We all read how Watson was able to topple two of the most all-time winning Jeopardy champions. While Watson had some difficulty with some of the wording of the answers, it ultimately prevailed. Now fast-forward 7 years and Watson has become a household name. This morning I booted up my smartphone and noticed that Watson is now “with” The Weather Channel:
This was not surprising seeing how IBM purchased The Weather Channel for $2.5 billion in 2015. Curious of how Watson was used by the Weather Channel, I investigated further. After the co-branding screen I was advanced to the hourly forecast:
Here I was met with signifiers, which were abundant and only constrained by the screen resolution:
- The “Hamburger” menus: Which denotes mobile/application menus
- Navigation Icon: Denotes that a location needs to be entered. It also had an affordance being able to type within the text field
- Search function: When clicked on, it shows you previously searched for locations
- The word hourly with a forward arrow: Denotes that by clicking on it would give me the hourly forecast
- The word daily with a forward arrow: Denotes that by clicking on it would give me the daily forecast
- A button that would play a video (there is an image to the left which tells me that it is not audio)
By clicking into the hourly forecast, I was able to somewhat guess how Watson was being used by The Weather Channel. The key was in the percentage chance of precipitation.
I believe the predictions of the weather made by Watson were a combination of both Probablistic and Deterministc:
- Probablistic:I had to scroll a couple of days in the future but because Watson/The Weather channel saw multiple scenarios/outcomes due to many different variances (as time was added)
- Determinstic:With shorter periods of time, the amount of precipitation was 0% so there was no possible chance for rainfall
Is Watson fairing as well as it did on Jeopardy? After all it did have a treasure trove of data to use such as: surface observations, precipitation, radar, satellite, personal weather stations, lightning sources, data collected from planes every day, as well as one of the largest location data available anywhere. The end result is that The Weather Channel was named the most accurate weather predictor by ForecastWatch.