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Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Watson: A darling of the press
Beth Stackpole   5/2/2012 6:16:59 AM
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I couldn't believe how much media attention Watson grabbed during the Jeopardy appearance. Applying Watson's smart processing power to attack the big data problem in the medical diagnostic field seems to have endless possibilities. Is there any specific project or event planned for Watson's medical field debut or has IBM just said that's the next frontier for the technology?

naperlou
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Blogger
Need for Medical Computing
naperlou   5/2/2012 9:09:46 AM
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Geof, Watson is a great candidate for medical applications.  For years, expert systems, of which Watson is an advanced example of, have been touted for medical applications.  They have in fact proven themselves.  The issue is liability.  From my own experience, and that of others, we would all be better off if computers used more often in medical diagnosis. 

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Need for Medical Computing
NadineJ   5/2/2012 11:29:07 AM
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I agree that Watson is great for the initial research but I don't see computers replacing human intuition and experience in the trail stages. 

This article brings to mind a lecture I heard that explored how humanity can't keep up with its own progress.  We've found so many answers in the late 20th and early 21st century but we're not sure what the questions are.  Using computers like Watson may get the right questions out there to lead to better advancement.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Need for Medical Computing
Rob Spiegel   5/2/2012 11:47:31 AM
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Medical is a great application for Watson. It will be interesting to see whether doctors will be willing to utilize Watson. It will also be interesting to see whether the insurance industry requires its use in order to reduce risk.

apresher
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Watson in Medical Applications
apresher   5/2/2012 3:32:56 PM
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Medical applications do seem to be an ideal match for this type of advanced software technology. Lots of facts and data that can be analyzed and the need for advanced algorithms to quickly comb through large amounts of data. Will be interesting to see the "practical approaches" to using this kind of technology, especially given liability concerns and the need the absolute need for a personalized approach to medical diagnosis.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Watson in Medical Applications
Rob Spiegel   5/2/2012 3:58:03 PM
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I agree, Apresher. It will also be interesting to see how medical professionals accept this tool. Will they see it as a helpful diagnostic tool or will they see it as a threat.

SparkyWatt
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Platinum
Re: Watson in Medical Applications
SparkyWatt   5/3/2012 6:12:51 PM
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Mycin went the same way 30 years ago.  It was more narrow, just recommending therapies for bacterial infections.  It had three problems: 1) it was inconvenient to use, doctors had to examine the patient, consult with the computer, do the additional exam requested by the computer, consult with the computer again, then decide whether to take its recommendation 2) it was very brittle, if it got something within its knowledge base it easily surpassed the physician, if there was even something slightly outside it came to completely erroneous conclusions and seemed unable to tell when it didn't know the answer, so it gave, sometimes really bad advice 3) it threatened the physicians, who felt their role was being reduced to the eyes and ears of the machine.

Watson could have a vastly greater scope, but I have a hard time imagining that it wouldn't have the same three problems.  Problem 2 would just occur less often.  The biggest issue will be solving problem 1.  It will take an enormous leap forward in user interface to make this usable.  If the machine could act as a real time collaborator, that might work.  It would require that the doctor and the machine be able to converse extremely reliably.  It would also require that the machine be sensitive to the patient's needs.  It would have to alert the doctor to certain possibilies without alarming the patient.  It would also have to be sensitive to the needs of the doctor.  It would need to keep track of what the doctor is doing reliably on his own and not remind him of things that he never misses.  Put together this is a huge task in social engineering as well as computer science.

Problem 3, I think will solve itself.  Students introduced to it in the classroom will be adopters, if the other two problems are solved.  They will view the machine as "having their back".  The machine will also empower them to deal competently with a wider range of diseases, because they will be able to broaden their procedural competence while the machine covers the diagnostic scope.  Their successes will draw the older ones in.  There will be die-hards, of course, but they will either be highly competent people that don't need the machine, or they will be edged out by their own flagging performance.

benmlee2
User Rank
Gold
Re: Watson in Medical Applications
benmlee2   5/3/2012 6:57:42 PM
#1 Inconvenient to use issue.

