Sunday, February 19, 2017

Job just didn't work out

I pretty much avoid the IBM Watson stories that turn up so often in Google News. Sorry, but I'm just Watson-ed out. Yeah, I know the machine beat Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Jeopardy. You don't have to tell me a giga-zillion times.

But this story shows that even Watson is fallible. A cancer center fired the poor gadget when it didn't deliver on the promise to cure disease and bring world peace. (Okay, I made up the world peace thing.)

I've gotten laid off a couple times myself, so I can sympathize with our silicon friend. One consolation: another medical outfit likes its results with Watson. Every job can't work out perfectly.

As for Watson's daddy IBM, the news is mixed. It's long been a punching-bag for stock market analysts, thanks to its declining revenues and general lack of buzz in the tech world. Lately, though, a contrarian point of view has arisen, which points to the company's solid profits and dividends. A cash cow isn't all bad, even if it's not as sexy as a market darling like Apple.

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