IBM, AlchemyAPI Democratize AI With APIs

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-03-22 Print this article Print

AlchemyAPI counts among its customers several large media companies, advertisers and others that leverage AlchemyAPI to improve engagement across their properties, to improve efficiencies and to identify story opportunities.

Meanwhile, retail is a use case for IBM’s cognitive technology. “E-commerce has changed our lives in terms of being able to select and purchase products online,” Gold said. “And if all I want is price and availability it's terrific. but if I'm uncertain about that purchase and I really need the assistance of an expert salesperson, what do I do? I get in the car and I drive to the brick and mortar location. or maybe I get online and chat or ask a friend.”

Yet, in the case of Fluid, one of IBM’s Watson partners, they have built an application that provides an expert sales assistant in an ecommerce capacity that takes ecommerce to a level that's more consistent with the brick and mortar experience, Gold said. And in another example IBM has partnered with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to optimize treatment for cancer patients using Watson.

Both Gold and Turner said they see vision as a next big thing for cognitive technology – to have systems that can “see” and recognize things. Turner said AlchemyAPI has been testing its computer vision API with partners for the last few months and has seen interesting apps, everything from the identification of plants, to specific types of animals to expanding the ability to experience art galleries, he said.

Gold said IBM recently demonstrated Watson's ability to read and understand an x-ray, which unlocks the possibility for new discoveries. IBM also is working on how to visualize the data for Watson, he said. “I think visualization is going to be a big part of cognition.”

Moreover, “I think we're going to see these technologies take further hold in our everyday lives,” Turner said. “One of the interesting things about cognition is as soon as these technologies come online and we integrate them into our daily workflows we really stop thinking abbot them in that special way.

Meanwhile, platforms like Alchemy API and Watson continue to make these capabilities available to a broad audience. “The creativity that's out there in the world in terms of taking these technologies when they're easily consumable and available and integrating them into applications is really exciting,” Turner said.

Figuring out a viable pricing model for cognitive computing technology is not entirely settled. “You will see 'freemium,' free, transaction-, subscription-based models of varying price points,” Gold said. “I think we'll see new forms of models emerge in the consumption of cognitive. And I think there will be people who will step up and say I will pay for that because of the value it brings.”

Turner concurred. “Value based pricing is key,” he said. “Freemium is a great way to expose everyone to these technologies. We've had a freemium model since 2009 and seen more than 40,000 developers across the world start incorporating cognition into their applications to build smarter apps and services.”


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