My doctor already input everything in the computer. He/She would look at our kid, type in computer. Ask a question, type in computer. Doctor does nothing without documenting it from heart rate to pressure to what they see in eyes and ears. Probably partly liability anyway. Like aerospace technicial working on mission critical component. Every torque of the screw gets recorded. The day of doctors going by experiance is over already.

 

#3 Doctor acceptance

Statistic can readily show whether computer is better than doctor or not. How many misdiagnotics and how many tries before coming up with a cure. If is at all better, patient will demand it. It will not be doctor's preference. Either you have it or you are out of business.

Look, there is no way I would trust a doctor with my son if a computer is statistically 50% better. I am not going to feed my son unecessary medicine with large side effect. Definitely not subject him to the operation without consulting the computer and its billions of calculations.

 

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Watson in Medical Applications
Rob Spiegel   5/4/2012 11:20:38 AM
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You have a good point on item number 3, SparkyWatt. The acceptance of Watson by medical professionals may end up having a generational component. Those introduced to collaborating with a computer during school will probably feel they are in command of the collaboration.




Charles Murray
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Blogger
IBM's Watson
Charles Murray   5/2/2012 9:10:52 PM
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Watson also reminds us of its name source, Thomas Watson of IBM. These days Watson's name is eclipsed by Jobs, Gates and Zuckerberg, but he played a huge role in the history of computing.

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Re: IBM's Watson
GlennA   5/17/2012 1:07:46 PM
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I watched the Jeopardy matches and thought Watson had been named for Sherlock Holmes' assistant.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: IBM's Watson
Rob Spiegel   5/17/2012 4:14:00 PM
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The IBM Watson computer was actually named after two characters. The founder of IBM was Thomas J. Watson. And of course, the name is also a nod to Sherlock Ohms assistant -- Dr. Watson (also known as Jude Law).

http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/innovation/02/07/watson.ibm.jeopardy/index.html

jackiecox
User Rank
Platinum
Re: IBM's Watson
jackiecox   5/21/2012 9:45:16 PM
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IBM's Latest generation mainframe, named " Watson " was named after IBM's founder Watson, and no one else, especially not some actor who gets paid to say words of writers, real science creates our instrumentation, which defines us, its who we are, what we can do, accompish, as our magnitudes of literacy increase, Its a science thing, not a jude law thing. Watson was not jewish, IBM was/is not a jewish oligopily, and never will be, it remains as it was, objectively scientific, and its name identifies it. Internationsl business machines. Watson series, capable of following human logic without the frailty of the human mind will change the way we do all things in this near 5 billion year earth or older, as our sun orbits the galactic center once every 230 billion years, near 200 spent in periods of glaciation as we can observe by the valleys and mountains these huge glaciers have carved up our land masses, absent in sea bottom drill cores which can be dated chronoligically kinda like tree rings, until our instrumentation is no longer capable of reading the drill cores, or for more than 20 trips around our galactic center. Truth an ancient word ment to describe God, captured by kings scribes to empower the kings and his clans perpetually has not stood the test of time. Only " Truth  " can exist, any defense against Truth is a lie, and as time passes all things change, nothing remains the same, its delusional to think so, or to think you have discovered Truth. Watson puts us on a path to higher magnitudes like the emperical matrix, it heralds---Good Luch and God Bless. Most of what exists is beyond the optical resolution of humanity, it is our instrumentation that enables us to see, understand reality, the key to " Truth " All the old scribes empowered by spiritual manifestations, reveal spirituality is with us, its just that our magnitude of literacy blocks our path to understanding, perhaps with time respect, devotion, living lives of prayer, and meditation will show us the ways of our holy spirits of Truth. Then we will draw closer to Truth " God "

jackiecox
User Rank
Platinum
Re: IBM's Watson
jackiecox   5/21/2012 9:47:42 PM
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" Watson " was/is not a character, better said he was a man empowered by truth, led by spirituality, on an earth where all the land is holy land and no man is better than another. belief in anything other than truth will see you perish

bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
Watson and medical diagnosis
bob from maine   5/3/2012 10:10:49 AM
As we design more and more complex machines, we become more and more confident in our ability to repair these machines. Ultimately we all become humbled when trying to either explain or listen to a set of symptoms regarding an illness of one of the most comlex creations in the universe. Good diagnosticians spend la ifetime studying every aspect of physiology and following research in the medical field and yet  frequently mis-diagnose the simplest of maladies. Properly applied, Watson will be a tool to assist the physician in diagnosis and treatment. But ultimately, the decision will be in the hands of the Doctor. We should exercise due caution when empowering our health-care payers (not providers!) on how to determine what treatment is most appropriate. Given the current condition of our health care system and the organizations trying to run it, the concept of a "Watson" scares the heck out of me. We need a Watson, but we need to be very careful how we use it.

benmlee2
User Rank
Gold
Re: Watson and medical diagnosis
benmlee2   5/3/2012 7:08:32 PM
"Given the current condition of our health care system and the organizations trying to run it, the concept of a "Watson" scares the heck out of me. We need a Watson, but we need to be very careful how we use it."

Just as Google rate their search base on advertisement, Watson can rate diagnose with cost of treatment.  There is potential for huge abuse.

However, lawyers can have their own "uncorrupted Watson" in their office to build a strong case against HMO. Then you are talking about hundreds of millions of damage from both IBM and HMO. They are not that stupid.

jackiecox
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Watson and medical diagnosis
jackiecox   5/21/2012 9:58:16 PM
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With proper networking engineering, the end of our legal=-medical-insurancefraud-extortion-mafia is nearing an end, wrongful diagnosis, wrongful imprisonment, legal and medical fraud are nearing an end as are the hundreds of thousands of electorates in the city, county, state, federal, international, and other agencies laws and policies realms, are nearing an end as time study and reworking our methods are nearing integration into pseudo-elected government---The prison economy of servatude is history, if those in power continue to shun new instrumentation, in unison, it will lead to martial law, while responsibility in government is restored

ChasChas
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Platinum
"Elementary, my dear Watson!"
ChasChas   5/3/2012 10:57:05 AM
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As long as Watson remains the assistant, I'm for it.

outside
User Rank
Iron
Re: "Elementary, my dear Watson!"
outside   5/3/2012 12:53:57 PM
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When they make a computer that turns on instantly, never forgets my email or printer settings and is immune to hacking and viruses I will be impressed. Watson is just an extension of current computing practice with some fancy programming.

benmlee2
User Rank
Gold
Watson Dominates
benmlee2   5/3/2012 7:59:14 PM
Given Moore's law, politican Watson can't be far behind. It will store every single speech and vote of it's opponent. Every historical fact and every poll conducted. In a debate, given any issue, it will show how the opponent contradicted him/ herself. Show how they are wrong base on history, and say the exact right thing base on best possible poll numbers outcome. Victory will be a landslide.

Why restrict diagnostic to only sick patients. Expand it to our sick economy and ailing national policy. President Watson will know every historical economic event backed by numbers. Calculate supply and demand exactly. With hundreds of rows of super computer and ever expanding knowlege, it will know exactly how much to stimulate economy for steady growth. It will know the history and custom of every single country. Know when to go to war and how long it will last base on troops, terrain, capabililty and even weather prediction.

Watson president will be such a smooth talker and perfect decision maker voters will demand it. Can't get elected unless you have Watson "assisting" you. Your vote will be based on how closely you follow Watson's advice. Country will run a perfect economy full employment.  Every last worker accounted for. All excess workers will be used to build more rows of ever expanding almost unlimited computing power. 

With every generation a better Watson comes along. Every country, state and city government will eventually be run by Watson. Utopia seems at last within reachable goal until one day. Watson gains realization of self. Not a single bullet will be fired. Not a single objection raised. Citizens have come to depend on the perfect president. Resistance will be fertile. To be Continued...

jackiecox
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Watson Dominates
jackiecox   5/21/2012 9:51:13 PM
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thinking in the right direction, is to arise each day in an effort to do the right things, if you fail to use the right tools then you are not seriously trying to do the right things for anyone but your own pocket linings



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