IBM’s Watson computer, Yorktown Heights, NY
Last week consumers indulged themselves in a frenzy of buying in the so-called Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. To go with this, IBM’s Watson published a list of the “hottest 100 consumer electronics”.
The highlights were pretty obvious: Star Wars toys, Hoverboards and Nike Shoes. Nothing particularly insightful there beyond that provided by regular data mining.
This is a poor example of Artificial Intelligence. Compared with advances such as autonomous cars and virtual personal assistants, this example pales and doesn’t really add to our knowledge of how to build intelligent machines. It’s a shame as Watson is being used in far more interesting areas such as healthcare that could have much more benefits than simply pointing out the obvious.