Watson Tapped For Mobile Apps
June 9, 2014 Dan Burger
IBM has big dreams for Watson, its quiz show champion that’s taken on more serious jobs such as cancer research and financial portfolio management. But on its way to rewriting the book on how to succeed in business, Watson still has some growing up to do. In several real world business engagements, the face of cognitive computing has been labeled a slow learner.
No one promised there wouldn’t be setbacks, but when Watson’s boss, CEO Ginni Rometty, puts a $10 billion a year revenue load on your potential, setbacks are not on anyone’s mind. The IBM public relations team is paid to hand out rose-colored glasses and the Watson team is by no means in shambles.
Last week, IBM announced three winners of the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, a competition configured to encourage the development of consumer and business apps that depend on Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities.
In most competitions we want to know who wins, but in this case it’s more interesting to know what they accomplished in winning. Sorry teams. Your brain power withers next to Watson’s star power. You still get your company name in print though.
The team from GenieMD in Pleasanton, California, developed an app that allowed individuals to take a more active role in managing their health by delivering a holistic view, making health data actionable and shareable. The app provides relevant and personalized medical recommendations, enabling family caregivers to access relevant patient data and facilitate better communication between the individuals and their healthcare providers.
With the goal of creating an app that helps create and sustain an educational relationship between children and parents, Majestyk Apps in New York City, unleashed FANG, the Friendly Anthropomorphic Networked Genome. The first iteration is a cognitive, cuddly plush companion, using Watson to provide a personalized educational experience for children, which was accomplished through a series of contextual interactions.
Red Ant, a retail sales trainer based in London, England, provisioned an app that lets employees identify individual customer’s buying preferences by analyzing demographics, purchase history, wish lists, product information, local pricing, customer reviews and tech specs. The app provides customer-unique selling points onscreen or via text-to-speech on an earpiece.
“These bright and enterprising organizations have discovered innovative ways to apply Watson that can deliver demonstrable business benefits,” said Steve Gold, vice president, IBM Watson Group in a press release. “Their ideas, along with many others we received, confirm our belief that putting Watson into the hands of entrepreneurs will make cognitive systems the computing standard of the future.”
IBM launched the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge in February, allowing developers to tap into Watson’s unique cognitive computing power.
According to IBM, the participating teams originated from 43 countries and submitted more than 400 business concepts. The submissions included micro-finance in developing economies, early education learning, and remote diagnosis and treatment using evidence-based health protocols.
The winners will receive support from IBM to advance their concepts into market.