Watson-based cancer project paused after running aground


It's tempting to treat IBM's Watson as a cure-all: just throw some cognitive computing at the problem and you'll make everything better. That can only happen if it's well-implemented, however, and we've just seen what happens when things go awry. The University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center has put its highly-touted Watson project (the Oncology Expert Advisor) on hold after an audit discovered both spending issues and an unfocused strategy that didn't meet goals. Where tech companies often foot the bill for projects like this, MD Anderson paid the $62 million for the project itself, ducking around usual procedures in the process. Former genomic medicine chair (and wife of MD Anderson's president) Lynda Chin reportedly didn't get approval from the center's IT department, and ensured that payments to IBM were just low enough to not require board approval.

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