IBM partners with Aberdeen University to bring Watson to medical research

IBM2The University of Aberdeen has recently announced a partnership with IBM, which will allow students and staff to utilise Watson Engagement Advisor.

IBM scientists are collaborating with researchers at the university on the EU Marie Curie K-Drive project, an initiative which explores a number of different use cases for big data and knowledge graphs, including the treatment of cancer. The results of the project will also form the foundation of any proposals put forward by the university for the EU Horizon 2020 Programme.

“Cognitive represents an entirely new model of computing that includes a range of technology innovations in analytics, natural language processing and machine learning,” said Paul Fryer, Academic Initiative Leader at IBM. “The collaboration between IBM and the University of Aberdeen, which builds on a long-standing relationship, aims to help nurture the next generation of innovators; and is the first initiative of this type in Scotland.”

The university is now one of four in the UK to have access to the Watson Engagement Advisor, which will be used by students and staff to forward their cognitive computing research.

“The partnership with IBM is an exciting opportunity to advance our research in this area,” said Dr Jeff Z. Pan, coordinator of the K-Drive project at the university. “Cognitive computing is empowering human decision-making processes by understanding and exploiting data which is structured and unstructured, and our research is focused on how to make the best use of both types of data.”

Watson’s marketing messaging has primarily focused around the commercialization of artificial intelligence and big data. The partnership with the University of Aberdeen and the K-Drive project builds on IBM’s efforts to demonstrate the real-world viability. Over recent weeks, IBM has announced a number of collaborations to utilize the Watson proposition, including with Mastercard and the Honda Formula One team.

IBM and Honda announced that Watson technology would be incorporated into the McLaren Honda Formula One cars and pits to improve performance and racing decisions in real-time. The sensors will collect data from a number of different sources including driver timing, fuel flow rates and engine performance. The partnership is in reaction to new regulations that required all Formula One cars to use hybrid engines and limited fuel consumption during races.

“With the rapid growth of the Internet of Things, by 2025, every car will be connected in some way exuding vast amounts of streaming data ranging from traffic updates to health of the vehicle, operations and more,” said Harriet Green, GM for Watson IoT at IBM. “We are excited to team with Honda to provide sophisticated cognitive IoT capabilities and analytics to combine data directly from the F1 racing vehicles with other sources, allowing Honda to not only enhance its vehicles that are built for speed, but to also be more friendly to our environment.”