Having Watson compete on Jeopardy is a great publicity move, however, the other applications this project could enable are truly exciting.
“Beyond Jeopardy, the challenge expands to demonstrating how core open-domain question-and-answer technologies can be quickly and effectively adapted to different business applications,” said Michael Loughran, communications manager at IBM Research. “These applications will demand a deep understanding of users’ questions and analysis of huge volumes of natural-language, structured and semi-structured content to rapidly deliver and justify precise, succinct and high-confidence answers.”
Business applications will include customer relationship management, regulatory compliance, contact centers, help desks, Web self-service, and business intelligence, according to IBM.
Much of the underlying computing is based on the Open Advancement of Question Answering Initiative formed last year by IBM, along with Carnegie Mellon University and other universities.