IBM are planning to work with doctors to find new applications for their Watson supercomputer. Watson became famous in 2011 when it won a game of Jeopardy! against human opponents.
The computer uses artificial intelligence techniques to understand questions posed in natural language and provide an answer. Part of its “knowledge” comes from over 200 million pages of information, including a full copy of Wikipedia. IBM have an excellent video explaining how Watson works here.
For Watson’s new applications, IBM are working closely with doctors to ensure medical journals and textbooks are appropriately entered into the system. Watson will not replace doctors but will supplement them by suggesting diagnosis’s based on patient’s history and symptoms.
Source: Wired article