On the Smarter Planet blog, Steve Canepa says "The DeepQA technology that powers Watson signals a new age in computing and information analytics"--and this new age certainly has implications for information-finding librarians! At our Futurist meetings we agree that one of our long term, value-added services is that we can help people to find the "right" information for their needs. One of the reasons this service is unique is because librarians, being humans, know how to understand another human's question, the nuances of it, word connotations, and context. Will further improved DeepQA technology (remember, Watson the Jeopardy champ is the first big-time prototype to my knowledge) make this human-to-human service obsolete? How should librarians reinvent themselves if people can speak into a machine ("I like the Harry Potter series, Watson, so what kind of tattoo should I get?") and get a "right" answer (What is "a snitch")?
What do you guys think?