Jeopardy Watson Becomes Watson, M.D.

October 25th, 2013

The power of IBM’s Watson to answer trivia questions on Jeopardy is translating to serious progress in the field of medicine.

IBM’s Watson hasn’t been in medical school long, but he already has two jobs. Teaming with the Cleveland Clinic, Big Blue researchers have developed WatsonPaths, a diagnosis and education project, and Watson EMR Assistant, a tool for delving deep into medical records. WatsonPaths is the more ambitious of the two, drawing on question-answering skills acquired from its Jeopardy days to examine medical cases from all angles. It’ll gather data from journals, texts and on-the-job training, helping doctors improve differential diagnoses and create better treatments.

Remarkable. Soon enough, these tools will be able to diagnose, and maybe even treat ailment virtually. Wait till they start writing briefs…