More than 16,000 clients, partners, sponsors, and IBMers gathered in Las Vegas last month to witness the expanding World of Watson (WoW). Watson is five years old this year and, as highlighted in IBM CEO and Chairman Ginni Rometty’s keynote address, “A World with Watson,” it’s already making huge contributions to healthcare, automotive, music and education, as well as in the fields of Internet of Things (IoT) and big-data analytics. Watson is proving itself as the augmenting intelligence platform for business in the cognitive era.
I was privileged to attend the World of Watson conference, and while there, I attended sessions relating to IoT and spent time on discussions of augmenting intelligence versus artificial intelligence. The distinction is an important one. IBM strategy is centered around the notion that clients own their data and always will. Clients decide how, when and where data are housed, secured, viewed, accessed, used and augmented to serve their needs, their own clients’ needs and their innovative approaches to the marketplace.
Like a riptide at a metaphorical cognitive beach, the fear of artificial intelligence seemed to be on the minds of many at the conference. It’s a good idea to understand this dynamic in detail, especially given the broader implications.