IBM Watson: How is It Changing The Industry Today?


May 11th, 2017

IBM Watson is a cognitive computing system that uses Artificial intelligence (AI) to build smarter systems for human beings. It is named after its former Chairman, Thomas Watson.

Cognitive computing tries to simulate the human thought process and involves applications in text processing, image classification/identification, and speech to text. Watson is delivered as a Saas on cloud and can be called by its clients using a small code snippet embedded in their system.

Current Use Cases

One of the key areas Watson is used is in healthcare. It is used to analyze the DNA sequencing of patients and suggest the right set of remedial measures. These remedial measures are suggested based on analyzing past medical literature and performing the appropriate language processing on the same. For instance, if it’s the case of a cancer treatment that Watson is processing, it analyses the tumor DNA alterations are analyzed and suggests corresponding remedial actions.

Another area where Watson is being deployed is in tracking devices. Watson IoT is used to monitor devices and their performance. By keeping track of device performances and metrics, it helps predict potential problems in the future and aids in taking pre-emptive action. Find a screenshot of the machine conversation taken from the website of one of its clients, Kone, below.

Quick illustrations

Also, have a quick look on some of the interesting demonstrations of how IBM Watson API is useful for organizations:

Text processing:

Watson reads the text supplied by its clients to perform various activities around the text and sentiment processing. I fed the below-mentioned text into the AlchemyLanguage engine. AlchemyLanguage is a collection of Natural Language API.

Below is the document sentiment score provided based on the above text. The negative sign indicates that the sentiment associated with the text above has a very negative connotation.

Following are the words associated with the negative connotation in the text. Companies subscribing to the service of Alchemy can call the API along with the text to analyze its sentiment.

Now, let’s see the image processing capability of Watson. I uploaded the below image of a person on the website and the attributes are identified by the engine. As you can see, the image is rightly identified as that of a male and the age is shown as between 18-24 which is correct.

I now uploaded the image of a child. As you can see below, the fact that it is a child’s photo is correctly identified. However, the age seems to be wrong in this case.

With these services rendered over the web, companies that require them can subscribe to this SaaS model to fulfill their needs in the space of cognitive computing.


This article has provided a quick peep into the amazing services on cognitive computing provided by Watson. With the growing need for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Watson is bound to be one of the key players owing to its vast experience and research in this space.

Karthik Ganapathy is the original contributor of this article. He is currently working as an AGM and holds extensive knowledge and experience in Predictive Modelling/ Machine Learning and Visualization. He has worked with clients in banking, retail, technology, and e-commerce industry. He loves writing and has an active blog of his own. 

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