Developers Can Now Run Apps on IBM’s Supercomputer ‘Watson’

How many times have you dreamt of having access to unlimited computing power? To not worry about memory leak or browser’s ability to handle your web app? To be able to run your software seamlessly on a supercomputer? Well, you don’t have to dream, any more. IBM’s going to give you access to one of its supercomputer, Watson, to run your applications for you.

Watson is IBM’s artificially intelligent supercomputer capable of answering questions posed in natural language, performing automated reasoning, formulating hypothesis, and performing machine learning. Developed by IBM’s DeepQA project under the supervision of David Ferrucci, Watson is composed of 2,880 eight-core processors and have mind-blowing 16 terrabytes of RAM. Named after IBM’s Thomas J. Watson, the supercomputer outperformed two human competitors in a quiz show, Jeopardy!, in 2011.

IBM hasn’t stopped there; according to the CEO Ginni Rometty, Watson is going to be “as smart as a human” (although many researches have confirmed that they can only simulate a percentage of a human brain). Watson could not be as smart as a human but it is pretty smart. It has the ability to store millions of pages of information and retreive that information in under a second. IBM’s going to give this power in the hands of developers via API access to Watson in the near future, according to a press release by IBM.

It is not the first time IBM’s allowed outside access to Watson. But unlike last time, developers would have access to not only Watson’s huge database, but also its processing abilities. The process is pretty simple: once developers/companies have contracted with IBM to get an instance of Watson, they could simply use that instance to do complex tasks via supercomputer’s super fast processors.

IBM’s chief technology officer Rob High expresses his thoughts about this significant development

We believe that this is such a significant development in the future of computing that we want other people involved in it. We want to let other partners to have a much deeper say in how cognitive computing evolves.

There already are apps that have developed to run on Watson:

  • Fluid, a retail app that chat with shoppers about their purchases;
  • MD Buyline, an app which helps medical professionals buy health care equipment;
  • and Welltok, a health and fitness coach.

What we all have to see, is how businesses and developers would use Watson.

Are you a developer? What kind of app would you develop to run on Watson? Let us know via the comments section.


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