IBM launches Watson system for research, hopes for breakthroughs

WASHINGTON Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:03pm EDT

Visitors walk past the IBM booth at the 9th China International Software Product & Information Service Expo in Nanjing, Jiangsu province September 6, 2013.  REUTERS/China Daily

Visitors walk past the IBM booth at the 9th China International Software Product & Information Service Expo in Nanjing, Jiangsu province September 6, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/China Daily

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp on Wednesday launched a computer system that can quickly identify patterns in massive amounts of data, an ability that IBM said should hasten breakthroughs in science and medical research.

The computer system, Watson Discovery Advisor, understands chemical compound interaction and human language and can visually map out connections in data, the company said in a statement.

IBM will make the service available through the cloud. Some researchers and scientists have already been using Watson Discovery Advisor to sift through the sludge of scientific papers published daily.

Johnson & Johnson is teaching the system to read and understand trial outcomes published in journals to speed up studies of effectiveness of drugs.

Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company is working with Watson to identify alternate uses for existing drugs.

"On average, a scientist might read between one and five research papers on a good day,” said Dr. Olivier Lichtarge, investigator and professor of molecular and human genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology at Baylor College of Medicine.

He used Watson to automatically analyze 70,000 articles on a particular protein, a process which could have taken him nearly 38 years.

“Watson has demonstrated the potential to accelerate the rate and the quality of breakthrough discoveries," he said.

(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by David Gregorio)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
Randy549 wrote:
Nice IBM press release, Reuters.

Aug 27, 2014 9:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
UauS wrote:
How it will be called soon when they sell it to China, Lenovo-Watson?..

Aug 29, 2014 9:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
DataMountain wrote:
Here’s a good explanation of data science and it’s connection to human biology: http://genopharmix.com/datascience.html

Aug 29, 2014 12:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.