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Weather Channel app uses Watson to tell you when flu season is coming

You'll know when to avoid risky situations that could get you sick.
Cameravit via Getty Images
Cameravit via Getty Images
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|November 10, 2019 10:02 PM

Are you the sort who grows wary around other people when flu season hits? You now have another tool in your (slightly anti-social) arsenal. The latest version of the Weather Channel app for Android and iOS now includes a Flu Insights feature that uses IBM's Watson to warn you when influenza is likely to be on the warpath. The team-up wields machine learning to provide a 15-day flu forecast as well notifications that pop up at key moments, such as the start of flu season or confirmed outbreaks. Ideally, this will keep you from going to a house party full of soon-to-be-sick virus carriers.

Whatever the conditions are like, you'll get prevention advice as well as CDC flu reports.

It's easy to see Flu Insights fueling some paranoia. Do you really want to be afraid of going outside simply because Watson predicted trouble? Used carefully, though, this could help you dodge the flu entirely, or at least put it off when you can't afford to fall ill. It's a real-world use of AI that might actually improve your quality of life.

Weather Channel app's Watson-based flu season prediction

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Weather Channel app uses Watson to tell you when flu season is coming