One-on-One With Watson Creator David Ferrucci

April 24th, 2012 by Erwin Gianchandani Post a comment »

Helen Hastings, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Va. [image courtesy NSF].David Ferrucci, IBM Research [image courtesy NSF].David Ferrucci, the IBM Research Staff Member who led the development of Watson — the question-answering system that bested human competitors on Jeopardy! in February 2011 — recently visited the National Science Foundation (NSF) to describe the fundamental advances underpinning the supercomputer. While there, Ferrucci took a few minutes to sit down for an interview by Helen Hastings, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Va., who earlier this year was named one of the recipients of the National Center for Women & Information Technology’s (NCWIT) 2012 Award for Aspirations in Computing.

Hastings asked Ferrucci how he assembled his team, the challenges the team faced, what the Watson success means for search, natural language processing, and semantic analysis, and the next steps for Watson in the context of application areas such as healthcare.

Check out the interview — just over 10 minutes long — after the jump…

…and read more of our coverage of Ferrucci’s talks and interviews here, here, and here.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

  • Earle Jones

    How do we get more “Helens” to go into science and technology?  She mentioned that she is the only girl in her Parallel Computing class.  What do we do to encourage young people, both boys and girls, to get more involved with science?  I wish I knew!