Harvard, MIT to get shots at IBM Watson

IBM Watson visits Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management

ibm watson
IBM is taking its Watson supercomputer on the road and its first stop will be Harvard Business School  and MIT Sloan School of Management where some of the country's brightest upcoming business minds will take their shots at the smart Big Blue computer.

Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management are the first two business schools where IBM will co-host what it calls a Watson symposium. Today's symposium will include teams of students competing against Watson in an exhibition game of Jeopardy! Watson earlier this year beat its human counterparts on the Jeopardy! show

More: The ultimate in man v. machine moments

Watson understands the meaning and context of human language, can analyze data and learn correlations between data. The technology introduces the capability to sift through an equivalent of about 1 million books or roughly 200 million pages of data to provide instant answers to questions posed to it, IBM stated.

The visit is a bit of payback as well: A team of researchers from MIT led by Boris Katz, principal research scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, contributed code to QuestionAnswer capabilities in Watson.

Technology research from other schools such as the University of Texas, University of Southern California, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Albany, University of Trento, University of Massachusetts and Carnegie Mellon University - also helped develop Watson.  

According to Harvard Business School Professor of Management Practice Willy Shih, "the symposium and demonstration match will expose our students to cutting-edge technology in deep analytics, an area of increasing importance in business applications, healthcare and the life sciences, enterprise knowledge management, finance, and anywhere there are vast amounts of unstructured data."

IBM noted too that Harvard Business School's Professor Shih recently wrote an in-depth case study of Watson that will be used by MBA students in the school's required first-year course Technology and Operations Management.

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