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IBM Watson wades through scientific research in the cloud

Discovery Advisor can uncover relationships and recognise patterns in research papers and data
Thu Aug 28 2014, 14:09
IBM announces Watson Discovery Advisor

IBM ANNOUNCED a cognitive computing cloud service on Thursday as part of its Watson technology to help scientists use big data analysis to accelerate research.

IBM said its Watson Discovery Advisor is designed to scale and accelerate discoveries by research teams. The cloud supercomputing service "reduces the time needed to test hypotheses and formulate conclusions that can advance their work - from months to days and days to just hours - bringing new levels of speed and precision to research and development," the firm claimed.

IBM explained, "Building on Watson's ability to understand nuances in natural language, Watson Discovery Advisor can understand the language of science, such as how chemical compounds interact, making it a uniquely powerful tool for researchers in life sciences and other industries.

"Using Watson Discovery Advisor, researchers can uncover new relationships and recognise unexpected patterns among data that have the potential to significantly improve and accelerate the discovery process in research and science."

A new scientific research paper is published about every 30 seconds, adding up to more than a million per year, but a typical researcher only has time to read approximately 300 research papers annually, according to Big Blue. As IBM observed, this makes it "humanly impossible to keep up with the ever-growing body of scientific material available". Therefore IBM developed Watson Discovery Advisor to help.

Watson Discovery Advisor is already in use. IBM said that researchers at leading academic and commercial research centers have started deploying it to rapidly analyse and test hypotheses using data in millions of scientific papers that are available in public databases.

"We're entering an extraordinary age of data-driven discovery," said IBM Watson Group SVP Mike Rhodin. "Today's announcement is a natural extension of Watson's cognitive computing capability. We're empowering researchers with a powerful tool which will help increase the impact of investments organizations make in R&D, leading to significant breakthroughs." µ


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