IBM’s Watson supercomputer, famous for its appearance on the quiz show ‘Jeopardy,’ is now being harnessed by the fashion industry.
Fashion house Marchesa has teamed up with the tech giant to develop a “cognitive dress” that will make its debut at Monday night’s Met Gala.
In a blog post IBM explained that Marchesa selected five key human emotions – joy, passion, excitement, encouragement and curiosity – that it wanted the dress to convey. This data was then fed into a cognitive color design tool developed by IBM Research that understands the psychological effects of colors. Watson was also fed hundreds of images associated with Marchesa dresses to “understand and learn” the brand’s color palette. The supercomputer then suggested color palettes that were in keeping with Marchesa’s brand and the identified emotions.
When the colors were finalized, Marchesa worked with IBM partner Inno360 to find a fabric for the dress, which is embedded with LED lights. Harnessing Watson, the team searched more than 40,000 sources for information on the fabric, which they narrowed down to 150. Inno360 also worked with IBM Research to identify printed and woven textiles that would respond well to the LED technology, offering the fashion house 35 fabric recommendations.
“The final cognitive thread in the collaboration weaves technology into the very fabric of the dress, enabling Met Gala enthusiasts to join the cognitive conversation on the red carpet,” explains Ann Rubin, IBM vice president, branded content and global creative, in the blog post. The garment will harness Watson Tone Analyzer, a technology developed to assess the tone of communication, to tap into social sentiment from Twitter users on the garment. “The dress, embedded with LED lights, will change colors in real-time as the public conversations around the Met Gala unfold online,” explained Rubin.
The theme of Monday night’s Met Gala is ‘Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology’
“Our collaboration with Marchesa on this cognitive-enabled dress demonstrates how systems like Watson are giving artists, designers and creative minds the tools to discover and create in ground-breaking ways,” said IBM Watson Strategist Jeffrey Arn, in a statement emailed to FoxNews.com.
Watson is at the heart of IBM’s efforts to expand its technology’s reach across multiple industries. The supercomputer, for example, is at the core of a new partnership between the tech giant and Under Armour. As part of a deal announced at CES earlier this year, Watson will power what IBM and Under Armour are touting as “the world’s first complete health and fitness insights app.”
The supercomputer’s ability to trawl vast troves of data has also been targeted at the healthcare sector via partnerships with insurance firm WellPoint and New York’s famous Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Care Center. In 2014 IBM announced an investment of more than $1 billion in its Watson Group in an attempt to boost development of cloud-based applications and services. IBM has also enhanced Watson in an attempt to speed up the pace of scientific breakthroughs.
Watson is being used to help U.S. military personnel make the transition back to civilian life.
Boston Children’s Hospital is also harnessing IBM’s Watson supercomputer to help doctors identify possible options for the diagnosis and treatment of rare pediatric diseases. Earlier this year Hilton Worldwide teamed up with IBM to pilot “Connie,” a robot hotel concierge powered by the Watson supercomputer.
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