first_imgIn the three years since winning “Jeopardy,” Watson hasn’t made many headlines, but the ever-evolving supercomputer has gotten smarter, faster and smaller while dipping its toes into a lot more than trivia.On Valentine’s Day 2011, Watson took on Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a three-game tournament of “Jeopardy,” beating two of the most successful contestants in the game show’s history. Badly. Watson ended the game with a score of US$77,147, more than triple Jennings’ $24,000 and Rutter’s $21,600.“Since ‘Jeopardy,’ there’s been a lot of application development that’s gone on top of Watson, and a lot of base improvements,” said Jerry Cuomo, IBM fellow and CTO of IBM WebSphere. “We’ve focused on bringing Watson to healthcare, financial markets, retail, really expanding it beyond the game-show model.”In January, IBM gave Watson a billion-dollar vote of confidence, investing that amount in the new Watson Group focusing on research and development of cloud-based cognitive applications and services. Only a month and a half later, at Mobile World Congress, the Watson Group launched the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, a global competition giving developers a chance to leverage the supercomputer’s APIs into a new generation of mobile apps. (Related: What Watson was up to since “Jeopardy”)At the time of Watson’s “Jeopardy” appearance, it was the size of a master bedroom. It’s now been reduced to the size of three stacked pizza boxes, and uses hypothesis generation techniques such as data mining, optimized algorithms and text analytics to answer questions. According to IBM, Watson’s engineers have also reduced its codebase by 30%, improved response speed by 240%, and increased question length from two sentences to 14 pages.Healthcare, retail and food trucksUsing a new natural language processing feature, Watson can now decipher industry-specific data such as doctor’s notes and medical jargon, bringing its superhuman intelligence to the healthcare field.“Think about an oncologist giving a diagnosis to their cancer patient,” Cuomo said. “The doctor checks their Watson mobile app, and it gives them a different diagnosis than they expected. Maybe the reasoning is because they’re a mere mortal and couldn’t have read all the reference material to make the correct diagnosis. In this context, Watson helps not only the quality of the results but the reasoning behind the results.”last_img read more

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first_imgTesters need to remember that there isn’t one way of doing things, according to Cochran. “Testing requires a good mix of functional, automated, exploratory, regression, and performance testing,” he said. “Even testing organizations have to look for new tools and new ways to push quality.”Test early and test often: It’s a phrase that almost every organization eats, sleeps and breathes these days, and there is a reason why organizations are so adamant in following it, according to Cochran. “It is a phenomenal way to ensure quality and ensure ownership from a team perspective,” he said.In order to go about testing early and often, Cochran suggested doing exploratory testing. “Exploratory testing allows your QA people and even other parts of your organization to get inside of your product, even if [it is] unfinished and as development is occurring,” he said.“And the fact that QA is involved early in the process makes them aware of the requirements and how things are changing throughout the process and not just at the end of the string.” Test early and test often is a mantra every tester these days is familiar with, but with the advent of mobile and methodologies such as DevOps and agile, testing can get lost.“Organizations are expected to put code out faster, and there are pressures to do that, said Kyle Cochran, vice president of product management at QASymphony. “But without the right tools and without the right methodologies, testing is a component that will get squeezed, and it will force organizations that have pressure to put out code faster to put out code with potentially more defects in it.”Agile has made software development faster, causing testing to be more automated. And mobile has brought a new dimension to testing, forcing even Web apps to take into account mobile users. Today’s testers need to ensure functionality and performance on a wide variety of devices and network conditions to guarantee good end user experience, according to Jonathan Bracken, vice president of product marketing at Neotys.So, how should testers implement testing in this new modern, mobile and agile world?last_img read more

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