Watson, artificial intelligence’s ambassador

The IBM AI system grinds data tirelessly and solves the practical problems of businesses, cities, and planets

Watson, the artificial intelligence system developed by IBM, does not like catwalks and red carpets. Google’s DeepMind is smarter, more chic. Watson does not speak with slogans and flights of fancy, he speaks with facts. It grinds data in a tireless way, and solves the practical problems of businesses, cities, and planets. It finds the answers (in natural language) to endless questions and, with its sleeves virtually rolled up, over the years, it has become a sort of symbol of artificial intelligence applied to everyday life, from managing traffic lights to mapping genomes, from researching clothing to managing electric grids. In order to accurately present Watson, we should let the facts talk. Here they are.

Ibm Watson at the US Open: a vortex of simultaneous data for an unprecedented experience.

In 2016 Ibm Watson made its debut at the US Open, the fourth and last of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments. The system was included into the official tournament app, allowing fans - through a discovery tool - to ask questions in “human” language and receive answers in realtime. Fans could ask information about transportation, food, services, facilities and everything they needed while wandering around the courts of the prestigious sporting event. This was possible thanks to AI’s ability to watch all the matches simultaneously and to sift through all the information concerning the tournament’s organization, including logistics.

Thanks to Watson's machine learning capabilities, the app learned from user interactions, and was able to improve its responses over time.

Improvements have been made and the experience was replicated at the tournament’s latest edition. Fans were able to check scores and statistics in realtime, and watch videos with the most significant moments on platforms supported by Watson. The SlamTracker system provided analysis of the games, while the tournament app with Watson's Conversation API, managed the question and answer service concerning logistics. The Cognitive Concierge, introduced for the tournament’s 2017 edition, added new features to the app, allowing it to answer a wider range of questions. Watson also watched and listened to all the matches and was able to quantify the number of spectators present, their enthusiasm and to select the matches’ most exciting moments.

Ibm Watson helps BlocPower in improving the energy efficiency of New York

BlocPower is the American startup that provides solutions to companies and agencies to help reduce energy consumption by reducing its dispersion. To identify the causes of energy dispersion, the BlocPower data scientist team at the New York office began using IBM Data Science Experience, a system of apps that ensure real-time, high performance data analysis. With this system, BlocPower is able to import all the data concerning each single building’s energy consumption in KW and compare it to the average level of energy efficiency.

Ibm Watson debuts at the Grammys: analyzing photos and outfits to build Fashion Dashboard.

At the last edition of the Grammys, Watson sifted through photos and looks of the celebrities. The system stored the information about clothes, accessories and all the details of the outfits used by celebrities for the event. Based on the data stored in the archive, Ibm will launch Fashion Dashboard, a tool that will allow users to compare the outfits worn at the show’s 2018 edition with those of previous years.

Genome project

Ibm is also helping support the Genome Project by putting its artificial intelligence at the disposal of doctors and hospitals. Watson has stored approximately 10,000 scientific articles and the hundreds of studies that are published on a monthly basis. This allows doctors and medical staff to simply insert the symptoms manifested by the patient into the database and let the system select the related articles -saving doctors several weeks of work. This collaboration will help improve precision medicine and to find therapeutic indications in a faster way.

Watson wins at Jeopardy!

In 2011, Ibm’s AI took part in Jeopardy!, one of the most followed American television quiz shows, beating all human competitors. In this case, computer intelligence used DeepQa, a system able to respond directly and accurately to questions related to a vast field of knowledge. The software had an archive with 200 million pages, 15 Terabytes of RAM, and the ability to understand human language. In the first phase of the game, the system took two hours to answer one question, but during the three days of competition it improved to the point of beating the quiz’s historic champions, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

"The North Face" and the search for the perfect clothing

The well-known North Face clothing brand has collaborated with IBM Watson to gather information on the tastes of its customers and help them choose the perfect garment. The company will ask customers where and when they will use a particular item and what kind of activities they will perform wearing it. By combining the information, it will be able to guide the customer in his or her search.


In July 2016, Macy's - the US department store - announced that it had begun testing "Macy's on call", a new mobile app that allows customers to ask questions about the store’s products and services and the stores where they are available. In return, customers will receive personalized relevant answers. The data stored by the system includes logistics, the characteristics and the availability of the products, and - as Watson is able to learn automatically - thanks to customer feedback it will become increasingly more accurate.