Hot off its Jeopardy win, IBM’s clever Watson quickly started looking for problems that might help Big Blue recoup some of the project’s development costs. Healthcare was one obvious area, with relatively constrained sets of problems, copious data to ingest and understand, and oodles (a technical term) of money sloshing around.
Early Watson, though, was somewhat temperamental. There were successes, and there were big announcements of partnerships and breakthroughs. But all of them required an awful lot of hand-holding from IBM. Watson, the troublesome toddler, needed to be coaxed, cajoled, and coddled.
Fast forward a few years, and Watson is — slowly — getting easier to use. IBM is pushing a more accessible set of Watson-powered capabilities. And now the company is revitalising its healthcare push with the announcement of another new business unit: Watson Health.