Using Watson for Constructing Cognitive Assistants

We describe an experiment in using IBM’s Watson tool to construct cognitive assistants in a Georgia Tech Spring 2015 class on computational creativity. The project-based class used Watson to support biologically inspired design, a paradigm that uses biological systems as analogues for inventing technological systems. The students worked in small teams and developed semester-long projects that used Watson to build cognitive assistants for conducting research in support of biologically inspired design. In this paper, we describe this experiment in using Watson, present two of the projects in detail, draw best practices for using Watson, and characterize and critique the Watson tool for constructing cognitive assistants.