Mr Watson, the Virtual Agent master.
Hi, I’m Watson, the know – it – all NLP guy.
Watson is the name of the game for NLP (natural language processing) these days. For anyone unfamiliar with who (what?) Watson is and what he (it?) does, here’s the brief: Watson is a supercomputer from IBM,
with a powerful software, and now he is seriously outperforming brainy humans in the trivia – challenge named Jeopardy. In other words – he is a virtual human, that is able to understand questions and provide right responses, in sub – second time.
An ideal virtual agent ?
IBM’s Watson is super – interesting for those fascinated with man – machine interface because it is a Ferrari among squads of virtual agents.
Firstly, it has a powerful NLP. For non-geeks, it will mean a powerful search, well… even more – intelligent search, that goes much beyond the simple keywords (like standard, you -name – them searches do), but tries to understand the meaning of the question, the intention of the user. Secondly, those questions are spoken (not typed in) – which means the NLP is combined with great speech recognition (SR) system. Last (but not least), Watson seems to get the answers from different sources, called knowledge bases. This is cool, as it doesn’t seem that tons of engineering effort was spent on building the content of the knowledge base for Watson.
Watson is a wunder-machine combined with a dream-software. Question remains how could this lovely piece of artificial intelligence work for thousands of small companies in the nearest future? Will it make zillions of shoppers hungry for intuitional navigation and quick search? And thousands of online stores’ owners willing to add virtual agents to their storefronts? Well, guys like us at InteliWISE are really happy that Watson exist, as it seem to be the best known example of how future web site can work for users -easy, intuitive, guided by virtual assistant, that just answer questions and solve problems. Well, it seems like a bright future for virtual experts for customer service and e-Commerce …
Watch Watson performing here http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/13/ibms-watson-supercomputer-destroys-all-humans-in-jeopardy-pract/