IBM’s (IBM) newest supercomputer, dubbed Watson after the company’s former CEO and Chairman Thomas J. Watson, has a knack for answering questions put to it in normal language, but generating hefty revenue for its makers is not yet among its talents.
Watson was introduced to the public when it competed against human rivals on Jeopardy in 2011, ultimately winning a prize that IBM donated to charity. IBM executives have painted an optimistic picture of the revenue they expect Watson to bring in — IBM’s CEO forecast as much as $10 billion in annual revenue by 2023. However, by the close of October, at least one major Watson project had stumbled and the Watson supercomputer had accounted for total revenue of under $100 million, the Wall Street Journal notes.
Unlike many other supercomputer systems, Watson is designed to learn from mistakes, when corrected by humans. IBM is positioning Watson as a problem solver for businesses. However, IBM documents seen by the Journal suggest that the process to train Watson to handle the tasks specific to clients — hospitals, for instance — is taking more time and resources than expected.
The company is set to make a public statement regarding its plans for the Watson supercomputer later this week.
IBM stock fell about 1% on Wednesday. IBM stock has dropped about 14% from its March high.