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With the holidays fast approaching, it's time to start obsessing over which gifts to give friends and loved ones. It can be toughest to shop for kids and teenagers, since staying up on what's current and popular takes serious effort.
IBM decided to use its Watson supercomputer to solve this problem, creating a new product called IBM Watson Trend.
The website and iPhone app use Watson's incredible processing power to crunch online conversations—from social media, comment threads, and blogs—to determine which products people are most interested in.
The site includes an overall list of the most popular "trending" products and also breaks down gifts into three categories—tech, toys, and health.
As of this writing, the top-five most popular products were the Apple Watch, Samsung TVs, Sony TVs, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, and LG TVs, in that order. They were followed by Star Wars Legos and Canon and Nikon cameras.
Every product has a "Trend Score" determined by the online conversation's size and rate of growth for each product. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the products that scored high enough to place in the overall ranking were in the tech category, not toys or health products. In fact, only three health products received a score at all.
Even though all products are scored from 0 to 100, only the top two products received a score above 50. That shows just how popular the Apple Watch and Samsung TVs seem to be.
Of course, it's not entirely clear where exactly Watson is sourcing its data. IBM only writes that each score is made up of "tens of thousands of different data sources."
Regardless, Watson Trend might be a good indicator of what to look for this holiday season. Each product also has a three-week prediction for whether its popularity will rise or fizzle.