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Watson Turning Its Attention to Christmas Shopping

How IBM is using Watson to analyze trends of which gifts are popular and which ones aren't.

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Beautiful woman shopping online for Christmas.For much of Watson’s relatively short life it has troubled itself with challenges of a serious and cerebral nature. It’s been most notably used to provide decision support in healthcare, but has also been used to design a better patent system and find conceptual links in content.

It is on this latter point that the team are deploying Watson to help shoppers find the perfect gift this Christmas. It has launched Watson Trend to deploy the deep learning intelligence of Watson towards the purchase of the perfect gift.

Watson the Shopper

The app pledges to provide the intrepid shopper with daily insights into what products are currently hot, and why they are.

It does this by crunching the numbers through a forecasting model, so it believes it will be possible to highlight hot trends before they become mainstream, thus allowing the fashion conscious to get ahead of the pack.

It will read all sorts of reviews, blogs and social conversations to build its opinion of what is hot and what isn’t, before then providing its recommendations on a daily basis, with the recommendations divided into categories such as electronics, health or toys.

I’ve little doubt that the software can do a reasonable job of crunching the data, and we should by now be used to algorithms recommending purchases we might enjoy, but the thought of such a valuable piece of equipment being used to ‘inspire’ people to dull and witless to think of their own gift ideas is rather soul destroying.

Hopefully this will be a short-lived experiment to humanize Watson before returning attention to slightly more important matters. Have a look at the video below and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Topics:
ai ,virtual assistant ,deep learning

Published at DZone with permission of Adi Gaskell, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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