IBM's 'Watson' on Wall Street

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IBM's 'Watson' supercomputer and Jeopardy champion just secured a gig on Wall Street, according to Bloomberg. Citigroup, the third largest lender in the U.S., will utilize Watson to "help analyze customer needs and process financial, economic and client data to advance and personalize digital banking."

IBM predicts that Watson will be able to "read" about 200 million pages in three seconds, with a little bit of programming, which could help Citigroup assess risks and customer needs that human analysts might overlook. IBM asserts that Watson's skills, which include understanding and processing natural language, consulting vast volumes of unstructured information, and accurately answering questions with humanlike cognition, would suit a stint on Wall Street well. Manoj Saxena, who is responsible for applying Watson to real-world tasks, calls financial services the “next big one for us."

Stephen Baker, "biographer" of Watson states - “(Watson) can go through newspaper articles, documents, SEC filings, and try to make some sense out of them, put them into a context banks are interested in, like risk,” adding that the supercomputer can "give an edge" in finance.

Watson as a financial service will be delivered to Wall Street as a cloud-based function, and will "earn" a percentage of all discovered revenues and cost cutting measures it allows companies to establish. Saxena says Watson will add billions to IBM's projected analytics revenues for 2015, targeted at $16 billion. IBM is the world's largest provider of computer services, posting a revenue of $107 billion last year.

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