IBM announced Wednesday that it has formed a partnership with the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) to use its Watson technology for an app to help military personnel transition back into life at home.
The USAA is an insurance company responsible for giving financial services to members of the military and their families, according to The Washington Post. Now, Watson, a computer capable of collecting large amounts of data, answering questions, and interpreting speech, is being used by the company to help its customers answer questions related to career and finance.
IBM has been focusing on selling the software to healthcare, retail, financial advising, and other industries, and started a Watson pilot earlier this month for special Internet users designed to help home chefs create new recipes.
The partnership between IBM and USAA marks the first time that Watson, famous for answering questions on the "Jeopardy" TV game show, is being used for consumers, CNET reported.
"Putting Watson into the hands of consumers is a critical milestone toward improving how we work and live," Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM Watson Group, said in an email. "We believe this new service can help men and women who served their country gain timely and relevant insights into the steps they need to successfully move to civilian life."
IBM said it trained Watson to study and learn from over 3,000 collected documents that focus on different military transitions, The Washington Post reported. Users are able to ask questions in natural language, and Watson can be accessed through USAA's website.
Questions that users can ask about civilian life include what does insurance cover, what benefits are offered, how does the GI Bill work, and how to get a job or buy a new home, among others, CNET reported.
Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that about 155,000 people move between military and civilian life every year. With its ability to look through a huge amount of information to find answers and insights, Watson is expected to be of great help to military members trying to return to life back home.