Description: In its first steps toward commercialization, IBM’s Watson took on grand, science-laden challenges like helping doctors diagnose cancer. But that is changing as IBM strives to build its artificial intelligence technology into a multibillion-dollar business.
Date: Feb 1, 2017
Today, companies including Geico, Staples and Macy’s are adding the Watson technology to answer customer questions or to improve mobile apps that guide shoppers through stores.
Now in its broadest deployment so far, Watson will be assisting H&R Block’s 70,000 tax professionals this filing season at 10,000 branch offices across the country, where 11 million people file taxes.
The H&R Block partnership with Watson, announced on Wednesday, is being presented to a wider audience with a 60-second television ad during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
For IBM, the collaboration with H&R Block underlines its strategy in the emerging market for artificial intelligence technology. Watson will touch consumers, but through IBM’s corporate clients.
Questions for discussion:
1. Do you feel that that IBM’s strategy of using Watson’s AI to touch corporate clients and not consumers will succeed? Why or Why not?
2. What are some applications of Watson AI that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?