Just over two weeks ago, our CEO Ginni Rometty announced the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge. With two weeks left in the application phase, I want to take a few minutes to give a brief overview on why Watson is different, what a good use case looks like, why mobile, and some thoughts on why to apply.
At its foundation Watson relies on the next evolution of the Deep QA technology that led to its victory in jeopardy. DeepQA, or deep natural language processing is not keyword search, a rules-based search, or speech processing. Keyword search and expert systems are not able to recognize the subtleties, idiosyncrasies, and ambiguities inherent in common human language.
Cognitive systems, like humans, know how to apply context, fill in the gaps, resolve ambiguity and uncertainty, and interpret language in a good degree of depth. Unlike traditional systems, it can change, adapt and yield intelligent answers in changing conditions.
A good use case
A good interaction pattern with Watson will exploit the volume, veracity and variety of content to leverage evidence based insights with weighted confidence. A strong use case will take advantage of deep natural language processing and benefit from a continuously learning system, while providing transparency into the source of information. Applications can transform the user experience with contextual relevance and active dialoging.
Characteristics of a good use case will typically
- Have a question and answer interaction pattern, with questions posed in natural language
- Seek answers and insights from content that is largely unstructured
- Need transparency and supporting evidence for confidence weighted responses to questions and queries
This is exemplified very well in Cafewell Concierge powered by Watson being built by Welltok. The end user interacts with the system using a string of complex questions in natural language. The information the customer is trying to navigate is stored in guides, catalogs, reviews, and other text sources identified by Welltok. Finally, the customer requires a level of confidence and citation to feel comfortable and build a level of trust with the system. (white paper)
Mobile matters because it is increasingly where this type of interaction happens. The global consumer, including you and I, are almost demanding control at their behest, anywhere and anytime.
The world is shifting to a cognitive and mobile future, and this challenge is a chance to get in early. You can become an IBM partner in the Watson Ecosystem and gain access to the Watson Developer Cloud. You will also benefit from the collaboration from IBM to help bring your vision to life in a uniquely engaging way.