IBM's Watson continues to grow. The Jeopardy champion has aided research for years and is now looking to improve on its big data analysis capabilities once again. Watson Discovery Advisor is a cloud service available to researchers looking to accelerate their work with large-scale data analytics. See:
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"We're entering an extraordinary age of data-driven discovery," says Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of the IBM Watson Group. "Today's announcement is a natural extension of Watson's cognitive computing capability. We're empowering researchers with a powerful tool which will help increase the impact of investments organizations make in R&D, leading to significant breakthroughs."
The computer's victory on Jeopardy was more than a novelty, it showed Watson's ability to understand and make inferences from subtleties in natural language. This is well suited to scientific research because of the massive amount of data produced every year.
The Watson Discovery Advisor is already being used by several research groups, such as Johnson & Johnson. Teaming up with the IBM Watson Discovery Advisor group, Johnson & Johnson hopes to develop a method for rapidly analyzing clinical trial data. Comparative effectiveness studies are usually done manually and can mean to 2.5 years of work, although this is normally split between several people.
Sanofi, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in France, is also applying Watson Discovery Advisor to the pharmaceutical industry, this time for drug repurposing. By combing through the millions of pages detailing drug trials, effects and current uses, Watson can form new possible uses for existing drugs. Additionally, Sanofi is attempting to use Watson to more accurately predict drug effects on trial candidates to curb the high failure rate of drug R&D.
However, IBM's Watson Discovery Advisor is not exclusively for use in the medical fields. According to IBM, the service could be used by financial analysts, lawyers, government analysts or even chefs looking for inspiration; almost any field that involves comparative analysis of large pools of data will be able to take advantage of this tool.
For more information on IBM Watson Discovery Advisory visit the service's page.