Everyone’s seen the IBM Watson commercials. You know, the ones where famous celebrities like Bob Dylan talk to Watson and ask it humorous questions. Watson, IBM’s extremely impressive artificial intelligence that makes Siri look like a Rolodex, is probably the best artificial intelligence system in the world and is even capable of winning Jeopardy. Freaky stuff, to be honest. Now, BMW is working with IBM IoT (Internet of Things) HQ and is planning on putting Watson in the BMW i8.
The two companies will be working together to implement Watson into four BMW i8 prototypes. In these Watson-equipped BMW i8s, the system will be able to learn and understand the driver’s behaviors, tendencies and preferences, allowing it to better work with the driver. It will also learn the driver’s natural speaking voice and language, so that it’s easier for the driver to give the car commands.
In the i8, Watson will be able to communicate to the driver about all sorts of information, such as fuel levels, battery levels, traffic information or anything else Watson feels pertinent. BMW and IBM want the driver to be able to use Watson without having to press a button first. So the driver would only have to speak certain commands or just ask for Watson and be able to use the system. This, as opposed to having to press the little button on the steering wheel and say specific commands, will be far easier while driving.
It will also help with autonomous driving, as it will allow the driver and the car to communicate with each other. So, let’s say the car recognizes something it can’t handle, while driving autonomously, Watson could actually communicate what’s going on to the driver, before relieving control to said driver.
Everyone who’s seen the Iron Man movies knows that having an artificial intelligence aid in your car or flying suit would be pretty flipping cool. Watson could be just that for the BMW i8. Let’s just hope it has a witty, sarcastic attitude.