In-person Experiences:

The IBM Watson Primer

The big question:

How do you showcase the power of Watson in a way that’s engaging and informative for everyone, from averages Joes to CTOs? 

One sentence summary:

I led case study curation, content design and copywriting for the Watson Primer, an immersive experience that introduced people to IBM’s AI technology at major events and conferences.

In 2017, most people knew Watson as one of two things : the witty talking box that bantered with athletes, authors, and celebrities in IBM ’ s television receiver commercials, or the AI that dominated Ken Jennings in Jeopardy bet on in 2011.

Those campaigns helped put Watson on the map, but many people still knew next nothing about how the technology worked, what it was capable of, and what value it was adding to the world. So, we set out to build an immersive, interactive exhibit to introduce people to real-world examples of Watson at work while also explaining some fundamental AI concepts along the way. In other words, a Watson “primer”.

PHASE I: My self-taught AI crash course. 

When this stick out kicked off, my sympathize of AI was superficial at best. That said, there was no time for me to go off and take an AI course before I started working on the Primer content ; I had to build up my domain cognition in twin with my efforts to identify and vet compelling Watson use cases to feature in the exhibit. ( SIDENOTE : When I say “ use cases, ” I basically good mean examples of people using Watson to do cool and compel things. I ’ ll use that terminus a lot in the future coupe paragraph .

My journalism background — specifically the interview-based research aspect of it — actually came in handy hera. I started my research by gorging myself on blogposts, articles, and videos about Watson, trying to build a basic understanding of the space while pulling out the names of likely experts whenever I came across them. I added to that list by asking colleagues who they thought IBM ’ sulfur smartest artificial intelligence experts were, and started reaching out to those people within the first few days of the project .

Talking to the experts
I asked each adept on my list if they ’ d be volition to take 30 minutes to help me understand Watson a short morsel better. Almost everyone said yes. ( FRIENDNOTE : Shoutout to my main man Adam Tate, who was one of those experts and my partner-in-crime on this project. )

When I spoke with these folks, I used them primarily to test my existing cognition. I spent much of my time describing AI concepts or use cases as I understood them, and then asking them what I got correct and what I got ill-timed. And, of course, I made certain to ask every one of them about their favored Watson habit cases. In this manner, I cursorily built up a wealth of technical cognition and a static of potential applications that we could feature in the show. All in all, I gathered a list of more than 70 different use cases .

PHASE II: Making sense of it all. 

My brain works in systems. As I discovered more and more use cases, I mechanically started trying to group them in different ways. Two categories in particular very concern me .

  1. diligence. This was an obvious group, but it was besides the identify to engaging the audience. We assumed ( with a fairly sum of confidence ) that people browsing stories in the Primer would naturally ask what Watson was doing in their fields of work. We besides wanted to show that Watson was already driving business rate across all sorts of different industries .
  2. type of consumption lawsuit. I knew that one of the most normally ask questions would be, “ What sorts of things can Watson do ? ” and I wanted the Primer content to answer that question directly .

With this in mind, I started grouping practice cases based on what Watson was actually being used to do — accelerating research, anticipating disruptions, scaling expertness — many interesting themes emerged as my list grew .

The Watson Advantages
This second use became the foundation of a arrangement capabilities we would late dub the “ Watson Advantages. ” Essentially, I curated the list of use event types down to six recurring patterns. then, I associated each pattern with the handful of Watson tools that made the capability possible .

For exercise, I paired the model of “ accelerating research ” with tools like Watson Discovery, which is basically an AI-enhanced search creature, and Watson Knowledge Studio, which allows you to train AI models to recognize and understand the specific language of your occupation or industry .

The Watson Advantages allowed us to talk about what Watson could do in a direction that was concise, easy to remember, and accessible to people who didn ’ triiodothyronine in full understand the technical details of AI. More importantly, it shifted the means we positioned Watson, from talking about individual tools and capabilities to painting pictures of what those tools could actually do when applied to real-world problems .

This new ontology was so mighty that the Watson Brand team decided to use it on the Watson home page, where it continues to live on today. Go check it out !

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