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Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)

What is IBM Watson?

Executive summary

  • What is IBM Watson? IBM Watson is a data analytics processor that uses natural language processing, a technology that analyzes human speech for meaning and syntax. IBM Watson performs analytics on vast repositories of data that it processes to answer human-posed questions, often in a fraction of a second.

  • Why does IBM Watson matter? IBM Watson's cognitive and analytical capabilities enable it to respond to human speech, process vast stores of data, and return answers to questions that companies could never solve before. As new data is entered into Watson's data repository, it uses machine learning that is the product of the processing it performs during analytics to continue to increase its knowledge of subject areas, and the insight it is capable of delivering to users.

  • Who does IBM Watson affect? IBM Watson is employed in nearly every industry vertical, as well as in specialized application areas such as cybersecurity. This technology is often used by a company's data analytics team, but Watson has become so user friendly that it is also easily used by end users such as physicians or marketers.

  • When is IBM Watson happening? Companies in a host of industries are already running IBM Watson for predictive analytics and problem solving. IBM Watson gives them a competitive advantage and helps them return more value to their customers and constituents.

  • How can I get IBM Watson? Companies that can afford the multiple millions of dollars that a Watson system costs can run the system internally. Fortunately, Watson access is also available through the IBM cloud for a variety of industry verticals, making it a viable option for many small and midsize companies.


Shacklett, M. (2017, June 28). IBM Watson: A cheat sheet. Techrepublic

The New York Times

What Ever Happened to IBM’s Watson?

A decade ago, IBM’s public confidence was unmistakable. Its Watson supercomputer had just trounced Ken Jennings, the best human “Jeopardy!” player ever, showcasing the power of artificial intelligence. This was only the beginning of a technological revolution about to sweep through society, the company pledged.

“Already,” IBM declared in an advertisement the day after the Watson victory, “we are exploring ways to apply Watson skills to the rich, varied language of health care, finance, law and academia.”

But inside the company, the star scientist behind Watson had a warning: Beware what you promise.


Lohr, S. (2021, July 16). What Ever Happened to IBM’s Watson? The New York Times.

IBM Watson