According to Barra, the Watson-based OnStar Go will begin rolling out in cars in early 2017, and by the end of that year "millions of vehicles" will have it.
"We believe in the auto industry, in a period of five years, we'll see more change than in the last 50," Barra said. "We see that as a huge opportunity to transform personal mobility… Think about taking [OnStar] to the next level, with it knowing you and your life and what you want to accomplish, and doing it seamlessly and safely. If we can take that commute time and allow you to be more efficient, it will transform that time."
Rometty also said IBM's moonshot is focused on healthcare, and she brought on stage Satoru Miyano, a professor of the Human Genome Center at the Institute of Medical Science in the University of Tokyo.
Miyano said researchers and doctors are faced with too much data. Last year, he said, more than 200,000 papers were published about cancer alone. Meanwhile, 4 million cancer mutations also were reported.
"Nobody can read it all," Miyano said. "We feel we are a frog in the bottom of the well. Understanding cancer is beyond a human being's ability, but Watson can read, understand and learn. Why not use it?"
Researchers are using Watson to cull through all the data and help clinicians find specific mutations in patients' genomes and offer guidance in treatment.
Miyano gave the example of a 66-year-old woman with leukemia. She was receiving standard therapy but was still getting worse. Doctors didn't understand why she was getting sicker.
Using Watson, researchers analyzed all of the data they had on the woman in 10 minutes.
"Watson's results were investigated, targeting specific genes," Miyano said. "The team found she had another type of leukemia [that needed] a different therapy. She got it and she recovered completely."
Rometty said she expects Watson to "change the face of health care" in our lifetime.
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