IBM Watson, the supercomputer that beat the reigning (human) champions on the quiz show ‘Jeopardy!,’ could soon help people answer complex questions on their smartphones. The company envisions a voice-activated version for Watson 2.0 that would be energy-efficient enough to work on mobile devices. SFGate reports that it would be like a more powerful and intelligent version of Apple’s personal assistant Siri. Instead of answering questions like, ‘Is that rain?,’ users would be able to ask complex questions like, ‘What’s the best time to plant corn?’ Watson would be able to respond with an answer based on location data, historical trends, and scientific studies. Bernie Meyerson, IBM’s vice president of innovation, speaks to Watson’s potential:
The power it takes to make Watson work is dropping down like a stone. One day, you will have ready access to an incredible engine with a world knowledge base.
Before bringing Watson to market, IBM researchers need to overcome technical obstacles on how to make Watson a handheld product, figure out how to add voice and image recognition so it can respond to real-world input, and work out how to price and deliver the technology.