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IBM announces winners of Watson computer competition

Cornell University and IBM have announced the winner of a competition involving the Watson computer, made famous by a recent win on the TV show Jeopardy. Students involved in the 48-hour competition put forward ideas for new ways to use the computer.The three winning ideas in the competition involve using Watson's ability to understand human speech, learn without being programmed, and comb through daunting amounts of data to solve social and business challenges.

First place went to the idea of using Watson as a solution in customer service for electronic devices like laptops or iPhones.

The team says the computer could help solve the problem of long wait times, frustrated customers and amass amounts of information that isn't always communicated clearly.

IBM's director of Watson Solutions Steve Gold says the competition is an opportunity for students to think about how this type of technology could be used in the future.

"This very much is an exercise of interest to IBM. And it's beyond just what the student acquires and gains from their experience, which we hope is very fulfilling, but it's the fact that we're learning along with them," said Gold.

WXXI/Finger Lakes Reporter for the Innovation Trail