IBM’s Watson gets job in health care

It didn’t take long for IBM’s demonstration of the question-answering prowess in the Jeopardy-winning Watson system to find some backers: IBM has announced a deal with Nuance Communications to apply Watson’s Deep Question Answering technology the healthcare field. The research partnership will also address one of the key shortcomings Watson demonstrated on Jeopardy, combining Watson’s analytical skills with speech recognition technology so the system can understand what people say, rather than having to have queries posed to it as pure text.

ibms watson gets job in health care ibm jeopardy practice game

“Combining our analytics expertise with the experience and technology of Nuance, we can transform the way that healthcare professionals accomplish everyday tasks by enabling them to work smarter and more efficiently,” said IBM senior VP and director of research Dr. John E. Kelly III, in a statement. “This initiative demonstrates how we plan to apply Watson’s capabilities into new areas, such as healthcare with Nuance.”

The Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine will also work on the project. Nuance and IBM hope to have the direct products based on the technology ready to come to market in 18 to 24 months. The project will also leverage Nuance’s Clinical Language Understanding solutions to improve Watson’s understanding of medical vocabulary and terminology.

The healthcare industry’s interest in Watson comes from the system’s seeming ability to quickly process information available in natural language—rather than deliberately encoded for computer processing—and make rapid, high-level connections between key items of information from disparate sources. The technology could be applied to help healthcare professional keep up with the vast amounts of clinical data and scientific research being published in the healthcare field every day; looking forward, Watson technology could be applied to some of the applications that have along been envisioned for so-called “strong AI” systems, like drug interactions and real-time diagnoses.

[Image: IBM]

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

IBM’s Q System One is the rock star quantum computing needs

Quantum computing is intriguing. It's also confusing, distant, and unfathomable, which means people often skip right by the topic. IBM's Q System One may not be a scientific breakthrough, but it finally gives everyone a reason to stop and…
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for January 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.
Computing

Changing a PDF into an EPUB file is easier than you might think

If you like to read on a tablet or ebook reader, you'll find that ePUB files offer a number of advantages over PDFs. With this guide, we'll show you how to convert a PDF to EPUB in a few quick steps.
Computing

Need to combine a PDF? Here's how to get it done on both Windows and Mac

Sometimes juggling multiple files at once is more of a hassle than a convenience, especially when a single file would do. This quick guide will teach you how to combine PDF files on Windows, MacOS, or with online tools.
Computing

Don’t even bother with the rest. Here are the only laptop brands that matter

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Computing

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $10 to $130. Happy shopping!
Computing

Getting Windows 10 updated doesn't have to be so painful

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.