Following our interview with Geoff Moore of Circuit of The Americas at Innotech, we recieved a few minutes of time with Manoj Saxena, General Manager, Watson Solutions, IBM Software Group. In addition to leading the team for innovative Watson applications, which include industries like healthcare and insurance, Manoj is also an avid driver and helps to bring funding to programs like Communities in Schools through The Race to Win.
To give some background on the IBM Watson, it's important to first understand that it's a reasoning machine, which gathers lots of data from a wide variety of sources to develop the best answer to the problem. For example, Manoj described a scenario that looked at the data from a patients medical records to help assist a doctor in diagnosis. When the doctor's initial diagnosis determined the patient had one type disease, Watson looked through travel records, medication history, family history, and other data then suggested a probablility of a different diagnosis, which ultimately turned out to be correct.
While listening to his keynote speech, I was impressed with the capabilities of Watson and was immediately interested in how this technology could be harnessed for new applications like motorsports. Given Manoj's personal love of driving (see some of his laps in a Porsche GT3 RS on YouTube here, here, and here), he also was enthusiastic about Watson being potentially used for aerodynamic, logistic, or safety research for Formula 1 and other motorsports. It might be a while until these applications are developed, but as a motorsports advocate I could envision the Watson being used by a Formula 1 team to analyze track performance, car telemetry, and other teams performance, to ultimately assist in race strategy.
Overall, the potential of the IBM Watson is truly amazing, and if you've seen it school some humans on Jeopardy, you've most likely been amazed and frightened at the same time. Needless to say, there are countless applications where this system could benefit society and deliver amazing solutions to a wide variety of applications. As we inch closer to a world with advanced computing, I'm sure we'll see some amazing things come out of Watson and IBM.