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New Partnership Introduces Watson’s Newest Skill: Life Coach for Veterans

IBM and USAA have joined forces to introduce supercomputer Watson to veterans in need of guidance as they transition back into society.

What’s the Latest?

IBM’s Jon Iwata visited Big Think this week to chat about Watson, the company’s famous cogitative supercomputer (and Jeopardy champion). Iwata discussed IBM’s history of building supercomputers as well as Watson’s impressive ability to better itself through learning:

We’ve seen Watson perform plenty of tricks over the years but 2014 has seen IBM really amp up its campaigns for promoting Watson’s imminent practical uses. Just last month it was reported that IBM was partnering with USAA, which offers financial services to military personnel and their families, to give consumers a glimpse into what Watson offers to them.

What’s the Big Idea?

From Bloomberg:

The USAA deal gives IBM its biggest test yet of whether consumers will embrace Watson, a technology that’s become a bigger focus of the company’s investments and marketing. IBM sees data analytics tools like Watson as a source of growth to counter declining demand for hardware that has led to nine straight quarters of falling sales.

Joe Gordon, Vice President of IBM’s Watson Group, explains that the partnership with USAA is an ability to introduce Watson to the public at large. He cites examples of how relaying advice and information has been a weakness of organizations tasked with helping veterans rejoin society. Watson’s advanced communication skills could provide organizations like USAA a new approach for reaching their clients and consumers.

Read more at Bloomberg

Photo credit: Straight 9 Photography / Shutterstock


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