David W. Buchanan  David W. Buchanan photo       

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Research Staff Member
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA
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I research how to make computers think more like people, so they can work with people, and even learn from people. This is sometimes called "cognitive computing." My research spans cognitive science and artificial intelligence.

I work at IBM Research on the orginal Watson team, helping to adapt Watson to medicine and other domains. Even more challenging than Watson's historic Jeopardy win, medicine involves complex inference over multiple steps. My research concerns how to reason over these steps using unstructured information, applying and extending the state of the art in areas such as causal inference and graphical models. I also research on how people can better interact with these models to help Watson learn.

I like to talk to the general public about my work. For instance, I wrote this article for the Washington Post. 

Before graduate school, I worked as a professional juggler at Faneuil Hall in Boston, and around the world. Only recently was I able to quit my day job as a circus performer, and pursue my dream of being a research scientist full-time. Juggling is still a hobby: I can juggle five balls.