Dear Visitor,

Our system has found that you are using an ad-blocking browser add-on.

We just wanted to let you know that our site content is, of course, available to you absolutely free of charge.

Our ads are the only way we have to be able to bring you the latest high-quality content, which is written by professional journalists, with the help of editors, graphic designers, and our site production and I.T. staff, as well as many other talented people who work around the clock for this site.

So, we ask you to add this site to your Ad Blocker’s "white list" or to simply disable your Ad Blocker while visiting this site.

Continue on this site freely
  HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT NEWS. UPDATED 8 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / Personal Tech / Watson Aids Humanitarian Computing
Watson Sparks Interest in Humanitarian Computing
Watson Sparks Interest in Humanitarian Computing
By Jennifer LeClaire / CRM Daily Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
FEBRUARY
24
2011
Watson's success is having a ripple effect at Big Blue. IBM's World Community Grid, a virtual supercomputer that helps scientists solve humanitarian challenges by tapping the unused computing power of personal computers around the world, is turning heads.

The day after the conclusion of TV's Jeopardy tournament, the grid saw a 700 percent spike in the number of people who typically volunteer their spare computing power.

The grid works by pooling the unused power of 1.7 million personal computers from 535,000 volunteers in more than 80 countries. Then it makes this power available to scientists who might not otherwise be able to afford the computing power they require for timely research.

Spurring Humanitarian Research

"Watson's performance on Jeopardy has captured the imagination of millions of viewers who understand the power of computing to benefit humanity," said Stanley S. Litow, an IBM vice president and head of IBM's foundation. "Like Watson, World Community Grid is also a game changer. We're grateful for the skyrocketing interest in World Community Grid as a result of Watson's achievement."

The grid offers computing power equivalent to one of the world's largest virtual supercomputers. It tackles projects like affordable water purification, cancer research, and new treatments for HIV/AIDS. The Scripps Research Institute tapped the grid to discover two new compounds that could be used to design AIDS-fighting drugs.

Watson's Fallibility

These scientists won't be talking to Watson, but others might talk to its successors, given the recent IBM deal with Nuance Communications. Still, some analysts say even the best speech-recognition technology has a way to go, in part because even a natural language computer system can fail.

"Crashes are well known, disasters occur unpredictably, and software is anything but perfect," said Dave Mesabi, principal of the Mesabi Group. "In fact, software is known for, as a friend of mine once said, its unmarketable special features, more popularly known as 'bugs.' That simply means that it does not carry out its tasks in the way that the programmer thought it should. Like any system, the Watson system can possibly crash and may well have some latent bugs within it, but that is not the main reason it is fallible."

Mesabi said a natural language computer system is also fallible because it cannot meet the dictionary definition of absolutely trustworthy or sure. That, he continued, is because it may not have all the necessary evidence to make a decision with confidence. A more important reason, though, is that it may not have enough analytical horsepower to make the correct decision even though it thinks it does. Still, Mesabi said how natural language capabilities will change the way we interact with computers is going to be important, because a natural language interface has the potential to become a killer app.

"However, even if that is the case, a natural language computer system will not be infallible, and recognizing that fact is essential in minimizing negative consequences," Mesabi said. "Though the Jeopardy matches were impressive, Watson may have a much greater impact upon the world of information technology than simply providing a vehicle for quickly providing precise answers to complex questions."

Read more on: IBM, Watson, Jeopardy, Virtual
Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

stdsingle:
Posted: 2011-02-24 @ 10:55pm PT
HIV/AIDS is not actually a death sentence. It is a disease that can be managed and be controlled by the individual who acquired it allowing him to live a long normal and productive life like anyone else. Pozmingle.com the largest dating site for HIV singles claim that they have 200,000 HIV members, Most of them are here to find understanding, support and love. It is really a good thing that encourage each other, Leading a healthy life.

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
MORE IN PERSONAL TECH

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
President Trump has banned the U.S. government from using Kaspersky. The Russian cybersecurity company has been accused of -- but denied -- being in cahoots with Kremlin espionage.

CRM DAILY
NEWSFACTOR NETWORK SITES
NEWSFACTOR SERVICES
© Copyright 2017 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.