You are currently on IBM Systems Media’s archival website. Click here to view our new website.


The Amusing, Amazing Watson

It’s not all fun and games; Watson has amazing real-world potential.

It’s not all fun and games; Watson has amazing real-world potential.
Photo by Craig Bares

If you know me socially, you know I love to be amused. I follow Twitter while watching reality TV for the snarky comments. I steal crafty Facebook statuses and videos for my own. I love to tease friends—in person and virtually. And I love to play Apples to Apples.

Apples to Apples is a party game where players each choose a noun card from a hand of seven to match an adjective card played by the judge, who then selects the best comparison to win that round. Think the adjective “scary” and the nouns “my refrigerator,” “1980s fashion” and “clowns.” Part of the strategy is to know how the judge will respond. My friends know I’ll always pick the funniest answer.

Watson knows a thing or two about picking answers and I got some good chuckles watching Watson compete on “Jeopardy!” It was amazing to see a computer pick up on the humor and nuances of our language. I was proud to be associated with this incredible Power* technology that’s available to anyone who wants to purchase it now.

Watson has made a big splash in the media. Millions of people watched the game show last month—IBM even had viewing parties. And since Watson runs on Power Systems* architecture, we wanted to feature it in the magazine this month. We spoke with Dave Ferrucci, now widely recognized from all of the TV commercials featuring him, to give us the inside scoop on Watson and the “Jeopardy!” challenge.

We also wondered why IBM choose Power technology as Watson’s base, so we spoke with Ron Kalla, the chief engineer who led the development of the POWER7* chip that powers Watson. And it’s not all fun and games; Watson has some amazing real-world potential.

While the Watson story is fun, don’t overlook the other great content in this issue, which puts vampires and mirrors together. If you think technology can’t be amusing, you’re not living my life.

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.



2019 Solutions Edition

A Comprehensive Online Buyer's Guide to Solutions, Services and Education.

The Amusing, Amazing Watson

It’s not all fun and games; Watson has amazing real-world potential.

The Service Factor

Customer service is vital to keep customers coming back and talking about their great experiences

Sharing Secrets

How a smart cloud solution leverages collective resources and makes IT departments part of the revenue solution rather than the revenue problem

IBM Systems Magazine Subscribe Box Read Now Link Subscribe Now Link iPad App Google Play Store