IBM Watson tries to predict the biggest holiday shopping trends

IBM Watson is going from winning “Jeopardy!” and diagnosing illnesses to predicting retail shopping trends. (Photo by Andrew Spear for The Washington Post.)The buzz around consumer-grade artificial intelligence continues to grow. The latest example is IBM Watson Trend, a new way for consumers to understand the top shopping trends of the holiday season. Using a mix of machine learning, sentiment analysis, keyword analytics and natural language analysis, IBM Watson Trend tracks the top 100 selling items across three popular categories: consumer electronics, toys and health & fitness. On the surface, most of what IBM Watson Trend is reporting as a “trend” is relatively obvious and probably doesn’t require a supercomputer. For example, the top three products in the consumer electronics category so far are the Apple Watch, Samsung TVs and Sony TVs. (The…


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