IBM Promised Its AI Platform Watson Would Be a Big Step Forward in Treating Cancer. But After Pouring Billions Into the Project, the Diagnosis is Gloomy.

Can Watson cure cancer? That’s what IBM asked soon after its AI system beat humans at the quiz show “Jeopardy!” in 2011. Watson could read documents quickly and find patterns in data. Could it match patient information with the latest in medical studies to deliver personalized treatment recommendations? “Watson represents a technology breakthrough that can help physicians improve patient outcomes,” said Herbert Chase, a professor of biomedical informatics at Columbia University, in a 2012 IBM press release. Six years and billions of dollars later, the diagnosis for Watson is gloomy [Editor’s note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. WSJ: More than a dozen IBM partners and clients have halted or shrunk Watson’s oncology-related projects. Watson cancer applications have had limited impact on patients, according to dozens of interviews with medical centers, companies and doctors who have used it, as well as documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. In


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