Watson is a computer program in the field of deep learning artificial intelligence (AI). It was developed by IBM to provide answers to questions that are entered in natural-language, be digitalized send to Watson and get the best possible answer back. This, according to Thomas J. Watson, one of IBM’s first presidents, was developed as part of the DeepQA research project.
But today you can do much more then just ask questions about the weather or the traffic on your way home. Watson is a lot more specialized for the business and commercial sector and less for consumers. You can give Watson a lot of digital data from and about your business and the system will analyze the content for you, in a manner never be done before. Here is a short video from the IBM Watson website, which tries to describe the possibilities:
You can see by yourself that the commercial doesn’t tell you in concrete what Watson is or how the people from IBM unleashed the power of the AI system. That was indeed my problem, too. So I called a friend of mine at IBM and ask if it’s possible to meet Watson and talk to someone of the developer team, who is able to answering some questions. “No problem!”, he said and soon we were invited to the “IBM Watson IoT Center” in Munich (Germany). By the way: it’s the left skyscraper in the 23 floor, where you can visit the prototype area and meet Watson. 😉
Let me give you an example so you can imagine what Watson can do for you. But remember, this is just a very simple example that should demonstrate an easy way of using Watson. Let’s assume that we have a great FAQ database in our company. You can browse the FAQ articles by a nice little website. But wouldn’t it be great when an algorithm can listen to a user and will find the right article for his or her problem. But this can be also done by a search engine, right? Yes, of cause it can be done. So where is the real benefit of an AI system like Watson? Let me expand the example above: there is a real-world problem and we are a internet provider. A lot of people will now call our call center and only a few nerds will look up the FAQ pages in this moment, because the customers want to talk to someone who solves their problem… fast. The call center staff will certainly have a lot to do quickly and the waiting loop on the phone is getting longer and longer.
Now let’s unleash the machine: the call center staff can switch to a virtual assistant like Watson. Watson “knows” all the FAQs in detail, is informed about the problem with the network and knows from his training how to talk to dissatisfied human people, solving their problem in a enjoyable way. That’s what AI can do for your business to assist the human colleague. And if Watson cannot find a solution, the customer is put through to a human colleague. Remember that this is an deep learning AI system, so any call will make it smarter and better in answering customer questions. But
I hope this example can show you a way of real digitalization with artificial intelligence and deep learning. In my opinion IBM Watson is one of the best systems on the market for this purpose. Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa are really nice too, but are made more for the consumer and home automation sector, indeed.
If you have any question, let me know about it and I will try to answer it for you as fast as I can.
Best regards from the 23 floor. 😉