IBM considers ‘meeting’ version of Watson

In recent years, IBM has traded on the celebrity status of its supercomputer Watson to spearhead other projects. One of those potential business applications was recently examined in a piece for the MIT Technology Review: business meetings.

According to this piece, the company has spent the last year experimenting with this new function for Watson in a special lab designed to simulate a meeting space. The goal is for Watson to become an active participant in the conversation, providing information in response to questions, performing impromptu search tasks and even coming up with its own suggestions based on input. 

While this is interesting in theory, what it really suggests is the desire for companies to have relevant computing power available in all business situations. Mainframe modernization projects can aim for something similar on a smaller scale, with all workers able to easily access the power of their legacy mainframe, especially in moments of urgency.

Writing for Quartz, Max Nisen makes the important point that functionality is key. The future of something as ambitious as Watson's presence in the boardroom depends on the amount of key tasks it will be able to handle.

"If Watson can eliminate even a portion of the time people spend prepping for meetings, awkwardly searching a laptop for the right file or figure, and cut down on the number of PowerPoint hours endured, it'd be a vast improvement on the status quo," he writes.

As that concept undergoes further testing and more speculation, companies have the more immediate task of improving the use of their mainframes. To this end, a terminal emulator can keep costs down and help businesses make the most of their current infrastructure.