Have any of you taken a look at Jeopardy this week? Ordinarily it serves as background noise for me most of the time. This week is a little different because the two all time record winning Jeopardy contestants are competing against Watson an IBM computer system. Check out the information at the link and meet the contestants and the design team. By the way, Watson is pretty much smoking the competition.
The IBM team members interviewed in some of the videos suggest that Watson could help out in the area of Healthcare by helping out with diagnosis and identifying the best types of treatments much more quickly. In the area of Finance Watson can churn through data much more quickly and thoroughly than a team of account managers. According to the video the amount of financial data that must be evaluated grows by approximately 70% each year. I'd like to see a comparison of a 401K fund managed by Watson and a fund managed by a traditional fund manager.
If we keep this in the context of problem solving using massive amounts of information it makes perfect sense. We know the amount of all types of information are more readily available than ever before and that volume grows daily. It only makes sense that perhaps totally human labor intense methods are becoming outdated. With the proper oversight this can be the next error reduction and efficiency gain for problem solving.