To advance cognitive computing toward the needs of the future, IBM has announced it will invest over $1 billion in the newly formed IBM Watson Group, a business unit powered by the Jeopardy-winning Watson computer, dedicated to advancing research in cognitive computing and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive innovations to market. Located in New York’s “Silicon Alley,” the Watson Group will function as an innovation hub that fuels new products and startups.
$100 million of IBM’s investment will be available for venture investments to support the IBM Watson Developers Cloud, IBM’s recently launched startup and business ecosystem focused on building cognitive apps powered by Watson.
IBM’s Strategic Shift to Cognitive Computing
In their predictions for tech innovations of the near future, both IBM and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt suggested that artificial intelligence will be a big player in tech and that computers will increasingly learn more about us. IBM’s new investment in cognitive computing signals a strategic shift by IBM toward the software marketplace of the future.
The goal of cognitive computing research is to produce software that can “think” like humans, learn from the tasks it undertakes and find insights in big data – tasks that would be especially beneficial to entities in the healthcare, financial services, retail, travel and telecommunications industries.
The IBM Watson Group will be led by IBM Senior Vice President Michael Rhodin. “IBM has transformed Watson from a quiz-show winner into a commercial cognitive computing breakthrough that is helping businesses engage customers, healthcare organizations personalize patient care and entrepreneurs build businesses,” Rhodin said. “Watson is one of the most significant innovations in IBM’s 100-year history, and one that we want to share with the world. With these investments we strive to make new markets, reach new buyers and transform industries and professions.”
Additional Cognitive Computing Services
In addition to launching the IBM Watson Group, IBM announced three new cognitive computing services:
- Watson Discovery Advisor aims to bring a better search tool for industries like pharmaceuticals and publishing. Instead of spitting out thousands of search results, Watson Discovery Advisor will use its big data knowledge to provide results that can speed up and strengthen the work of individuals in these industries
- Watson Analytics provides users, even those with no advanced analytics training, big data insights. It uses a natural language interface and an interactive visual format to help users make sense of data
- Watson Explorer helps enterprise users act on big data analytics. By providing a unified view of all data-driven information, Watson Explorer allows users to easily uncover and share data-driven insights
So what do you think: how will Watson power your future?
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