Le temps d’un week-end, les étudiants d’HEC, de Centrale Paris et de l’Ecole 42 étaient réunis sur le campus d’HEC Paris afin de découvrir l’outil Watson à travers des conférences et de proposer dans un second temps par équipes de 4 un projet innovant faisant appel aux services Watson. Aujourd’hui, Timo Marquez, HEC MBA, membre de l’équipe « Become One » (2nde équipe au classement général) partage avec nous son expérience des trois jours de compétition.

Written by Timo Marquez, HEC MBA

“Last weekend was an interesting weekend. It was the 1st #IBMWatson Competition outside of the US. The event was held at HEC Paris.

Prior the competition I was unsure of participating, as there was another activity related to identifying careers in the energy sector. As with many other activities during the MBA, you must prioritize the activities and evaluate what could be gained from each. I decided I needed a different weekend. One with exposure to new ideas, views and options. As my knowledge of computer science is very basic, I thought the IBM Competition could be fun.

So the first step was to have a team of four people. As there were few days left and ad-portas of exam week, many classmates were already busy. I first called Daniel Gomez, with economics and start-up background, Michael Thomson, with experience in education and employment counseling, and Maria Rahat with marketing and branding expertise. All accepted the invitation to have an entertaining weekend, take time away from studies and do something different (also get to know each other better as we had not worked together before).

Our first meeting, the Thursday previous to the competition, was to brainstorm on potential ideas where we could use #Watson’s capabilities. There is a lot of potential on things to do with #Watson. Of all the ideas, we agreed on developing a career development application where it takes all your online information from facebook, LinkedIn, youtube among others and identifies companies and environments that best fits you. In this manners the cognitive learning of IBMWatson would go deeper into your style, goals, career while at the same time looking for potential companies and locations to meet them, e.g. taking into account company culture, career and surroundings.

The weekend started, competition was on with the other teams, and focus became the norm. For us the key was to have fun, dream a little on the potential of our idea and get the most out our group.

We consulted with three different advisors. Their insights were very valuable to adjust and include new perspectives to what our application could do. Specially, on insight was for the long term application. With the big data collected (e.g. mobility, interests, jobs, companies, etc) more analysis could be done on shift in labor practices and worldwide productivity. These later could influence policy at city or state level. This motivated us even more, increasing the level of excitement to see how far we could go in the competition.

During the developing of the name was still missing. Then during the last day, as I was listening to Eminem’s Lose Yourself and getting prepared, some phrases came to mind: It’s not about finding opportunities, it’s about interpreting them. It’s not about being an efficient company, it’s about becoming one. Then when we met as a team, Mike added it’s not about choosing a job, it’s about choosing a life. So #BecomeOne, the product’s name came to existence.

The weekend ended in an excellent note as we got 2nd place in the competition out 15 teams. A fun and different weekend, which will end with a Rolland Garros visit.”