[Update: Scott Brooks, IBM Research VP of Marketing and Communications has written to us to say that this is absolutely not the case, and that there are no plans to use Watson for telemarketing. See Scott’s comment below.]
If you follow the tech world or just like Jeopardy, one of the coolest things to happen to that long running game show in a long time was when IBM’s Watson computer came to the show to challenge the human champions Ken Jennings and that other dude that nobody can remember. Watson cleaned up although there were reports that the computer crashed during taping. Those reports were later claimed to be false.
Now that Watson’s days on TV are over, IBM is looking for new jobs for the supercomputer. IBM used Jeopardy as a way to show how well the Watson line of supercomputers responds to naturally spoken human questions. The computer did so well that IBM sees a future for Watson in jobs like telemarketing and sales calls. Watson could be used to call us like a human salesperson and then answer questions like a human would. I wonder if Watson would take “not interested” as an answer.
Watson also has uses in e-commerce and tech support where it could answer questions for people having problems or wanting more details on a product. Interestingly, one of the first uses for Watson may be at IBM helping sell itself. That makes Watson sort of a pimp and the pimped rolled into one.