Thursday, January 9, 2014

IBM's Watson Delivers Cloud-based Services

IBM unveiled three new Watson services delivered over the cloud.  The company has established a new IBM Watson Group to build additional cognitive computing services, software and apps into the marketplace that analyze, improve by learning, and discover answers and insights to complex questions from massive amounts of disparate data. IBM plans to invest more than $1 billion in the initiative. The first Watson cloud services are:

  • Watson Discovery Advisor is designed to accelerate and strengthen research and development projects in industries such as pharmaceutical, publishing and biotechnology where it will be initially marketed. The service will scan and analyze millions of technical articles, journals and studies to determine context and synthesize vast amounts of data.  The goal is to help researchers uncover new perspectives from relevant data sources that could be overlooked, given the enormous volume of information available.
  • Watson Analytics delivers visualized Big Data insights, based on questions posed in natural language by any business user. Watson uses sophisticated analytics and a natural language interface to prepare the data, discover the most important relationships and presents the results in an easy to interpret interactive visual format.
  • Watson Explorer helps users across an enterprise uncover and share data-driven insights more easily, while empowering organizations launch Big Data initiatives faster.  The service provides data discovery, navigation and search capabilities that are secure, unified and span a broad range of applications, data sources and data formats – both inside and outside an enterprise. 

"Watson is the solution to today’s influx of information, delivered from the cloud and ready to be the ultimate advisor for faster, more accurate decisions,” said Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group. “By bringing a new generation of Watson-powered services to the marketplace, IBM is transforming industries and professions. These new cognitive computing innovations are designed to augment users’ knowledge, be it the researcher exploring genetic data to create new therapies or a business executive who needs evidence-based insights to make a crucial decision."

In November 2013, IBM announced plans to make it Watson technology available as a development platform in the cloud.  The idea is to enable software application developer to build a new generation of apps that leverage Watson's cognitive computing intelligence and ability to ingest both structured and unstructured data.

IBM said its goal is to create a cloud-hosted marketplace where application providers can tap into its library of resources for Watson-powered intelligence.  IBM will supply a developer toolkit, educational materials and access to Watson's application programming interface (API). IBM is already working with partners on applications for smarter online shopping comparisons, medical equipment supply chain management, and personalized healthcare recommendations.

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