Developed by IBM, Watson is a computer that uses artificial intelligence to understand and answer questions posed by humans in common language. Watson made history in 2011 when it defeated human opponents on the television game show Jeopardy!. In cooperation with the Cleveland Clinic, Watson attended medical school shortly thereafter. The core technology Watson uses presents a boon to the healthcare IT industry, as evidenced by "his ability to process huge amounts of data and sniff out evidence-based solutions." While the technology has already taken root in healthcare, computers like Watson cannot yet replace medical staff: Recent reports show Watson struggles to comprehend idiosyncratic vernacular and slang terms such as "OMG."  

In the fall of 2011, health insurance giant WellPoint teamed with Watson on a healthcare initiative to bring providers instant access to relevant findings published in recent medical literature.

Photo by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Creative Commons license.