5/23/13  7:30 – 10 am in the UPS Auditorium at 55 Glenlake Pkwy NE  Atlanta, GA 30328 . About 300 people were in attendance

This presentation was basically about IBM’s Watson. Watson is IBM’s innovative natural language question and answer computer that allows human engagement by asking questions and getting answers based on very powerful and far-reaching algorithms. Watson was featured on the game show Jeapardy see Youtube  http://youtu.be/YLR1byL0U8M where it won against the two most successful Jeapardy players in history.

Ed Nazarko IBM Watson  Client Technical Advisor, Industry Architect was the main speaker who gave an overview of Watson and some examples of its use in the healthcare industry. The technology of Watson is revolutionary and can be used as a tool to enhance human especially when hugh amounts of data and quick decisions are necessary. This tool can help medical decision makers make better decisions or at least offer offer validation or alternate choices as healthcare providers.

In addition to Ed Nazarko, a discussion forum was held with two esteem colleagues from the local medical market.  The session was moderated by Wayne Oliver from Jackson Healthcare     www.linkedin.com/in/wwoliver

Dr. Richard Gitomer  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/richard-gitomer/3a/97/984  President, Chief Quality Officer & Director of Clinical Services  Emory Clinically Integrated Network

Morgan Kendrick   http://www.linkedin.com/pub/morgan-kendrick/17/858/812   President & GM, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia

Both gentlemen offered key insights as to their impressions of Watson an it’s use in the healthcare field.

My Impressions:

Watson is a powerful tool that can and will be adapted to work in the healthcare field. We will all be affected by Watson at some point in the future. I don’t think Watson will replace healthcare practitioners but may have a big impact on jobs and costs requiring a lot of analysis (insurance, pharmacy, administration).  Watson can help humans make better decsions faster and with fewer errors but when it comes to my own health I would like to make my own judgements based on physician and Watson input. This tool can supplement and complement practitioners in the field. You can read more about putting Watson to work in the healthcare field and other areas.



Watson is a good thing but good technology can be used for bad ends too. When human beings apply themselves there is wonderful potential. Computers will always apply themselves but currently need to be directed by humans. In the not too distant future is it possible that humans will be directed by computers? I hope not.


Rick Zabor is a Talent Advisor and Technologist with PeopleStaff in Atlanta, GA. He is always looking for good opportunities, people and ideas. Contact Rick at zabor@peoplestaff.com or visit www.PeopleStaff.com



Author: Rick Zabor

Engineer / Scientist / Researcher turned Recruiter in 1987. Interested in the best way to do things and mixing with people who have passions for life. Writes on topics important to building winning teams and personal growth and accomplishment. Connect with me on Linkedin. Lives in Atlanta, GA.