IBM announced on August 28 significant advances in Watson‘s cognitive computing capabilities that are enabling researchers to accelerate the pace of scientific breakthroughs by discovering previously unknown connections in Big Data.
Available now as a cloud service, IBM’s Watson Discovery Advisor is designed to scale and accelerate discoveries by research teams. It reduces the time needed to test hypotheses and formulate conclusions that can advance their work — from months to days and days to just hours — bringing new levels of speed and precision to research and development.
Building on Watson’s ability to understand nuances in natural language, Watson Discovery Advisor can understand the language of science, such as how chemical compounds interact, making it a uniquely powerful tool for researchers in life sciences and other industries.
Researchers and scientists from leading academic, pharmaceutical and other commercial research centers have begun deploying IBM’s new Watson Discovery Advisor to rapidly analyze and test hypotheses using data in millions of scientific papers available in public databases. A new scientific research paper is published nearly every 30 seconds, which equals more than a million annually,
According to the National Institutes of Health, a typical researcher reads about 23 scientific papers per month, which translates to nearly 300 per year, making it humanly impossible to keep up with the ever-growing body of scientific material available.
In 2013, the top 1,000 research and development companies spent more than $600 billion annually on research alone. Progress can be slow, taking an average of 10 to 15 years for a promising pharmaceutical treatment to progress from the initial research stage into practice. Using Watson Discovery Advisor, researchers can uncover new relationships and recognize unexpected patterns among data that have the potential to significantly improve and accelerate the discovery process in research and science.
“We’re entering an extraordinary age of data-driven discovery,” said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson Group. “Today’s announcement is a natural extension of Watson’s cognitive computing capability. We’re empowering researchers with a powerful tool which will help increase the impact of investments organizations make in R&D, leading to significant breakthroughs.”
Leading life sciences organizations are deploying Watson Discovery Advisor to advance discoveries in ongoing research projects, including Baylor College of Medicine, Johnson & Johnson and The New York Genome Center.