AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum | September/October 2015 | Volume 20, Number 1

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

Issue link: http://epubs.aallnet.org/i/578386

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 | AALL SPECTRUM 19 E ver since IBM Watson beat Jeopar- dy champion Ken Jennings on the television game show, the legal press has been awash in articles spec- ulating on how soon Watson will replace both librarians and lawyers. I had the privilege of moderating a hot topic program at the 2015 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference that explored the potential impact of IBM Watson on the legal profession. Our speaker, Kyla Moran, senior consultant on the Watson Industry Leadership team at IBM, gave a presentation titled: "Doctor, Lawyer, Contes- tant, Chef: How New Cognitive Technology will Drive the Transformation of Society as We Know It." Moran's presentation provided important background information explaining the variety of Watson applications and initiatives that IBM is co-developing with other organizations. e bottom line is that Watson is a form of "aug- mented intelligence" that, guided by human experts, is likely to transform both our work and our society. Watson in Historical Context Moran put Watson into the context of earli- er innovative technologies, starting with the Gutenberg press in the 15 th century. Although the printing press decreased the demand for scribes to produce manuscripts, it drove the creation of a literate population that, in turn, fueled an ever-increasing demand for books on every conceivable subject. is, of course, resulted in the creation of the publishing industry and created work for writers, editors, "In the future, every decision that mankind makes is going to be transformed by a cognitive system like Watson." —Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM

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