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IBM’s Watson, a supercomputer designed for artificial intelligence, isn’t just good at answering Jeopardy questions — it’s also smart at diagnostic medicine and creating new recipes.

A new report from the New York Times today shows that IBM is looking to bring Watson’s powerful abilities to more industries in order to give the company an edge in the “big data” field. Watson has already had some success as a diagnostic assistant at a few medical centers around the country, including the Cleveland Clinic. Now IBM is looking to use its powerhouse elsewhere.

New Watson projects will include helping people come up with recipes, assisting in the development of new pharmaceutical drugs, and predicting when industrial machines will need maintenance.

Watson could be helpful to so many industries because it is able to sift through crazy amounts of data and make intelligent decisions about what to do with that information. Watson can look through Web pages, social networks, medical images, patent filings, and more to find what it needs.

IBM’s footprint in big data will only grow larger if it succeeds with placing Watson in commercial spaces. The company claims it is already doing data and analytics work for more than 10,000 customers. It employs 400 mathematicians and 9,000 analytics experts to do its bidding.

If IBM continues its investments it big data, it predicts that revenue generated in the area will hit $16 billion by 2015. Watson specifically isn’t making the company big money yet, but IBM believes they will pay off down the road.

Check out the video below to see Watson diagnose a patient and suggest treatment options.


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