Watson: From Jeopardy to the Hospital?

The Hartford Courant, February 17, 2011
Watson the computer had proven itself a formidable force this week in answering questions about Olympic oddities and literary characters on "Jeopardy!" Might it be answering your doctor's questions about your health in the future? That's how representatives for IBM — Watson's creator — see it. In the near future, they say, the technology that has gone into Watson can help doctors crunch massive amounts of data and eliminate human error when it comes to diagnosing conditions and prescribing medications. The computing system was built by researchers from eight universities and IBM, reportedly at a cost of up to $2 billion. IBM officials boast that Watson doesn't just draw from a huge database of information, but can understand the idiosyncrasies of human language. For instance, in cardiology, Watson's technology would analyze data to alert doctors to problems such as too much digitalis in blood tests or the overuse of diuretics.

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