A brief (not needed) apology of Watson


I must admit I was impressed. I’m one of those who have seen it all now and instead I had not (yet) seen anything. The visit to the ‘IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center – the headquarters for IBM Research – opened to me a scenario, a world, a way of seeing things that is hard to feel out here. We take everything for granted, we accept any development of a chip or a system for photographing objects the size of a billionth of a meter as if it were normal, natural, obvious. We are too used to the concept of “release” generated by the hypertrophy of the software. And if we all give thanks to the software, perhaps we should also give thanks to all that is around the software. In the year of the Lord 2011 I saw people DO NOT write lines of code. I’ve seen people work WITHOUT a computer in front of their eyes. I saw a light in those same eyes of passion, desire and enthusiasm that I had never seen before and those eyes were not 19 years old: they had well over 40 years. I believe that to really understand what is behind 100 years of story of IBM it is necessary to spend a little time around Yorktown Heights, NY. It should be an institutional obligation, if nothing else for us that we work at IBM. It could happen to find a button in your hand, go back in the Seventies and answer the questions lasted in a tight Jeopardy game Watson vs. Humans (and loose …) as it happened to me. Or you may find yourself in the cafeteria to talk amiably with two fellow retired who –every Friday afternoon, here are available to chat, talk about their experience, give some advice to young people. And they do it live in person, in the face of the social networks.

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