Bob Dylan Appears in Rare TV Ad: Watch IBM’s Super Computer Offer a Literary Analysis of His Songs

To my knowl­edge, Bob Dylan has only appeared in a hand­ful of TV com­mer­cials over the decades, includ­ing most notably a bizarre ad for Vic­to­ri­a’s Secret back in 2004. Now you can add anoth­er to the small list. Last night, IBM debuted a new ad with the icon­ic singer-song­writer. And this time around, Dylan isn’t ped­dling bras. Rather, it’s IBM’s cog­ni­tive sys­tem called “Wat­son,” which promis­es to ana­lyze data for cor­po­ra­tions in all kinds of inter­est­ing ways. Says IBM:

Humans cre­ate a stag­ger­ing amount of infor­ma­tion. Poet­ry, equa­tions, films, self­ies, diag­noses, dis­cov­er­ies. Data pours from our mobile devices, social net­works, from every dig­i­tized and con­nect­ed sys­tem we use. 80% of this data is vir­tu­al­ly invis­i­ble to computers—including near­ly all the infor­ma­tion cap­tured in lan­guage, sight and sound. Until now.

IBM Wat­son applies its cog­ni­tive tech­nolo­gies to help change how we approach and under­stand all of this infor­ma­tion. Every­thing that is dig­i­tal has the poten­tial to become cog­ni­tive, and, in a sense, be able to “think.”

Wat­son can bring cog­ni­tion to every­thing and every­one. To evolve in this data-dri­ven cul­ture, every busi­ness will need to become a cog­ni­tive busi­ness.

To demon­strate its ana­lyt­i­cal pow­ers, IBM asked Wat­son to ana­lyze Dylan’s lyrics, and it con­clud­ed that the major themes of Dylan’s songs are “time pass­es and love fades”. It’s a con­clu­sion, I’m sure, that nev­er dawned on casu­al or ardent fans of Dylan’s music.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Bob Dylan’s Con­tro­ver­sial 2004 Victoria’s Secret Ad: His First & Last Appear­ance in a Com­mer­cial

“They Were There” — Errol Mor­ris Final­ly Directs a Film for IBM

Andy Warhol’s ‘Screen Test’ of Bob Dylan: A Clas­sic Meet­ing of Egos

Bob Dylan Reads From T.S. Eliot’s Great Mod­ernist Poem The Waste Land

Bob Dylan and The Grate­ful Dead Rehearse Togeth­er in Sum­mer 1987. Lis­ten to 74 Tracks.

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