Wednesday, May 14, 2014

IBM Watson Runs a Food Truck?!

What to do after winning Jeopardy against the world’s best players?  Open a food truck, of course!  Yes, that Watson is now running a food truck, and apparently it creates some truly delicious dishes!  Confused?  Don’t be.  The intelligence behind the Watson engine that successfully answered hundreds of randomized Jeopardy questions is now the creative engine behind a gourmet food truck.  IBM is endeavoring to show that predictive analytics have uses in the most unusual of places!

As with most predictive analytics, there is still an important role for humans to play in providing balance, judgment and expertise.  Watson does  the data-crunching heavy lifting to find interesting and appealing flavor combinations, faster (better?) than human beings can do on their own, and then trained chefs implement the Watson directions.

This hybrid approach should have a familiar ring to it.  Let the software do the hard, data-intensive number-crunching and then marry that output with human skill and finesse.  It’s a winning combination and one that we employ here at Valora every day.  We utilize our analytics, indexing, and rules platform, PowerHouse, to organize, catalog and find relationships in content for us and then we add the human skill, the expertise, to refine the output and do custom things for specific projects.  

Here’s an example:  We run 50,000 emails and attachments through PowerHouse, which quickly finds well over 150 attributes about each item.  Then we ask PH to find important relationships and insights, such as trend data or topic clusters.  From there, we adapt the rules programming to customize the output so it yields middle initials, or zip + 4, or the top 3 issues per document, or whatever it is that any particular customer needs.  Load it up to BlackCat for easy, online review (often by the client’s workforce) and we’re done.  Predictive analytics mastery!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think pork belly moussaka sounds amazing!