IBM has updated the cognitive-computing capabilities of IBM Watson, enabling the supercomputer to improve the speed at which scientific breakthroughs can be made through discovering hidden connections in big data.
Watson can now understand scientific and legal language, along with the nuances of intellectual property, which is being made available to certain sectors with the updated Watson Discovery Advisor offering.
IBM said this capability will enable Watson to give scientists the ability to make connections in data that they might not otherwise see. IBM hopes that this will greatly improve Watson's ability to advance research and development across a variety of industries.
With the ability to understand scientific languages, Watson can analyse data in a matter of hours, when the same task would take days or months for a science team to carry out.
The company cited that the top 1,000 R&D companies are spending $600bn per year on just research, adding that the average researcher reads around 23 scientific papers a month.
In comparison Watson can analyse millions of papers and books in days, which would take a human many life times to cover, saving both time and money.
With these figures in mind IBM said that the implications Watson will have on R&D are "astounding", particularly as modern research becomes increasingly data-driven.
John Gordon vice president of IBM Watson Group told V3 IBM believes cognitive computing represents the future of computing: "Watson is ushering in a new era of computing.
Gordon went on to add that IBM worked to transform Watson from a research project in 2011 into a supercomputer with commercial potential: "We spent the last couple of years working out how to augment that cognitive capability into a commercial offering."
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