What Next: TBD

The Downfall of One of the World’s Biggest Brains

IBM’s Watson was supposed to transform health care. Last week, it was sold off for scrap.


Episode Notes

Ten years ago, IBM made a gamble. Through a monumental advertising and PR campaign, it promised that its AI technology–Watson–would transform the health care industry as we know it. A decade and billions of dollars later, Watson Health is being sold for parts.

What went wrong with IBM’s “moonshot?” And what does Watson’s failure tell us about the promise of AI for health care?

Guest: Casey Ross, national technology correspondent for STAT


About the Show

Every Friday and Sunday, Slate’s popular daily news podcast What Next brings you TBD, a clear-eyed look into the future. From fake news to fake meat, algorithms to augmented reality, Lizzie O’Leary is your guide to the tech industry and the world it’s creating for us to live in.

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  • Lizzie O’Leary is the host of What Next: TBD, Slate’s show about technology, power, and the future. Previously, she created and hosted Marketplace Weekend. She has reported for CNN, Bloomberg News, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. She is also a contributing writer at the Atlantic.