IBM’s Watson, a powerful search tool now available for startups

Watson, a natural language based question-answering computing system built by IBM, will soon be available to startups in India and the world, reports IBM. In 2011, Watson gained the popularity when it won $1 million prize in Jeopardy, an american TV quiz show.

According to a recent blog post, posted by Khalid Raza, Program Manager at IBM Diversity, the company will allow startups, primarily in India and US to develop and sell mobile apps based on Watson. To harness huge talent of India’s developer community, IBM has already established a Watson software and services team facility in Bangalore last year.

Watson can enable apps to take unstructured queries which normal computing systems fail to comprehend. For example, in an unstructured query like “I want to holiday in a beach resort in Europe in the second half of June. And I want a place where it does not rain much” Watson could easily provide the best available results based on user’s previous preferences and interests and thus integrate human intelligence in a computer system.

It is an array of 200 million pages of structured and unstructured content consuming 4 terabytes of disc storage space. Through SDK’s & API’s Watson’s capabilities can be accessed and integrated into existing apps, thus saving from creating a whole new framework from the scratch and creating a powerful product.

Built on IBM’s DeepQA technology for hypothesis generation, ‘massive evidence gathering’, analysis, and scoring Watson provide answers based on ‘semantic differences’ rather than just keywords which is used by Google search.

Watson software is written in various computer languages and integrates wide sources of information such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, newswire articles, literary works and medical terms. In February IBM announced Watson’s first commercial application, which will be for utilization decision management to be used in lung cancer treatment.

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Now with the powerful tool available to the developers community, Watson opens up a whole new world of opportunity to startups and entrepreneurs planning to cash-in the intelligent search features of Watsons algorithms.