Elementary, My Dear Watson

If Terminator had anything to teach us, it’s this: “I’ll be back”. Popular culture has been coyly flirting with robots for decades, so it comes as no surprise that IBM’s Watson, the thinkin’, answerin’, layin’ down the trivia smackdown computer machine came to be featured on the Jeopardy! show. Represented by an icon looking like a rejected Web graphic from the mid-90’s, Watson out maneuvered, out thought, and out earned his two competitors.

Besides humiliating spindly trivia nerds, the brass at IBM are already discussing potential applications for their technology. One evolution Watson can bring about, perhaps, is a new way for search engines to function. Compared to Google, Watson may seem a smaller, red-headed stepchild (after all, Google returns search results in a fraction of a moment, compared with Watson’s luxurious thinking time of up to 3 seconds), but the IBM hulk machine excels at translating human speech patterns into information. As computers reach an increasingly casual audience, translating human speech into computer action is essential.

David F. McQueeney, vice president of IBM Research, had this to say: “Imagine taking Watson, and instead of feeding it song lyrics and Shakespeare, imagine feeding it medical papers and theses. And put that machine next to an expert human clinician.”

Keep your eye on this technology and start thinking about how it can transform your own SEO strategy.

Until next time,