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IBM's supercomputer knows what'll be hot this holiday

Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
November 18, 2015
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After elbowing its way into hospitals and restaurants, it was inevitable that IBM's supercomputer would turn its attention towards the retail business. IBM has launched Watson Trend, a service that harnesses Watson's deep learning smarts in order to discover the hottest and most desirable products to buy this holiday season. The machine will work out what's hot (and what's not) by trawling the web, looking through everyone's public conversations on social media, blog posts and product reviews. Once the information has been found, it'll run sentiment analysis to determine how people really feel about their new smartphones, TVs and tablets to work out the ones folks love the most.

IBM's promising big things for this technology, and claims that Watson's smart enough to know if a product's going to be a flash in the pan or an enduring hit. For now, users can either head on over to the official website or download an iOS app from the App Store, where they'll be able to see the top 100 products across three categories: consumer electronics, toys and health and fitness. Unfortunately, Watson's insights aren't, right now, much better than what others can muster, since the current top items include big TVs, Star Wars Lego and anything to do with Minecraft. You didn't ask, but we'd like to remind you that Engadget has its own holiday gift guide, one which doesn't need the help of any supercomputers, thank you very much.

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