IBM’s Watson Is Learning Japanese

February 10, 2015 | Prachi Gupta

The supercomputer technology that previously won Jeopardy is now heading to Japan to learn Japanese and develop cognitive abilities, the New York Times reports. With Japan’s SoftBank, IBM’s Watson will be able to perform “human-seeming tasks” like “parsing language, interacting in sympathetic ways and deducing important contextual information from huge amounts of data.”

The hope is to create robots that will eventually be able to assist service professionals by responding to customer and patient requests. Softbank, which is working on other projects developing technologies with cognitive abilities, is a telecommunications company that does work with companies like Sprint and Alibaba. “Thus,” notes Popular Science, “Watson could show up in a number of things that Japanese folks use every day.”

SoftBank will teach Watson Japanese, and will resell and distribute the computing technology. “This will help us accelerate and advance the use of cognitive technologies in new parts of the world,” said IBM Watson Group Vice President Stephen Gold. “It’s bigger and broader than a single thing.”

(Photo: John Tolva)