IBM Watson will know what you did last summer

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

IBM Watson Ecosystem Partners in Market Building Businesses.

Irish sports performance company ORRECO to be its first global partner of IBM in developing a software application to help athletes stay injury free for longer.

IBM’s Watson will be a “huge engine” for the business going forward, according to John Kelly, the company’s senior vice president for solutions portfolio and research.IBM is adding new smarts to its Watson artificial intelligence system, including the ability to scour photos on social networks to see what you’ve been up to.

These partners – start ups and innovators in established businesses – are leveraging the Watson Developer Cloud, a platform used by more than 77,000 developers globally to pilot, test and deploy new business ideas.Today, Big Blue announced plans for what it’s calling Watson West, a new office and innovation center meant to introduce the rapidly growing Watson ecosystem to San Francisco area entrepreneurs and investors. Watson began life as a hardware system built to win the TV quiz show Jeopardy, but it’s evolved into more than a dozen cloud services that developers can use to add cognitive capabilities to applications. For years, IBM has hosted an “experience center” in Manhattan’s Astor Place, inviting entrepreneurs, investors, and customers to visit and hear its vision for how Watson can “transform business,” said Lauri Saft, IBM’s Watson Ecosystem and Partner Programs vice president. IBM, -0.53% hopes its artificial intelligence technology of the same name saves the 104-year-old tech giant from obscurity at the hands of Moriarty-level rivals.

IBM says there are now more than 100 commercial applications making use of Watson, and at an event in San Francisco Thursday it’s showing off new computing services to encourage more developers to get on board. Now, with the new center opening in San Francisco’s tech-heavy South of Market district, Silicon Valley will get its first up-close-and-personal look at the cognitive computing system, and, IBM hopes, see how the platform can be used to integrate into a wide variety of products and services. To help organizations tap into this market opportunity IBM today expanded its portfolio of Watson APIs and services to accelerate the development of Watson fueled businesses and help partners differentiate their businesses. According to Saft, Watson West will operate much like the company’s Astor Place Watson facility, and the new team will be led by IBM Cognitive Commerce general manager Deepak Advani.

IBM Watson made global news headlines in 2011 after it comprehensively beat human competitors in the US game show ‘Jeopardy!’ The computer program continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. Companies that use them in commercial applications pay IBM a share of revenue, while businesses that use them internally pay by the number of API calls they make.

Following are some of the new ways partners are using those technologies to enrich their products and services: Card Payments and Financial Services: 50wise created its eVision tool, powered by Watson, to provide query support to card payments professionals. Its opinion, Kelly added, was based on stored memory of more than 200 million pages of unstructured and structured data, including the entire text of Wikipedia. ORRECO works with elite sports stars and teams including golf major winners Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, English Premier League side Newcastle United, Its investors include early backer Enterprise Ireland, golfers Harrington and McDowell, former vice president of technology at Tom Killalea, and former group managing director of Glanbia, John Moloney ORRECO’s co-founder and CEO, Dr.

These moves are part of IBM’s effort to sell more data-analytics and cloud-computing technology as demand for older services weaken, leading to revenue declines and divestitures. The new services include Visual Insights, which analyzes images and videos posted to services like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, then looks for patterns and trends in what people have been posting. Indra Financial Services will now include this tool built with Watson Q&A, to provide users with real-time answers and expertise to customer enquiries, further improving operational efficiency for processing these banks’ card payments. In the years since Watson’s famous 2011 defeat of the world’s-best Jeopardy players, IBM has worked hard to turn the platform into a powerful business machine.

IBM is trotting out Watson around Silicon Valley this week, along with plans to open a Watson West office, as it seeks to grow its cloud and business analytics business. IBM is making a big bet on Watson in a search for growth, as revenue continues to fall in some of its core businesses, most recently in services and software. One obvious use case is marketing — an application built with Visual Insights could give a company a more rounded view of what its customers are interested in.

At the time of the Jeopardy championship, Watson used a single API, known as Question & Answer, that had five underlying technologies: Natural language processing, machine learning, question analysis, feature engineering, and ontology analysis. Entertainment marketing firms CrowdSurf and Epic Rights whose client roster includes Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus; and Aerosmith and Billy Joel respectively, are using AmpElite to monitor fans’ reactions for their clients during live events across multiple social channels and respond and engage with fans in a more targeted, personalized way.

Now, the Watson platform has grown to include 27 separate APIs that range from face detection to speech-to-text and text-to-speech, keyword extraction, and more. IBM is “working with them to go to market — facilitating introductions, lending our brand to the business.” Gold didn’t specify Watson revenue expectations, noting that the company doesn’t break out the unit from its analytics business. Knowledge Management: Bloomfire is a cloud-based knowledge network platform that helps employees within a company easily find the information they need to do their jobs. The unit is also armed with $100 million to invest in startups committed to developing a new class of cognitive apps that all run on top of Watson’s cloud. By scanning posts within the platform and automatically creating tags via the Watson data insights API, employees at companies including Whole Foods, Dun & Bradstreet and Etsy spend less time searching for information and more time doing meaningful work to improve company performance.

