IBM Watson Visits Stanford and UC Berkeley to Engage the Next Generation of Leaders

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BERKELEY and PALO ALTO, Calif. - 17 Nov 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) will conduct a Watson symposium today with Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. The event brings together some of the brightest academic minds to collaborate on the use of advanced analytics, like those powering Watson, to transform the way the world does business. Follow the event and share your thoughts at #IBMWatson on Twitter and at

As part of the symposium, teams of students from Stanford and UC Berkeley will test their skills in a demonstration of IBM Watson’s question answer (QA) capabilities in an exhibition game of the television quiz show Jeopardy!. Ahead of the Jeopardy! exhibition, the universities will host lectures about the science of Watson.

At UC Berkeley, on November 17th:

At Stanford University:

The commercialization of Watson technology means that today’s students will require new skills when they enter the job market. As future leaders in a wide range of industries and entrepreneurial ventures, students will need to combine business skills and knowledge with advanced analytical techniques to compete successfully in the world economy. 

“By bringing the discussion around Watson to the university community, IBM aims to inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to think about the possibilities of Watson technology and the skills they will need to take advantage of the opportunities Watson creates,” said Bernard Meyerson, vice president of innovation and university programs, IBM.  

Stanford and UC Berkeley have a long history of collaborating with IBM on cutting edge research topics including nanotechnology, spintronics, relational databases, storage, secure computing, user experience, next-generation computing platforms and search, theoretical foundations of computer science, as well as more recently service science, big data, analytics and Smarter Planet related research projects. 

IBM is a sponsor of Berkeley’s Algorithms, Machines and People Laboratory (AMPLab), a unique multidisciplinary collaboration of faculty, students and researchers from across the spectrum of computer science. The AMPLab is creating a new generation of analytics tools by extending and fusing machine learning, warehouse-scale computing and human computation to address data-intensive problems such as participatory sensing, urban planning and personalized medicine. 

“For fifty years the promise of computers in education has been the ability to provide each student with an individual tutor attentive to his needs,” said Raymond Ravaglia, executive director and co-founder of Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth. “With Watson’s QA capabilities, the promise that every student may some day have his or her personal Socrates is tantalizingly close.”

Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, is a computing system created by IBM scientists that understands the meaning and context of human language, that can analyze data and learn correlations between data. The technology introduces the capability to sift through an equivalent of about 1 million books or roughly 200 million pages of data to provide instant answers to questions posed to it. With the amount of digital information being generated, stored, processed and analyzed each year growing at an exponential rate--and affecting every industry segment--there is a real need for businesses and governments to use business analytic technology like Watson to make sense of large amounts of data to achieve their goals. 

The goal of IBM is to engage and inspire students while teaching the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs the skills they need to build a smarter planet.

Follow the event along on Twitter at #IBMWatson and on Facebook at and

Note to Editors: Photos and video about Watson are available at:

Download b-roll at


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