That's Chef Watson to you

AUSTIN, Texas -- We know that IBM's Watson computer is the world's best "Jeopardy" player. But does it have a clue about what tastes good?

On Thursday night, I was one of a small and very lucky group of people invited to an IBM event to find out.

Called "Cognitive cooking," the event was a demonstration of Watson's so-called "computational creativity." Essentially, the idea went, IBM set out to have its famous computer help design a gourmet meal, one filled with dishes made from recipes the world had never seen before. … Read more

The 404 1,434: Where we make room for meat (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- BiteLabs Web site claims to grow "meat" from celebrity tissue samples.

- IBM uses thinking computers to generate chocolate burritos and other weird food.

- This machine will translate your dog's thoughts into words.

- Facial hair transplants are rising amid hipster beard craze, doctors say.

- Follow Bridget Carey on Twitter and check out CNET Update everyday!… Read more

IBM to take Watson mobile with developer challenge

IBM wants to bring its Jeopardy-winning cognitive computing system Watson to the mobile industry.

During a keynote address at Mobile World Congress 2014, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty announced the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, a global competition to promote the development of mobile consumer and business apps powered by Watson.

During the next three months, IBM is calling on software developers who are willing to develop and bring to market a commercial application that leverages Watson capabilities, such as the ability to answer complex questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy, and confidence. Three winners will receive IBM support … Read more

IBM plugs $1B into new Watson supercomputer effort

IBM on Thursday unveiled plans to form the Watson Business Group, a division aimed making its "Jeopardy"-winning cognitive computing application more of a commercial success.

At an event in New York on Thursday, IBM CEO Ginny Rometty and executives will outline the master plan for Watson. Like IBM's push into analytics, cloud and mobile commerce, the Watson Business Group will get similar investment. Big Blue said it will invest $1 billion into the Watson division, including $100 million to fund startups developing cognitive apps. 

IBM said the Watson division, based in New York City's … Read more

IBM on Watson: Our son, the doctor's helper

IBM's Watson has snagged a job in the medical field.

After proving its prowess on "Jeopardy" two years ago, the Watson "cognitive" computing system is embarking on two new projects designed to help doctors make more accurate decisions and tap into data from electronic medical records (EMRs).

Known as "WatsonPaths" and "Watson EMR Assistant," the two projects announced Tuesday are a collaboration between Big Blue and Case Western Reserve University's Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

WatsonPaths will provide a natural language Q&A technology that doctors can use … Read more

Crave Ep. 116: Bubba Watson's BW1 hovercraft golf cart

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Oakley and golf champ Bubba Watson have teamed to build the world's first hovercraft golf cart. A physicist invents a way to write e-mail using a guitar, and a "Star Trek" phaser rifle from the original series sells for a staggering sum. … Read more

Float down fairways on this hovercraft golf cart

Golf can be frustrating on the best of days. What better way to calm your nerves than to sail around the links on this hovercraft golf cart?

Bubba Watson, 2012 Masters champion, and his sponsor, Oakley, recently teamed up with Neoteric Hovercraft to launch this super sophisticated way of getting from hole to hole.

The hovercraft maker released a video of Watson riding on a 9-foot air cushion at Arizona's Raven Golf Club.

The BW1 has a "footprint pressure" of 33 times less than a human footprint, leaving relatively little impact on the course itself. … Read more

IBM's Watson: Now for 'Top Chef'?

Great chefs are crazy.

There are many kinds of crazy. Some of these culinarians rant, rave, and spit fire and brimstone. Some pore over their ingredients like scientists: quiet, brooding, and deeply serious.

All believe they can create their own particular gastronomic dreams, ones nobody else can copy. Especially not a computer.

IBM thinks different.

Having seen its Watson computer crush mere humans at the trivial game of "Jeopardy," the company is now setting the machine's sights on bigger business.

According to The New York Times, the world of haute cuisine is one in which IBM would like to make a robotic incursion.… Read more

IBM's Watson heads to school

To borrow from Hugh Gallagher's famous take on the university admissions essay, IBM's Watson computer has played Jeopardy with a Congressman, offered medical advice to doctors, and spoken with late-night TV stars. But it's not yet gone to college.

Till now, that is.

IBM announced today that it would, for the first time, be providing a modified version of a Watson system to a university: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The system will "afford faculty and students an opportunity to find new uses for Watson and deepen the system's cognitive capabilities," Big Blue said in a … Read more

IBM research honcho: From the Pentagon to the 'toy shop' (Q&A)

Since September 11, 2001, the American security apparatus has been focused largely on stopping terrorists from striking again. But some feel a more pressing danger may be that of cyber attacks, digital hacks that disable critical infrastructure and bring society to a crawl.

As the U.S. government has tried to shape its approach to such attacks, President Obama and the secretary of defense have relied on contributions from a number of people in the Pentagon and elsewhere for ideas on how to stop bad actors, be they from national governments or small terrorist groups. Among them was Assistant Secretary … Read more