IBM's Watson Supercomputer Is Cashing In on Wall Street

A year ago, IBM's Watson supercomputer bludgeoned human supernerds Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in Jeopardy. Since then, Watson's been putting its natural language interpretation skills to work for health care organizations, but now it's coming for the money: As of yesterday, Watson works for Citigroup, one of the biggest financial corporations in the world.

Apparently, Watson will "help analyze customer needs and process financial, economic and client data to advance and personalize digital banking." What that means, probably, is that Watson will be digging through millions of pages' worth of information for its new masters, much like it did with its closed database during Jeopardy. To help, Citigroup's already at work teaching Watson about regulatory practices and Wall Street jargon, like golden parachutes and BSDs.

Watson's analysis will be delivered as a cloud-based service, so there won't be whole floor dedicated to its servers at the Citigroup headquarters. And before the doomsday scenarios set in, it's mainly going to be doing risk management—IBM doesn't plan to have Watson pick stocks (yet, I guess).

A guy as smart as Watson, you're not really surprised when he ends up on Wall Street. I just want to see what his cover letter looked like. [Business Week]