Watson Hackathon Yields Cognitive Computing Opportunities in Student Enrollment and Friendpairing
The first-ever Watson Hackathon unearthed future possibilities for cognitive computing and personality matching apps
IBM Watson recently hosted the first-ever Watson Hackathon in collaboration with NUI Central bringing together creatives and entrepreneurs alike to ideate around how to apply Watson’s intelligence to world problems. To provide our readers with some further inspiration as they work away on their Good Data Contest submissions, PSFK wanted to share some of the work produced in the hackathon.
The hackathon brought together UX/UI designers, developers, entrepreneurs and creatives to brainstorm and develop cognitive apps. Participants were encouraged to team up so as to create work and share experiences and ideas in the pursuit of $25,000 in total prizes. The submissions were judged on the quality of their idea, proposed business model, accessibility of harnessed data, presentation and ultimate outcome.
The Watson Hackathon took place at IBM’s World of Watson conference in early 2015 and produced six winners, three of which we describe below. See the full lineup of hackathon innovations here.
The Hackathons firstplace winner, Likemind, is an app that harnesses user profile information and data to connect people with peers currently located in their area. By tapping into the location of the app user and cross-checking that with tweets registered nearby, the service can locate potential future friends. When the app has located who is in your area, it harnesses IBM’s Personality Insight API to analyze any tweets and generates a user personality for their corresponding tweeter. It then overlaps the app user’s personality profile with the profile made from other user’s tweets to see where, and if, there is mutual ground. In the busy world we live in work in, the promise of technology being able to use data to help us make authentic connections struck a chord with the concept of good data.
We also were also intrigued by the hackathons first runner-up NYC School Finder, that aimed to help 75,000 NYC students apply for their ideal high school. Approximately 10 percent of those students fail to get into their school of choice.
Kevin Haggerty, Angus Lo, Jeronimo De Leon and Kenny Lam wanted to help those 7,500 students. The hackathon iteration of the School Finder uses the Watson Personality Insights API to analyze the personality of the institution and of the student to see where the student would best fit. The team uses Watson Tradeoff Analytics so that parents can also compare options. In the future, the NYC School Finder will include an increased amount of school data such as student body and faculty information. Using cognitive computing to help parents build a brighter future for their children seemed a great concept as we think about ‘Good Data.’
Cognitive computing has created the opportunity for products and services to connect people to each other or to services and institutions where they will be better able to thrive. But creating and matching personalities is only one of the many things that Watson can be used for.
Do you have a great idea of your own? Be sure to submit your idea to PSFK’s Good Data Contest! Entrants have a chance to win $50,000 to be spent on prototyping, marketing, and consulting from IBM Watson talent. Request a brief by emailing email@example.com to get started. The deadline to submit entries is Friday, May 22, 2015.
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