IBM pulling the plug on Watson AI sales for drug discovery

April 22, 2019

IBM Watson will no longer sell an artificial intelligence tool the company developed to aid with early drug development. Citing lagging sales and weakening demand, IBM said it will no longer market the product, but will continue to provide support to existing clients. 

Introduced in 2014, IBM developed the AI system to analyze relationships between certain pharmaceutical compounds, genetic markers and diseases using machine learning to sift through academic research, pharma literature and more. But the system became the target of criticism in 2018 when internal tests revealed that it was spitting out erroneous treatment recommendations for fake cancer patients.

Instead of drug discovery, IBM said it will shift its focus to developing products to streamline clinical trials. In particular, IBM plans to develop an AI tool to help pharma companies find and recruit patients for drug trials.

Read the Business Insider report.