IBM’s Watson Technology Can Detect Your Personality Type And The Personality Of Your Employees, Prospects And Customers

IBM’s Watson technology can detect your personality type and the personality of your employees, prospects and customers.
One of my areas of research in nonverbal communication is how to recognize someone’s personality by observing their body language and one of the ways I detect someone’s deceit is by examining their grammar and word usage. So when I read an article in CyberTrend about technology that can detect your personality I was intrigued. Watson, IBM cognitive computing technology is able to detect someone’s personality by analyzing 2,000 to 3,000 words that you have written. That’s right, think about anything you have written that is available on the internet, think about how you may want to be able to know the personality of your employees and your customers and read this excerpt from an article in “CyberTrend.
“We’re beginning to move into services that let you understand more about the people themselves,” says Abrams. What’s the personality of a writer? Turns out if you give Watson 2,000 to 3,000 words that you’ve written, it can come back with a personality profile with 52 traits it will analyze you against. How open-minded or close-minded are you? Are you open in new activities? Are you self-aggrandizing vs. interested in altruism? Are you motivated by the need for openness or excitement versus conservativism? And of course the big five of introvert, extrovert, etc. It can analyze anything from a social media feed to a blog post or an article you’ve written. It’s just another example of how we’re trying to make Watson more aware of the interactions it’s having with people so we can shape those interactions.
For the entire article go to the link below.
How IBM Makes Its Partners Smarter
IBM's Watson Turns Cognitive Computing Into Business Success
Key Points
·         IBM’s Watson is a cognitive computing technology platform that uses machine learning to process large amounts of data.
·         Watson made a big splash on “Jeopardy!” and it quickly went on to play a major role in helping doctors diagnose and treat illnesses, among other uses.
·         The Watson Ecosystem gives partner organizations access to the Watson platform and offers expert support from IBM.
·         IBM’s Watson can be used in a wide range of industries from health and fitness to entertainment and marketing.
It’s no secret that the technology around us is getting smarter every year. Take speech recognition, for example. Not too long ago computers struggled to read natural language, much less fully understand it or use it to provide useful advice. But today you can speak into your smartphone and a personal digital assistant will respond with a much better degree of accuracy, offering up directions for a meeting across town, say, or helping you decide what to get for dinner. For the younger set, this ability to ask questions of our technology and receive solid answers may not seem like anything new, but it was only in the past few years that it grew into a truly beneficial and reliable feature.
Our smartphone speech recognition example may or may not impress you. But there is a much larger world out there full of complex business solutions that are based on cognitive computing and serve virtually every industry. And what many of those cognitive computing applications have in common is that they were built using IBM’s Watson platform, which the company only recently opened up for third-party partners and software developers to leverage.
You’ve probably heard about Watson’s coming out party, which we’ll certainly talk about, but what’s even more exciting is not necessarily where Watson has been as much as where it is now and where it could go in the future.
Cognitive Computing & Watson’s Debut
In 2011, IBM introduced the idea of cognitive computing to the mainstream world when the Watson computer appeared on the stage of the game show “Jeopardy!” and won in a competition with two other trivia experts, including Ken Jennings, who owns the record for the longest winning streak in the game show’s history. It was an impressive display for Watson, to be sure, and one that was built on decades of research performed at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center on the topics of natural language processing, information retrieval, and machine learning. These were “really key technologies, necessary to build a system that is going to play that kind of game,” says Steve Abrams, IBM distinguished engineer and director of technology, solutions, and partner success for the Watson Ecosystem.
What’s most impressive cognitive computing in general is that it doesn’t involve simply entering information and waiting for a response. Cognitive computing requires the virtual approximation of human thought in order to read information in a natural language format and produce an answer to a given question. Watson, for instance, was able to quickly read and comprehend “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pages” of information, which was equal to reading the entirety of Wikipedia at the time, in a matter of minutes, Abrams says. Watson could also then store that information in such a way that would allow it to rapidly find answers to questions.
“When a question is posed to a system like Watson, it’s not using a search technology,” says Abrams. “What it’s using is a really deep language understanding. It’s able to take apart the question and understand exactly what’s being asked and use the various keys and clues that are stored in the question to find different answers. It finds all of the possible answer, scores them against a number of criteria—like time frame, geography, and characters—and then ranks them to produce what it thinks is the most likely answer along with a confidence rating.”
