David Douglas, a University Professor in the Department of Information Systems, delivered two papers at the International Big Data and Analytics Educational Conference 2015.
The conference was held Aug. 12-14 in Puerto Rico in conjunction with the 2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems.
The first paper presented by Douglas was “Watson Predictive Analytics – Classification Example.” The second paper was “What does Watson Say About Genetically Modified Food?” and was co-authored by Master of Information Systems student Jasleen Bhatia.
IBM Watson came to public attention in 2011 with a Jeopardy contest that pitted Watson against the best two Jeopardy players. Watson won the contest decisively.
IBM has continued to develop Watson and its applications in a number of areas including Watson Engagement Advisory and Watson Analytics.
Douglas’ predictive analytics paper describes using IBM Watson Analytics for developing a predictive model using churn as an example. Churn – attrition or turnover of customers of a business or users of a service – is an important consideration in businesses such as credit card, telecom and other service providers. Creating a predictive model for churn helps managers in these companies develop strategies to reduce churn.
The second paper describes the process of developing an application using an IBM Watson Engagement Advisor instance for developing an advisory system for the domain of genetically modified food as part of an academic learning exercise. Critical steps in the process are identification of relevant journal articles, article curation, ingesting the articles, training and testing the advisory system. To be valuable, reliability of answers to questions needed to have a reasonably high level of confidence. Considerable effort is required during the training phase to ensure acceptable confidence for answers to questions.
IBM has made cloud-based Watson Analytics available free for charge for academic use. Selected universities are provided an instance of Watson Engagement Advisor for academic use.