How IBM Watson Taps Into Today's World of Cognitive Computing

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How IBM Watson Taps Into Today's World of Cognitive Computing

IBM Watson, the first open cognitive computing platform, represents a new era in which systems understand the world through senses, learning and experience.

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Early Development

The original system underlying Watson, Deep QA, was built on one API, Question & Answer, covering five technologies. The original Watson corpus was 58GB and could provide an answer to a question within three seconds.

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The Watson Developer Cloud and Watson Ecosystem

In 2013, IBM introduced the Watson Developer Cloud, an open development platform initially offering seven API services and a software development kit for developers to build Watson-powered apps and services. An ecosystem of startups and established companies emerged, featuring innovators embedding cognitive computing into their businesses.

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Platform Expansion

Over the last two years, the Watson platform and ecosystem has grown, with hundreds of partners developing and commercializing cognitive-fueled apps, services and businesses. Today, the platform offers more than 25 APIs and services underpinned by more than 50 technologies in four key areas: language, speech, vision and data insights.

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Watson Language Services

Watson language services, like IBM Watson Natural Language Classifier and IBM Watson Dialog, provide the power to understand, interact and reason using natural language. Watson can help identify a question’s intent, offer corresponding answers and make connections hidden among natural language text. Additionally, language analysis services help companies engage with customers on a more personalized level. IBM researchers have also taught Watson new languages, including Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese.

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Watson Speech Services

A pioneer of speech technologies, Watson’s speech analysis services, IBM Speech to Text and IBM Text to Speech, enable cognitive apps to respond, understand and mine insights found in multiple languages, and provide a spoken conversational interface. Touchcast is developing a new way for people to collaborate through an interactive video application for Web conferencing. It uses IBM Speech to Text to build a body of transcripts that can be instantly recalled after a meeting to facilitate knowledge management and collaboration.

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Watson Vision Services

With IBM Watson Visual Insights, developers now can build apps that reveal insights from social media images and video. By applying reasoning to the content of images, Watson is able to deliver deeper insights, assess trends and patterns, and get a more comprehensive view of what users are communicating to get the big picture. Wayin, a real-time digital marketing technology and services company, is using these capabilities to help brands discover the most compelling content that will persuade and drive marketing results.

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Watson Data Services

Watson’s data insight APIs enhance decision-making through continuous analysis and correlation of rich new data from various sources. For example, the Tradeoff Analytics service helps users optimize decisions while striking a balance between multiple, often conflicting, objectives. The service can be used to help make complex decisions like what mortgage to take or which laptop to purchase.

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Watson’s Way Forward

More than 77,000 developers are innovating on Watson and hundreds have hardened their app/service enough to commercialize it. As IBM continues to stretch the boundaries of what cognitive can do, researchers are creating new services and APIs to expand and experiment on Watson to solve new problems.

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IBM Cognitive Business Solutions

Based on Watson, Big Blue launched IBM Cognitive Business Solutions, a consulting organization that taps into IBM’s success with Watson’s cognitive computing and analytics, and draws on the expertise of more than 2,000 consulting professionals spanning machine learning, advanced analytics, data science and development. IBM is looking at its Cognitive Business initiative as the successor to the company’s previous strategic initiatives, including e-Business and Smarter Planet.

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Five Ways Big Data, Analytics Are Transforming the Trucking Industry

Think the trucking industry isn't innovative? Think again. Today's buses, cement mixers, ambulances and more are hitting the highways, equipped with telematics systems and electronic control modules that regulate the vehicles' engine and other components. Mobile connectivity delivers a wealth of data from these systems, in real time, both to truck drivers and to the fleet managers who oversee vehicles' day-to-day operations. Using advanced analytics capabilities, truck fleets can gain insights from this data that can benefit their business operations in many ways, ranging from increased on-time delivery to improved fuel economy and beyond. Thanks to growing big data infrastructure and the increased reporting frequency of telematics devices, fleets will be able to capture an increasing wealth of data and generate an exponentially greater volume of insights, which will lead to safer, more efficient...
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