When I saw IBM’s cognitive computing system, Watson, beat the Jeopardy champions in 2011, I started wondering about the possibilities this exciting new technology could bring to root cause analysis (RCA). I’ve been involved in RCA software development for over a decade and know that the semantics of language can be a hurdle when looking for systemic causes and solutions to problems across an organization. Sometimes people describe the same problem in different ways. That difference is a barrier when looking for incident patterns and trying to learn from past mistakes. Could Watson help bridge the gap? When IBM opened the Watson API to 3rd party developers earlier this year, we decided to find out.