IBM's Watson Supercomputer Gets Its Own Division

The company is dedicating $1 billion to a division focused on cognizant computing, an intuitive type of artificial intelligence.

by / January 10, 2014

A new future is in store for IBM's supercomputer, Watson -- the company is investing $1 billion in a new Watson supercomputer division, which will focus on an intuitive type of artificial intelligence called cognizant computing, BBC News reported.

Watson, which may best be known for its triumph over human rivals in an episode of Jeopardy in 2011, not only possesses the qualities of a computer, which can handle far more information much more quickly than a human, but also is engineered to understand natural language usage and speech to connect to human beings.

And there is a growing demand for such technology, according to IBM, which is the reason the company is creating the new division.

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A number of new applications are predicted to come from the Watson division, applications that will be labeled as "powered by IBM Watson". Experts also predict participation by health-care companies that will be drawn to Watson’s enormous database when using diagnostic equipment linked wirelessly to mobile devices. 

"We have reached the inflection point where the interest is overwhelming and we recognized we need to move faster," Stephen Gold, vice president of Watson Business, told BBC News.

The new division will be run by Michael Rhodin, former senior vice president of IBM’s software solutions department.