MBA Students Tried To Figure Out What IBM's Watson Should Be Used For, And Here's What They Came Up With

ibm watson

Photo: IBM

The folks at IBM are still trying to figure out what exactly to do with their amazing artificial intelligence computer Watson, and they’re looking to all kinds of sources for inspiration.One of those sources is academia.

MBA students at the University of Rochester recently participated in the first-ever Watson academic case competition. They were asked to figure out ways to “solve societal and business challenges using Watson,” reports Ariel Schwartz at Fast Company.

Here’s what they came up with:

1st place: Managing Data in the Eye of a Storm—Since Watson is incredibly effective at analysing both unstructured and structured information, it could be used to identify weather patterns. It would combine weather data and the latest numbers from the census to help companies with crisis management.

2nd place: Mining for Insights, Literally—Watson’s cognitive reasoning capabilities could be used to help energy companies figure out their environmental impact. It would bring together economic, health, safety reports, and more to find levels of risk and reward.

3rd place: Unpacking Big Data Improves Travel Experience—Watson could be used to reduce wait times, congestion, and improve the travel experience by analysing tons of unstructured information. 

IBM plans to repeat the case competition format at other universities, reports Jack Seward at Innovation Trail.

Currently, Watson is only being used in a pilot program at health insurer WellPoint, but all these new ideas signal that there’s definitely potential for IBM to make an impact with its AI technology.

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