhancement, etc.

Posted by: Cheryl Yetz
January 7, 2014
5:17 pm

Use watson to create the intersection of Siri, Google, and Wolfram Alpha. A true decision engine

Posted by: Noah Kimmel
January 6, 2014
1:03 pm

Gaining access to the Watson would allow me to improve my mobile web app: Treycent. It allows users to voice bookmark photos, videos or documents and share with friends or team members. Basically, a personal Siri with support for very individualized questions like: “Show me Amber’s latest photos” or “What is the current status of Project X?”.

Recognition is currently pretty good but Watson would help take it to the next level.

Posted by: Donald McSwain
January 5, 2014
10:49 am

My Idea, is put IBM Watson to develope applications, helping in solve problems in Core Systems. I think If we analyze data and dev styles, I think IBM Watson could write code in the correct way.

Posted by: Javier Bentabol
January 4, 2014
11:34 pm

I really would like to see Watson taking part in policy making, evaluating the bills that are passed in the Congress. Because, the amount of data that needs to be possessed/processed to make an informed decisions on subjects like health care, education etc is beyond the capability of any congressmen.

Posted by: Adem
January 3, 2014
5:43 pm

See if the big guy can make Data Radar. That would be impressive.

Posted by: Cameron Holm
January 2, 2014
1:07 pm

I strongly believe cognitive abilities of Watson can actually play interesting role in field of ‘LAW’. We as citizens have long history of cases as training set and strong language to comprehend right or wrong. This may not replace attorneys but can be of great help in level one counselling. A extended application can actual be to provide real time case resolutions…

Posted by: Parv Bhutiani
January 2, 2014
11:48 am

Use it to generate bitcoins! ;)

Posted by: Guillaume
January 2, 2014
7:43 am

Can Watson be used to encourage every citizen to share micro-utopian visions. Hesitancy to put one’s head above the parapet is sustained by the collective blind-spot (i.e. the dominant paradigm). Sadly, this is still the American Dream = endless growth/jobs/rapid mobility/consumption-on-demand. Can Big Data filter out all but the most imaginative, radical visions and encourage everyone to dream us into a voteless form of creative democracy?

Posted by: John Wood
January 2, 2014
2:11 am

I’d like to ask Watson to do two things.
1 zero point energy. To make an energy producing motor.
2 the design a giant space ship using a modified robotic ink jet printer in outer space. This ship would be mega big. Made from space junk and a astroid. I want the ship 5 miles long. Meant to be a giant exploratory ship for thousands to work and live.

Posted by: Guy Ruff
January 1, 2014
2:31 pm

Thanks for the mention.

Posted by: Jim
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