Watson May Soon Be Used To Identify Brain Injuries On Social Media


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IBM’s ‘Watson’ supercomputer has already made a splash in the headlines by competing on Jeopardy! and being used to help doctors treat lung cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Now, it is taking on brain injuries with a unique method of identifying individuals who have suffered a concussion.

According to a recent report, IBM is partnering with Triax Technologies to potentially use the supercomputer’s language processing skills to pinpoint individuals with head injuries on social media.

The primary goal of the partnership between Triax and IBM is to help identify brain injuries outside the doctor’s office, even when individuals such as athletes don’t know they have an injury.

As part of the project, the companies are attempting to embed Watson’s natural language capabilities into a smart impact sensor headband offered by Triax.

In its current state, the wearable sensor headband is similar to many hitting the market to measure the force behind an impact and detect when athletes may need to be removed from play for assessment.

Another aspect of the project aims to use the Watson technology to pick up on other signs of brain injury that currently go unnoticed. The teams hope the technology may be used to pick up on questionable or risky content posted or shared on social media by an athlete that may signal an athlete has experienced a head injury.

“Watson’s language service enables the wearable to factor in more diverse data sources such as social media to analyze sentiment and infer cognitive and social characteristics to provide a more holistic view of athletes,” IBM explained in a prepared statement.

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