Ok, so the IBM supercomputer isn’t on steroids per se as Director of research for IBM puts it. Instead, Watson (as it’s affectionately known) is a source of artificial intelligence that can complete a process that would normally take a whole research organisation three weeks to three months to complete…in less than 3 minutes! Watson can process 500GB of information – the equivalent of a million books – every second.
So what does this mean for cancer research? Well, Watson is already being used by Nurses and Doctors in a New York Cancer research centre to help make decisions on lung cancer treatments. Watson is able to examine massive amounts of data as well understanding human language. It spots patterns and more pertinently, learns to make connections between different types of data.
This is exciting times for medical research, lets hope it paves the way to more developments in cancer treatment soon!
BBC News Technology, (2014). IBM’s Supercomputer Watson to help fight brain cancer. Retrieved 25th March, 2014, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26662230