Thoughts from IBM's "World of Watson"
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Last week was at the IBM’s World of Watson in NYC – IBM has opened up Watson through the Cloud forming an eco-system where application developers and partners utilizing open APIs can tap into Watson’s cognitive thinking algorithms. IBM has decided to open the Watson platform to partners and developers for more rapid discoveries of real-applications and perhaps marketable applications. Of course many of the impressive applications targeted health care, mapping genomes, cancer research, synthetic drug pre-trials – some amazing stuff. In the area of finance I’m always a touch skeptical, investors have been trying to find the golden algorithms investment portfolios for centuries and not really convinced that Watson will do much better. However I was very impressed with some Private Equity software firm, Vantage Software in Boston, that was using Watson coupled with an accelerator big data analytics module application, AlchemyAPI out of Denver, to comb through social media for smoke signals about firms that were being tracked. For example a small firm is looking for 3 new analytical PhDs in polymer catalysts – a small signal that something might be popping with the young company. If an analyst is tracking say 250-500 start-ups, no way to track this manually. Of course stay tuned for Watson to show-up more in Wealth Management. Here’s some links to the main tent sessions: