IBM's Watson Services Power the Cognitive Computing Era

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-07-17
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    IBM's Watson Services Power the Cognitive Computing Era
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    IBM's Watson Services Power the Cognitive Computing Era

    Darryl K. Taft
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    IBM Speech-to-Text Service
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    IBM Speech-to-Text Service

    The Speech to Text service vastly improves the accuracy of speech-recognition technology, providing more opportunity to discover previously hidden insights in conversational, human-to-human speech. In addition to providing natural speech interfaces to applications, the API can be used to produce transcripts from speech that can be converted into text from multi-media files or conversational streams, capturing information for various business use cases. What's unique about the service is the combination of breadth of language support (U.S. English, Spanish and Japanese) and telephony model support.
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    IBM Text to Speech Service
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    IBM Text to Speech Service

    The Text to Speech service understands text and natural language to generate synthesized audio output, complete with appropriate cadence and intonation. This allows developers to interact more intuitively with mobile apps, making their Web, mobile and Internet of things (IoT) applications talk with a consistent voice across different interfaces, which will become increasingly important as users continue to interact with devices. Text to Speech synthesizes natural-sounding speech from text in U.S. English, U.K. English, Spanish, French, Italian and German.
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    IBM Watson Language Translation Service
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    IBM Watson Language Translation Service

    The Language Translation service enables the high-quality translation and identification of the language in which the textual input was written. The service works across multiple domains, including News (targeted at news articles and transcripts, it translates English to and from French, Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic); Conversation (targeted at conversational colloquialisms, it translates English to and from French, Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic); and Patents (targeted at technical and legal terminology, it translates Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese or Korean to English).
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    IBM Watson Tradeoff Analytics
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    IBM Watson Tradeoff Analytics

    The Tradeoff Analytics service helps users optimize their 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. Tradeoff Analytics uses Pareto filtering techniques to identify the optimal alternatives across multiple criteria. It then uses various analytical and visual approaches to help decision-makers explore the pros and cons of their alternatives.
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    IBM Watson Personality Insights
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    IBM Watson Personality Insights

    The IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to infer cognitive and social characteristics, including Big Five, Values and Needs, from communications that the user makes available, such as email, text messages, tweets, forum posts and more. By deriving cognitive and social preferences, the service helps users understand, connect to, and communicate with other people on a more personalized level. One of IBM's partners—a developer with clients in the retail space—is using the service to understand the personality characteristics of shoppers providing an added layer of knowledge and insights about customers.
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    AlchemyLanguage
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    AlchemyLanguage

    AlchemyLanguage offers 13 API functions as part of its text analysis service, each of which uses sophisticated natural language processing techniques to analyze content and add high-level semantic information. One of the services is a keyword-extraction facility capable of extracting keywords from any text, HTML or Web-based content. The service employs statistical algorithms and natural language processing to analyze data, extracting keywords that can be used to index content, generate tag clouds and more. Other services include sentiment analysis, relation extraction and text extraction.
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    AlchemyVision
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    AlchemyVision

    AlchemyVision employs deep learning technology to understand a picture's content and context. The services sees complex visual scenes in their entirety—without needing any textual clues—leveraging a holistic approach to understanding the multiple objects and surroundings in common smartphone photos and online images. This service gives e-commerce vendors the ability to track and measure everything in a campaign, including the images used, giving brands a competitive advantage when targeting customers and driving sales.
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    AlchemyData News
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    AlchemyData News

    With AlchemyData News, businesses can bypass the manual process of reading and cataloging articles. Instead, they can query historical and real-time news and blog content enriched with national language processing (NLP) to understand trends, identify key events (such as company acquisitions), improve advertising performance, and automate the search and retrieval of content. The News API curates and organizes hundreds of thousands of published news stories from reputable content providers. It then allows users to build apps and products that query the data, along with NLP enrichments, to unlock new insights.
 

Since IBM opened Watson to the world via the Watson Developer Cloud, tens of thousands of enterprising tech enthusiasts have begun creating apps that are powering the cognitive computing era. IBM has made several new cognitive services commercially available to its developer community and recently announced the general availability of three additional Watson APIs—IBM Watson Language Translation, IBM Speech to Text and IBM Text to Speech. These services will advance the way cognitive apps understand the spoken and written word in multiple languages and allow these systems to communicate in more natural ways. Most notably, the Speech to Text service can be applied beyond typical human-to-machine scenarios to transcribe complex human-to-human communication, opening up more opportunities to find valuable insights hidden in conversational interactions. Plus, the services can be used on any REST-compatible platform. The speech and language services are part of a portfolio of more than 20 Watson services that clients, developers, partners, students and entrepreneurs can access. This eWEEK slide show takes a look at the new IBM Watson services for building a new class of cognitive apps.

 
 
 
 
 
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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