IBM Watson now answers your questions before you ask

Watson Discovery Advisor has been upgraded to seek out hidden relations in data

IBM has upgraded its Watson Discovery Advisor data analysis service so it can answer your questions before you even ask.

The updated Watson Discovery Advisor can examine a body of data and identify trends, correlations and other points of interest for researchers, IBM said.

The service will provide you leads "when you don't know the question to ask, and for when you want to uncover and discover in the data new insights and patterns," said Steve Gold, IBM vice president for the Watson platform.

Many fields of expertise could benefit from the service, particularly those that collect large amounts of data that require analysis, such as law, medicine and finance, he said.

"It turns out there is a huge appetite in industry for this type of capability," Gold said. "Many of these industries, through traditional approaches, have found it time consuming and tiring to get through the information and find new insights."

IBM Research developed Watson to compete with human contestants on the "Jeopardy" game show, using natural language processing and analytics, as well as many sources of structured and unstructured data, to formulate responses to the show's questions.

By fusing content and context, Watson isn't programmed, Gold said. "It is taught. So it doesn't have all the limitations of conventional systems that are based on rules."

Watson Discovery Advisor is a commercial offshoot of Watson, packaging some of Watson's capabilities as a data analysis cloud service.

Watson Discovery Advisor uses a number of computational techniques to deliver its results, including natural language processing, machine learning and hypothesis generation, in which a hypothesis is created and evaluated by a number of different analysis techniques.

The discovery capability "looks for points of interaction, points of connection. It is looking for relevancy of attributes and activities. And it is essentially bringing those forward to a researcher," Gold said. "And some of those may be noise, but what is nice is that not only does it bring up the relationship, but its confidence in the strength of the connection."

The updated Watson Discovery Advisor is also 240 per cent faster, according to the company.

The Advisor service has attracted a number of customers.

Health care company Johnson & Johnson commissioned the service to ingest clinical trial outcome studies to compare the effectiveness of different types of drugs. Pharmaceutical company Sanofi is also using the service similarly, to look for ways of repurposing drugs.

Baylor College of Medicine used the service to analyze 23 million abstracts of medical papers in order to find more information on the p53 tumor protein, in search of more information on how to turn it on or off. From these results, Baylor researchers identified six potential proteins to target for new research.

It typically takes researchers using traditional methods about a year to find a single potentially useful target protein, IBM said.

IBM declined to disclose how much it costs to use the Watson Discovery Advisor. It will be demonstrating more cases of customers using the service during an event in New York Thursday.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsIBMsoftwaredata mining

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?