No more games - IBM's Watson goes to work
Here's some from my IBM/ Watson article in tonight's paper. Look for the full deal in the print version of the P-B.
Putting the super-smart Watson computer system — IBM's famous quiz-show contestant — to work is a not a game for a team based in Rochester.
"My team's job is to convert Watson, the research project, into commercial projects for various industries. The initial industry we are working on is health care," said Bill Rapp, the chief technical architect of the Watson Solutions Development team.
The group is in charge of commercialization for Watson, the IBM system that famously trounced top "Jeopardy!" players on TV.
While his team has members at other IBM sites, the largest portion of Rapp's crew is based in Rochester.
"We (the Rochester campus) were very fortunate to get the nod on this one," he said. "This one is very important to the corporation."
In the meantime, Watson's first paid gigs with Wellpoint Inc. were announced Monday. Indianapolis-based WellPoint is the largest health insurer in the country.
That means WellPoint will use its own customized Watson, though it will still use racks of Rochester-made Power 750 servers.
IBM's star system is not taking on the role of a physician, though it will act as an assistant to quickly provide doctors with treatment options. The physician will then decide on the best way to treat their patient.
"The advantage of Watson is that it can consume mountains of information … including recent, up-to-date information … more than a physician can keep in their head," Rapp said.