IBM’s Watson AI program is a unique artificial intelligence computer system with a capability of grasping the slight differences in natural human language and answering the questions that are asked by human users. It has a wide range of data and can give answers even with evidences. It was specifically designed to answer the questions on the quiz show Jeopardy!
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) will be provided with a modified version of an IBM Watson system in order to develop new markets and Big Data research: RPI is the first university receiving a version of IBM Watson system.
Rensselaer, which is the oldest technical university in the United States is also known with research specialized in biotechnology, nanotechnology, computation and information technology, the media arts and technology, and energy and the environment. Taking the technology out of the laboratory and unleashing it to the marketplace in order to simplify life, keep the nature and enhance the economic growth are the goals that Rensselaer aims to achieve. Indeed, RPI was one of the universities cooperated with IBM in 2011 in order to develop open architecture, thanks to that research QA abilities powering Watson were studied.
IBM declared that New York based RPI will discover new uses for Watson and expand the cognitive capabilities of the system. IBM will provide Rensselaer with Watson hardware, software and training as a grant of Shared University Research (SUR) Award. The Watson hardware will be situated at the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations which is the Rensselaer computing center with the collaboration of IBM. The hard disk storage of the Watson system will be 15 terabytes at Rensselaer like it was at Jeopardy! and twenty users will be able to access the system at the same time.
Video Credit: RPI Rensselaer
RPI will develop the reasoning and cognitive capabilities in finance, information technology, business analytics, and other areas: Broadening the data volume, type and sources is aimed at. In fact, Watson’s evidence and fact finding capacity is being applied to different areas at the present: IBM cooperates with medical providers, hospitals and physicians in order to assist doctors during the assessment of a patient’s medical history, recognizing symptoms, diagnosing accurately and learning the recent developments such as news and medical literature, hence healthcare service is enhanced. Also, by collaborating with financial institutions, the banking system is studied to upgrade and facilitate the service. The objective of this partnership is to improve decision making across a different industries such as healthcare, retail, telecommunication and financial services by answering complex questions.
The leading members of project team consist of RPI graduates and undergraduates in this research as well, thus with firsthand experience on the Watson system will enable Rensselaer students to be leaders in Big Data, analytics, and cognitive computing. It is estimated that by 2015, there will be 1.9 million data jobs started in the U.S and in today’s high demand job of data technology, there will be more need for professionals who can develop, tackle and put forward solutions to the urgent business and social needs.
President of Rensselaer Institute, Shirley Ann Jackson said that: “The entire Rensselaer community joins me in thanking IBM for enabling us to receive and welcome Watson technology to Rensselaer. The system will be an unprecedented platform to help students and faculty meet the challenge of our university’s motto, ‘Why Not Change the World?’”