Thanks to Andrew for passing this along.
To the degree there was a human face of Watson, the “Jeopardy!” computer champion, it was David Ferrucci. He was the I.B.M. researcher who led the development of Watson, an artificial intelligence engine. The goateed computer scientist was always articulate and at ease in front of a camera or a microphone.
Dr. Ferrucci has left I.B.M. to join the giant hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. And the weight of the Watson-related fame, it seems, played a role. “I was so linked to the Watson achievement, and where I.B.M. was taking it, that I felt I was almost losing my identity,” he said in a recent interview.
Dr. Ferrucci led that next-generation Watson research as well. But he went to Bridgewater at the end of last year. Bridgewater, a private company, made no announcement of its new hire. Yet word of Dr. Ferrucci’s departure from I.B.M. has been circulating among scientists in the artificial intelligence field. And I caught up with him recently for an interview, supplemented by a lengthy e-mail he titled, “My Reflections.”