The IBM Watson supercomputer can transform how organisations functions in areas ranging from medicine to financial services because it is not hindered by the same factors that limit human's capabilities.
Michelle Unger, vice president of worldwide client engagement at the IBM Watson Group (pictured), outlined the potential of the system when speaking at the IP Expo event in London.
"The limitations of what a human can do comes from time and memories. We don't have enough time to take in everything that is around us and we certainly can't process all the information that's out there," she said.
"Cognitive systems try to mirror all of the things that make humans think and make good decisions. However, they don't have the same limitations. It never stops learning."
Unger described how Watson is using big data to "disrupt" the medical industry as one example of where this technology is having a huge benefit.
"There is no industry where you can say that data is changing faster or is increasing at a more rapid rate. Medical data is doubling every three years," she said.
The average doctor has to read over 100 hours of information a week just to get the bare minimum of information needed for patient visits, according to Unger, a number that can be dramatically reduced with the help of Watson-like technology.
"Think about the impact of being able to go through the information to find the latest medical journals, the latest information, the latest clinical trials, and tailoring a treatment based on that information," she said.
Watson is a form of AI that can process and answer questions in natural human language, and has evolved rapidly over the years.
It is perhaps best known for taking part in the US TV game show Jeopardy in 2011 and successfully beating a human opponent.
However, its use has expanded into a number of industries, including healthcare, retail and education.
Unger explained how Watson can be used to collate and quickly analyse information in the financial sector.
"There are 9,000 pages of financial news created every single day by Reuters alone. Every minute five different analyst reports are coming out of Wall Street. It is impossible, even for the best financial advisor, to stay on top of all that," she said.
IBM revealed new APIs for Watson last month that allow developers to add new AI features into their services.
"When we started a year and a half ago we had one API. It was a question and answer API and was built on underlying cognitive technologies. We had three business partners and five customers," she said.
"We are now working in 17 different industries and 36 different countries. We have 28 APIs out there today and those have 50 underlying cognitive technologies that they are working on."
Furthermore, Unger noted that Watson currently operates in four languages with an additional six in active development.
"Cognitive technology can understand language. It can see and it can hear, not literally, but it can understand the same perceptions that we are seeing and experiencing," she said.
"The world is being rewritten in code and the cloud is the platform. Everything is digital. Cognitive is changing and it has the power to totally, fundamentally change industries and open new markets."
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