Another new service, Dialogue, helps a developer create branching conversations between a user and an application, so a computer can walk someone through the process of resetting a password, for instance. Student Career Counseling: Carney Labs is an education technology company that provides a platform embedded with Watson language capabilities to help schools learn about a student’s personality characteristics in order to build them a career roadmap. The Commonwealth of Virginia adopted a policy for all high schools in the state to leverage this app to use with students entering their freshman year. As more services become available, developers need a way to string them together, so IBM is also releasing a new toolset, Watson Knowledge Studio, that makes it easier to do that. Strategy Advisory: Case Strategy is a strategy consulting firm delivering client profit growth using its Watson-powered app PoGO® — Portfolio of Growth Opportunities.

IBM is mirroring the business model of Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +0.81% app store, with the Watson unit generating revenue as it gets a cut from the sales of its partners’ apps. The app is democratizing expert business growth strategy advice by delivering the insight and support of a seasoned strategy consultant directly to clients’ fingertips. It serves to help streamline the delivery of targeted, useful social services information across mobile platforms, ensuring the right information is available when and where it is needed, especially for citizens without home internet service.

Another is a wine discovery app for the iPhone called, created by VineSleuth Inc., which makes recommendations based on Watson’s cognitive language and speech capabilities.. If it thinks an application will take off, it will help companies to test it at scale, by pairing the app developer with another of its clients that might want to use the app internally. “We’re like an incubator,” said IBM’s Lauri Saft, the vice president in charge of Watson ecosystem development. Personalized Health and Wellness: iDAvatars allows patients with chronic diseases to take control of their health and wellness with its Intelligent Digital Avatar platform powered by IBM Watson. There is also a huge focus on health care, where IBM hopes Watson’s vast data collection and machine learning will assist doctors in diagnosing and treating patients.

Using the cognitive power of IBM Watson language APIs, iDAvatars provides patients with an engaging and interactive user experience to help them assess, track and control their illnesses through changes in diet, exercise, compliance with medical regimen, and compassionate and encouraging social support. Earlier this year, IBM established a Watson Health Cloud as part of that effort, and it is working with a wide array of large and small companies, as well as major universities and hospitals, to expand its data trove.

The Veterans Health Administration is using iDAvatars in its Virtual Medical Center for patients with diabetes, PTSD, and other conditions that require long term management and access to educational content. Research & Development: Inno360, an enterprise research and innovation management platform provider, is embedding a powerful combination of 7 Watson APIs for language and data insights into its SaaS platform to transform the way its clients, including Fortune 50 companies, conduct research and process big data. Inno360 is able to provide its clients advanced analysis of their R&D data to resolve product issues quickly and bring new products to market more rapidly.

Data clean-up, though unexciting, is a major challenge in analytics — Watson looks like it can help.” “Long term” may be the key phrase for investors, as it still is early days for Watson. provides state-specific answers to questions posed in natural language and helps users more easily navigate services such as Medicaid, VA payments, Medicare, and the like, to plan for the best possible elder care. Still, IBM’s progress since Jeopardy is impressive in the realm of artificial intelligence and natural language. “We do not program Watson, we give Watson data,” Kelly said. “We give it better algorithms, we give it better machine learning. Senior care management and planning providers, Cariloop and CareFamily, are distributing this tool to educate consumers on how they can obtain acceptable levels of health care, while also protecting families from the high financial burden often associated with long-term care services.

By embedding Watson Q&A, the app can recommend personalized rest, recovery and nutrition programs for athletes based on understanding cutting edge sport science research, combined with the athlete’s biomarker and training data. Talent Sourcing and Matching: UnitesUs is a cloud based hiring & recruitment platform utilizing cognitive computing and big data analysis to match prospective employees to hiring organizations based on personality, company cultural fit, and core qualifications. The Advisor allows consumers to easily share wine preferences in plain language to the kiosk, and receive a custom list of suggested wines based on food pairing, price range, and similarity to another wine and/or a specific flavor profile.

Volume’s platform reduces the time, cost and complexity of honing salespeople’s product expertise while providing an engaging customer experience to inform purchasing decisions quickly. These latest partner examples join recently announced efforts by Purple Forge in citizen services; Edge Up Sports and the competitive world of fantasy football; ENGEO for engineering; and ROSS Intelligence for legal professionals.

To advance innovative businesses that are resulting from the Watson Ecosystem program, IBM is drawing upon $100 million intended to seed select start-ups and businesses. Watson is the first open cognitive computing technology platform and represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience.

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