IBM hoping to further develop 'Watson'
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IBM hoping to further develop ‘Watson’

Many science fiction films and stories have explored the idea of a super-intelligent machine with enhanced capabilities to serve mankind. Thanks to exciting new advances in technology, the once-fictional concept is quickly becoming a reality.

At the forefront of this evolution is IBM, with its Watson computer system, a machine that has been programmed by computer scientists to help clients in a variety of vital fields. A recently published article in Fast Company went to great lengths to explore the major steps that IBM researchers were taking to enhance the supercomputer's ability to test cancer patients through new applications.

The source reports that Watson began as a project in 2007 at research labs in upstate New York. Most people didn't become familiar with the machine until 2011 when it appeared on the game show Jeopardy and ending up winning. And while finding success on the television show was seen as a success, those who built it are hoping that it can serve even greater purposes. In an interview with the news source, IBM executive Manoj Saxena, who has been tasked with turning the impressive machine into something that can turn a profit, said he sees major opportunities, given all the data out there these days.

"We now have this proliferation of what we call Big Data," Saxena told the news provider.  "Ninety percent of the world's information was created in the last two years. But 80 percent of that 90 percent is unstructured or semistructured information, like doctor's notes or product reviews on Amazon."

IBM researchers have been making progress in other ways as well. In August, the technology giant announced that scientists at the IBM Research and the Solid State Physics Laboratory at ETH Zurich were able to increase the life-span of an electron 30-fold and synchronize the particles as well. The findings were published in the peer-reviewed Nature Physics and is thought of as a major step forward.