If you watch the “Jeopardy!” appearance, you’ll notice that for every question posed to it, Watson comes up with three possible answers and assigns a percentage or confidence rating to each. The more confident Watson is that it has the correct answer, the higher the rating and the faster the answer. It’s important to note, however, that this appearance marked a mainstream debut of sorts for Watson, and from that point forward IBM researchers continued working hard to come up with as many potential uses as possible.
From Game Show To Health Care Facility
Abrams says the version of Watson that appeared on “Jeopardy!” was large enough to fill a decent-sized eat-in kitchen and was able to answer “one question at a time by one user in under three seconds.” Needless to say, this was a somewhat limited use, but it was one in which a few IBM researchers saw nearly limitless potential. “If you can build a system that can process natural language that quickly and find answers to questions, imagine what it could do for physicians,” Abrams says. “Physicians are bombarded with tremendous amounts of research papers, clinical trials, and new studies about what drugs are working or not working for various conditions. They literally can’t keep up with them. They maybe only have a fraction of the time available in their lives to read these papers, and if they were able to read them all, they couldn’t remember them.”
Seeking help with this problem, the medical community approached IBM and the Watson project to find out what might develop from working with the Watson team. Some of Watson’s first partners were MD Anderson and the Cleveland Clinic, which worked with IBM to help doctors better understand potential diagnoses for cancer and “possible treatment plans for a given patient based on the latest and greatest literature that’s out there and what we know about this patients symptoms and treatments that have been tried before,” Abrams explains. In this instance, Watson essentially served as a personal assistant that could help a doctor make a diagnosis, or even help a medical student think through the various tests that would be necessary to get from point A to point B in a given health care situation.
These medical use cases were all built upon Watson’s ability to “read and understand huge amounts of natural language, find answers to questions, understand their likelihood, present a set of answers to a human being, and then filter through to assist that person in making the decision of what to do next,” Abrams says. It was a breakthrough for the Watson project and one that would take up most of the two years that followed its “Jeopardy!” appearance. It was also during this time that IBM became convinced that Watson would become an actual business and that there was “a set of capabilities that went far beyond game shows and even beyond the medical domain,” says Abrams.
Opening Up The Watson Ecosystem
Once IBM decided to establish Watson as a business unit roughly two years ago, it started gaining attention from financial services, insurance providers, retail, travel, and many other industries. It was at this time that IBM decided it was going to bring Watson to market in three ways. One was through “large transformational partnerships,” which is how IBM typically worked with large-scale clients, according to Abrams. The second was to take another traditional approach, selling access to Watson and letting customers use its services to build their own solutions. The third, and perhaps most interesting, approach is what IBM calls the Watson Ecosystem. This allows developers to partner with Watson to build unique solutions side-by-side with the experts that built the platform and continue to improve upon it.
“With the Watson Ecosystem, what we did was open up this incredible platform and allow third-party software developers, independent software vendors, system integrators, and companies large and small to come to us with their use cases, get access to our technology, and build solutions on top of our platform,” says Abrams. “That was huge. Even at the time, when we only had this one question and answer API [application programming interface], it was clear that this was going to be one of the key ways that Watson was going to change the world.”
Among the first non-medical partners to join the Watson Ecosystem was WayBlazer, which built a travel and entertainment information site on top of Watson where “you dialogue with the equivalent of a personalized, virtualized travel agent,” Abrams says. Instead of using a search engine or the website search bar to find a flight or make a dinner reservation, you’re “really having a conversation where it understands what you’re looking for and what you’re interested in so it can make recommendations appropriately,” he says. Another partner, Fluid, used similar technology to power a retail shopping advisor that offered a personal online shopping experience that went beyond just shopping for products on a retail website.
Since those earlier examples, Watson has grown from one API to 30 and has evolved far beyond answering questions to being able to understand the intent and sentiment behind a statement. Keeping with the retail example, Watson would be able to read shoppers’ reviews on a specific product or type of product, pick up whether individual shoppers are positive or negative about certain aspects of a product, determine the true sentiments behind the words, and then use that information to make better recommendations for future products and changes. It transcends the “if you bought this, you might like that” feature and takes personal taste into account.
