IBM's smart artificial brainiac Watson is so freakishly clever that you have to admire it. Now IBM is about to release an upgraded version of the Watson supercomputer, but instead of being programmed to just play Jeopardy or act like a doctor, IBM is adding in an API suite that will be licensed to third-party companies.
This means you'll probably be interacting with Watson sooner than you think. Companies will be able to use Watson's smarts over a remote link to process some of the fuzzier, less logical and more natural language-style interactions that the computer is brilliant at—such as acting as a smart store clerk, teacher, or other human-interaction system. Think of it as Siri on steroids for the brain, and you'll see the possibilities.
IBM's not saying yet when the API will be released nor how much it will cost developers to access. Let's hope they include some safety restrictions, though, so Watson will always open the pod bay doors.
[Image: Flickr user Kansir]