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Watson Tapped By IBM, USAA To Advise Veterans
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Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2014 | 11:15:35 AM
Re: New Thinking or Just Thinking
I think it's an innovative approach. While I can only imagine this as a step up from the old automated customer service prompts we are all used to, mixing in the intelligence of IBMs Watson means that we could see truly useful services that actually understand the questions posed by users, and can give genuine responses.  Interesting that Veteran services is one of the first trials, I'd love to hear the feedback once the program is up and running for awhile and can build up a solid learning of the unique issues of these men and women.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2014 | 9:06:44 PM
USAA a worthy partner for Watson
IBM chose wisely in selecting USAA as a partner, one of the more trusted operations in terms of offering veterans business deals. Veterans' families often hang onto the vehicle insurance, even after the original policy holder dies.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
7/23/2014 | 12:34:16 PM
Re: New Thinking or Just Thinking
>> The point here is not automating, it's having a more personalized and nuanced response to potentially complex and broad-ranging issues. That's not something conventional automation technologies handled well, according to USAA's Neff Hudson.

 

I'll believe it when I see it, and I hope I see it. Im on the side of innnovation
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2014 | 12:13:47 PM
Re: Is the military participating in the IBM Watson app?
Yes, they definitely do have transition counselors, but as with all government interactions, the term "YMMV" applies. Some are great, some not so much. And, people leave the military at all stages of life -- young, single and headed for college, mid-career with families, retirees. Where do you move to? What state suits your life goals and needs best? I can see a use for a Watson to help calculate all the variables. 
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
7/23/2014 | 12:01:10 PM
Re: Is the military participating in the IBM Watson app?
Since I have no experience, first or second hand, about leaving the military, this makes me wonder why automation is even a part of it? As a research tool for basic queries I can understand Watson being a better QnA system than a standard automated help procedure, but why isn't there a phoneline veterans can ring? Or somewhere they can get personal, peronable attention from a veteran like themselves? 

Does the military employ anyone that's job is to help people transition? 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2014 | 11:28:30 AM
Re: New Thinking or Just Thinking
The point here is not automating, it's having a more personalized and nuanced response to potentially complex and broad-ranging issues. That's not something conventional automation technologies handled well, according to USAA's Neff Hudson.
Lorna Garey
IW Pick
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2014 | 11:03:45 AM
Re: Is the military participating in the IBM Watson app?
David, as someone who made this transition twice (once myself, once as a spouse) I can attest that this is dead on: "The information that's available to military personnel is often written like dense legalese, with lots of acronyms and rules."

If you think technology is bad with the acronyms, just look at a military manual. It would take a Watson to absorb it all and maybe spit it back out in English.

One angle not mentioned is that there's a patchwork of benefits depending on the state. Massachusetts is actually very generous to veterans, offering free tuition, but I have heard of long waits at the Boston VA. Other states may have better healthcare but no education aid. Watson could learn these policies and help with the decision on where to live. 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2014 | 11:02:53 AM
Re: Is the military participating in the IBM Watson app?
USAA says it's feeding Watson publically available information from the VA and the Department of Defense, but USAA's Neff Hudson didn't say anything about the military working directly with this commercial business. Adding a bit more detail, Hudson said for every 10 calls to the call center, USAA now gets one contact on the web and mobile sites where this military-separation issue is concerned. "We don't get a lot of at bats," he said, so it's important to have a fruitful interaction online or through the mobile site. Watson is not being used to respond to call center calls.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2014 | 10:45:53 AM
Is the military participating in the IBM Watson app?
Is the military participating in any way by providing data from its perspective about the transition from military to civilian life?
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
7/23/2014 | 10:44:24 AM
New Thinking or Just Thinking
Veyr interesting. >> Watson is interacting with registered users of USAA's website and mobile site, so it can combine its cognitive capabilities with some scripting based on what's known about each customer.

There are probably economies of scale, and the ability to reach more customers/people and service them better.

But what I want from Watson is the ability to think out of the box, so to speak. Give customers something humans can only give them when they are thinking creatively about what that next investment should be, etc. Otherwise, it's a lot of technology for old automation.


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