Abstract: Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was built by a team of IBM researchers who set out to accomplish a grand challenge––build a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence. The quiz show Jeopardy! provided the ultimate test of this technology because the game’s clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles and other complexities of natural language in which humans excel and computers traditionally fail. Watson passed its first test on Jeopardy!, beating the show's two greatest champions in a televised exhibition match, but the real test will be in applying the underlying natural language processing and analytics technology in business and across industries. In this talk I will briefly introduce the Jeopardy! grand challenge, present an overview of Watson and the DeepQA technology upon which Watson is built, and explore applications of Watson in the medical domain.