IBM looks to create smartphone version of Watson.
IBM created headlines last year for creating ‘Watson’, a supercomputer able to analyse complex questions and produce results from quickly scanning vast databases of data. Watson went on to beat the world’s top Jeopardy! players in a televised match.
Now IBM is looking into ways that some of the technology might be incorporated into smartphones. The current system which runs on 10 racks of servers with the same amount of processing power as 6,000 desktop computers. IBM are hoping to build a smartphone app to tap into that data center, although they say even that might consume too much power to be practical at this stage.
With Watson, IBM aims to tackle more complex questions than Apple’s Siri. The program will be able to understand oncology well enough to advise doctors on diagnosis and prescriptions, said Martin Kohn, IBM’s chief medical scientist.
In one potential scenario, a patient accesses Watson via a mobile device to explain symptoms in natural language. The person then gets several recommendations for what might be happening, listed in order of the computer’s confidence. The patient and a doctor both have access to Watson, which would securely access the patient’s medical records, letting it make adjustments to an answer depending on factors like pregnancy or diabetes, Kohn said.