Most people remember IBM's (NYSE:IBM) "Watson" machine from its stint on Jeopardy back in the winter of 2011. After a stunning win streak that could literally be described as "inhuman," the wire-and-metal wonder famously mistook Toronto for an American city -- revealing a capacity for error that left most viewers caught between a strange sense of surprise, disappointment, and relief.

But as Stephen Gold, the head of IBM's Watson division, explained earlier this week at the annual South by Southwest Interactive technology conference, Watson's ability to screw up every now and then is precisely what makes it such a valuable technology. Watch below as Motley Fool technology analyst Lyons George discusses where computing power and human nature merge in an exclusive interview with the man behind one of the most important breakthroughs in IBM's 103-year history.


Lyons George has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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