IBM wants to bring the computing power of the Watson supercomputer to mobile devices

Siri and Google Now, beware! IBM is determined to bring the power of its artificially intelligent NLP (natural language processing) supercomputer, Watson, to mobile devices. The corporation called upon various app developers to make use of Watson's computing capabilities. The developers will compete at the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, which starts on March 31, and only two dozen will get to the final stage of the contest.

Several apps, which are making use of Watson's computing power, are expected to see the light of day in 2014. Most of them are healtcare-oriented, as medical information databases are always growing in size.

But what is Watson truly capable of? Well, simply put, IBM's intelligent supercomputer can answer almost any question, asked in a natural language. Watson is capable of processing roughly 500GB of data per second. Its computing power was demonstrated back in 2011, when Watson took part in Jeopardy!, the popular TV game, and competed against two former champions. The supercomputer was deliberately disconnected from the Internet, but it had access to more than 4 terabytes of data and the whole Wikipedia website was loaded into its RAM. Watson won the game without breaking a sweat and raised $1 million.

Hardware-wise, IBM's monster consists of 2,880 high-end octa-core processors, each clocked at 3.5GHz. Some 16TB (yes, terabytes) of RAM are also at Watson's disposal. The hardware costs roughly $3 million and IBM has invested nearly $1 billion in the whole project.

So, it seems that Watson might up the ante in the field of mobile digital assistants. Only time will show if we will be enabled to benefit from its computing power.

Behold the power of Watson in the video below.

source: IBM Watson via BBC


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