From Red Blood Cells to the Red Carpet – IBM’s Watson Identifies Cancer and the Best Red Carpet Looks


red blood to red carpet

Red Blood Cell (Photo Courtesy of & Joy Villa on The 2017 Grammy’s Red Carpet (Photo Courtesy of

In a world of ever-advancing technology, the boundaries between business and social media are becoming increasingly blurred.  The tools that we use to connect socially with others, such as Facebook, Twitter and even texting are the same tools that businesses use to connect with their customers.  This trend seems to be rapidly expanding to the point that many of the new technologies that hit the market are found equally useful in business and in pleasure.

IBM, a pioneer in technology, has embraced this trend and continues to evolve in order to advance health care and to improve the social media experience, by utilizing the Big Data crunching power and AI capabilities of its supercomputer Watson.  A recent article by Fortune contributor Tom Huddleston Jr. discussed the partnership between IBM and the Recording Academy, where IBM will be “The Official AI Partner of the Grammy Awards.”

By utilizing AI, Watson will analyze hours of videos and 100K+ photos taken on the red carpet to cherry-pick the best content based on facial recognition software, posting the selected media online for fans to enjoy.  In the past, this sort of media sifting, sorting and selection would have been done by humans in a tedious manual process.  The speed and programmed selectivity utilized by Watson is aimed to provide fans with instant content that offers a greater user experience, as the content chosen is intended to capture the very best images and videos available.

Watson’s AI abilities, however, are not limited to social media as Noah Skyen, an IBM vice president notes, “And the visual recognition and photo tagging is the same technology we use to help radiologists spot cancer.” In the video below, Bloomberg Business highlights Watson’s capability to compare an individual’s personal medical record, including blood work and imaging results, against voluminous data sets of other individual medical records to find matches.  This allows doctors to rapidly identify similar cases, helping them diagnose cancer and develop treatment plans that will improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs.


Often just a source of entertainment that helps us keep up with celebrity fashion trends, it is comforting to know that the underlying technology behind social media can also be used to help save lives.

This entry was posted in artificial intelligence, Big Data, Data, Innovation, Social Media, social media and health, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to From Red Blood Cells to the Red Carpet – IBM’s Watson Identifies Cancer and the Best Red Carpet Looks

  1. sydhavely says:

    Great post highlighting the interface and transformation of AI as gaming device to saving lives and vice versa. As an attention-getting, Watson, as you say, captured world-wide attention in Jeopardy! and went on to hugely important medical diagnoses as Google’s Deep Mind did in beating the world’s Go champion. The blurred lines, as you say, now go both ways in social media and AI as social media and algorithms become more sophisticated and in some cases scary in its abilities and subjective judgments, if that’s the word for a machine. Well done and well written with great photos and video.

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