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8/28/2014
09:06 AM
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IBM Watson Speeds Drug Research

IBM Watson moves from supplying known answers to tough questions to making its own discoveries in life sciences and pharmaceutical research.

Baylor College of Medicine has published a peer-reviewed cancer study that was accelerated with help from IBM Watson Discovery Advisor.
Baylor College of Medicine has published a peer-reviewed cancer study that was accelerated with help from IBM Watson Discovery Advisor.

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Rich Krajewski
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Rich Krajewski,
User Rank: Ninja
9/4/2014 | 1:13:49 PM
Re: I wonder if Watson
And I'm flattered, too. tb100 joined InformationWeek today, and made one post, just to talk to me.
Rich Krajewski
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Rich Krajewski,
User Rank: Ninja
9/4/2014 | 1:09:38 PM
Re: I wonder if Watson
Well, gosh, being in IT, it should be easy to give both Watson AND Snopes access to:

Dr. William Thompson himself, who made the accusation, and who recently wrote Andrew Wakefield to apologize that CDC's misleading results were used to falsely discredit him.

Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, who wrote "It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine." —Marcia Angell, "Drug Companies and Doctors: A story of Corruption," in the January 15th, 2009 NY Review of Books.

And Helen Epstein, who wrote in the May 12, 2001 NY Review of Books that, "Six years ago, John Ioannidis, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, found that nearly half of published articles in scientific journals contained findings that were false."


Oh, wait, Snopes did have access to that, and to the fact that Thompson hired a law firm that specializes in representing government whistleblowers. But Snopes ignored that in coming to their amazingly insulated conclusion.

Bad programming over there at Snopes, don't you think?

 
tb100
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tb100,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/4/2014 | 12:58:34 PM
Re: I wonder if Watson
Giving Watson access to Snopes would certainly help:

www.snopes.com/medical/disease/cdcwhistleblower.asp
Rich Krajewski
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Rich Krajewski,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 9:00:36 PM
I wonder if Watson
I wonder if Watson would be more reliable than the CDC. Dr. Thompson, a researcher at the CDC, recently hired an attorney who specializes in protecting whistleblowers, after Dr. T claimed data sets and criteria for a study involving MMR vaccines and autism were changed by CDC after the study had commenced. If Watson were handling the data, and it were programmed to maintain procedures regarding data integrity once the study had begun, maybe we would have more reliable studies.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/29/2014 | 10:04:57 AM
Re: Watson Pre-Announce-Re-Announce Syndrome
Totally agree, Susan. Not only has IBM spent a ton of resources on the technology, but they seem to be expending a lot of energy in seeking out different partnerships across an array of different organizations, each of which has an interesting take on a particular project or problem. Given the technologies Watson is based on, it will only improve as it learns, and I think it's going to be really, really exciting as it gets more mature and partners push its limits.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/29/2014 | 10:02:43 AM
Re: Asset possibility
Every time I speak to IBM about Watson, they are always very fast to stress the top role people play in using Watson. I'm not sure whether that's to allay the medical community's fears, prospective patient's worries, or because that's the reality, but I lean toward the latter -- it is the way the system is designed. Just as people might now collaborate with other human experts, then lean toward one person or another's  opinion, they can use Watson in the same manner. 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
8/28/2014 | 10:44:31 PM
Re: Who would have guessed ...
That's read, interpret and make connections much faster than any human could... reading fast is just the first step.
Ron_Hodges
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Ron_Hodges,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/28/2014 | 5:30:13 PM
Re: Watson is not exactly comparable to iPad
As William Gibson famously wrote, the street finds its own uses for things.  Like an iPad, Watson is essentially a general-purpose technology.  People are writing tools for the iPad now that I suspect were over the horizon for the people who originally developed it.  And the same, for good or ill, will be true of Watson -- it will be positioned to ingest data and answer questions for purposes we cannot necessarily predict right now.  The surface has not even been scratched with respect to the power of "cognitive computing", but as Elon Musk warned with respect to AI, we better be VERY careful how this technology is employed.  In light of revelations regarding probable malfeasance by certain Intel-related government agencies, one can easily imagine Watson being perverted into a "pre-crime" analyst.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 5:19:41 PM
Re: Watson Pre-Announce-Re-Announce Syndrome
@Ron_Hodges: Tech history is littered with hardware and software that were too far ahead of their time. Somehow, I don't think Watson will end up on that list, though. While we have a long way to go before we truly understand how to apply this kind of cognitive computing resource, eventually Watson-like computing will become commonplace. I only hope I'm not too old to enjoy it!
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 5:16:32 PM
Re: Watson's on it
@Charlie: You read my mind! Next, I'd like to see Watson's capabilities applied to helping goernments and NGOs figure out how to provide steady sources of safe drinking water and food to the millions of people around the world who currently need those things.
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