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IBM Sends Watson to Ny College to Boost Its Skills

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Jim Hendler of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Jim Hendler, who heads the computer science department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, poses next to the the supercomputer Watson. IBM will provide a Watson system to RPI, the first time a version of the computer is being sent to a university.


IBM announced that it will provide Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a Watson supercomputing system. "We consider it absolutely strategic technology for IBM in the future," says IBM's Michael Henesey. "And we want to evolve it, of course, thoughtfully, but also in collaboration with the best and brightest in academia."

IBM says RPI's artificial intelligence researchers will be able to help boost Watson's cognitive capabilities. The researchers want to improve Watson's mathematical ability, and help it quickly determine the meaning of new or made-up words. The RPI researchers also want to improve the system's ability to handle the growing number of images, videos, and emails on the Internet.

RPI professor Selmer Bringsjord will focus on providing Watson with a deeper understanding of the structure of sentences and how dialogues unfold. "If I can make a tiny, tiny contribution in that direction, given how historic the system is, I'd be very happy and I think my graduate students would be as well," Bringsjord says.

IBM and RPI say Watson also will help prepare students for careers in cognitive science and analyzing big data.

From Associated Press 
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