“We’re beginning to move into services that let you understand more about the people themselves,” says Abrams. “What’s the personality of a writer? Turns out if you give Watson 2,000 to 3,000 words that you’ve written, it can come back with a personality profile with 52 traits it will analyze you against. How open-minded or close-minded are you? Are you open in new activities? Are you self-aggrandizing vs. interested in altruism? Are you motivated by the need for openness or excitement versus conservativism? And of course the big five of introvert, extrovert, etc. It can analyze anything from a social media feed to a blog post or an article you’ve written. It’s just another example of how we’re trying to make Watson more aware of the interactions it’s having with people so we can shape those interactions.”
IBM has also imbued Watson with speech recognition, speech detection, and text-to-speech capabilities, so it can actually talk to you. IBM also wants to give Watson sight with image recognition, so “you can give Watson photographs and it can begin to identify the items that are in those photographs,” Abrams says. “When you add all of that together, it’s now really a platform with 30 incredible capabilities that are available to software developers in all of these different domains to build groundbreaking solutions.”
A True Partnership
Developers joining the Watson Ecosystem receive not only access to the platform, but also to IBM’s expertise. IBM offers a dedicated team that works side-by-side with partners throughout the process of building an application, commercializing it, and bringing it to market. It’s rare for a company with a sophisticated artificial intelligence developer platform to open it up, let alone let others experiment with it, but the project has been a great success for IBM. In fact, Abrams points out, at this time IBM has 500 partners that are in active development and over 100 businesses that have commercially viable Watson applications already on the market.
Watson partners come from virtually every industry, from legal firms using Watson to better understand building codes to the health and fitness industry, where they’re using Watson to power personalized health advisors. One major industry that has been taking advantage of Watson is sports. “We’re seeing a huge number of sports technology companies that are growing up around Watson with everything from better fan engagement and understanding social media to direct marketing of products and services to fans in the stadium to improve the stadium experience,” Abrams says.
There’s essentially no limit to how companies can use Watson to improve their businesses. Abrams says Watson can come into play whenever there’s an opportunity to “simplify access to a tremendous amount of information” or to “change and improve the way that a company engages with its customers through a more personalized, virtualized, and automated experience.” For him, those are two clear indicators that Watson could have a positive impact. “Who’s not stuck dealing with an avalanche of unstructured information and who doesn’t want to change or improve the way that they engage with their customers?” Abrams asks.
Watson In the Future
Even with all of the solutions already available today, Abrams still believes that “the most interesting Watson application is the one that has yet to be built.” If you think about how the technology has evolved since the “Jeopardy!” appearance five years ago, it will be fascinating to see where Watson goes in the near future once more partners are onboard and as IBM continues to add new functionality and capabilities to its already robust platform.
“Both in terms of our understanding of what the technology is capable of as well as our partners’ understanding of what solutions they can build, I really think we’re just at the tip of the iceberg,” says Abrams. “I couldn’t begin to tell you what they’re going to do, but one of the cool things about IBM is that we have really the largest dedicated corporate research division in the world and we still have a very strong connection between the IBM Research Labs and the Watson development organization. I’m continuously amazed by our friends in research with the stuff they’re working on. I can’t even begin to tell you what’s next.”
IBM Watson Analytics

If the wheels in your head have started turning when it comes to potential business use cases for Watson, then look no further than Watson Analytics. Big data analytics is a natural evolutionary point for the Watson technology considering the fact that it is capable of reading through massive amounts of information in minutes or even seconds, and IBM is heavily leaning into that arena.
With Watson Analytics, you can analyze data quickly in order to gain insights and use those insights to make well-informed business decisions. And because Watson is already designed to offer a confidence rating when it answers a question, you know that you’ll get valuable information based on the problem you’re trying to solve. Watson Analytics is also a cloud-based solution, so you get access to the robust data discovery service without having to build a complex and potentially expensive system onsite.
Once you get the platform up and running and ask your question, it won’t take long for Watson to come up with relevant information and then help you organize it into a dashboard or even an infographic. Watson Analytics isn’t about searching through information and then coming to your own conclusions. Watson will help you every step along the way and give you insights you can use with confidence.
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Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at