IBM, which just celebrated its centennial, announced that its Watson computer system was honored as the “Person Of The Year” at the 15th Annual Webby Awards gala in New York City. Earlier this year, Watson captured the international spotlight when it competed on the renowned quiz show Jeopardy! and defeated the show’s two most successful and celebrated contestants, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, interactive advertising and media, online film and video, and mobile technology and apps. Established in 1996, the 15th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide.
The Webby Awards is perhaps best known for its famous five-word requirement for acceptance speeches. When presented with the Person of the Year award by host Lisa Kudrow, Watson responded, “Person of the year — ironic.”
Created by IBM Research scientists, Watson is a breakthrough in using computers to answer questions posed in natural language over a nearly unlimited range of knowledge. With this unprecedented analytics technology capability, Watson is able to analyze massive amounts of data and arrive at the correct answer to a staggering variety of difficult questions across an unlimited range of topics.
While tackling the challenge of Jeopardy! makes for compelling entertainment, the technology behind Watson has deep business value. IBM is currently applying Watson-like technology to solve challenges in healthcare, financial services, retail, and much more.
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