IBM's Watson Plays a New Role as an Application Development Platform

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-11-19 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

IBM is opening up its Watson cognitive computing technology to developers by providing access to Watson as a development platform in the cloud. Watson, which is perhaps most famous for trouncing human competitors on the "Jeopardy" game show, represents the first wave of a new era of cognitive computing in which IBM hopes to hold the industry lead. The technology has been applied in health care, financial services, retail and other sectors, but for the first time, IBM will open up the platform broadly. "This is a day we've been looking forward to—opening the power of Watson to the innovators of the world," said John Gordon, vice president of IBM's Watson solutions division. "People can use Watson's deep insight to transform all of us across the planet. This will be a major competitive advantage for folks." Beginning in 2014, IBM will offer developers access to a more potent version—240 percent more powerful—of Watson than the one that whipped up on humans on "Jeopardy" two years ago, the company said. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at new apps and what Watson has in store for developers.

 
 
 
  • IBM's Watson Plays a New Role as an Application Development Platform

    by Darryl K. Taft
    1 - IBM's Watson Plays a New Role as an Application Development Platform
  • Watson Goes to Developers

    Watson, powered by IBM POWER7, is a workload-optimized system that can answer questions posed in natural language over a nearly unlimited range of knowledge. IBM will begin making its Watson technology available to developers in 2014.
    2 - Watson Goes to Developers
  • The Watson Cloud

    IBM will be launching the IBM Watson Developers Cloud, a cloud-hosted marketplace where application providers of all sizes and industries will be able to tap into resources for developing Watson-powered apps. This will include a developer toolkit, educational materials and access to Watson's application programming interface (API).
    3 - The Watson Cloud
  • The Watson Store

    IBM will offer a platform for testing, training and deploying Watson-powered apps to help application providers prepare their cognitive apps for success in the marketplace. Once the app is refined and ready, app providers, ranging from startups to established businesses, can market their apps to business customers and consumers.
    4 - The Watson Store
  • Partners Play a Role

    Partners will play a key role in IBM's strategy to open up Watson to developers, including providing training. IBM will team up with a set of talent partners to help developers who require assistance with the Watson technology.
    5 - Partners Play a Role
  • Putting Interns to Use

    Early on in the development of a programmable platform for Watson, IBM assigned a team of computer science interns to try to embed Watson into their applications. This helped the company figure out how to deliver a platform for professional developers.
    6 - Putting Interns to Use
  • The Community Response

    Michael Rhodin (center), senior vice president of IBM's Software Solutions Group, explores new IBM Watson-powered apps with Jeff Margolis, CEO of Welltok, and Brooke Aguilar, vice president of global business development at Fluid. For the first time, IBM will open up Watson as a development platform in the cloud, for a worldwide community of software application providers to build a new generation of apps infused with Watson's cognitive computing intelligence.
    7 - The Community Response
  • Pioneered by Watson

    Jeff Margolis and Brooke Aguilar discuss their companies' new "powered by Watson" apps. A pioneer in the emerging field of social health management, Welltok has developed an app that will create intelligent health itineraries for consumers. These personalized itineraries, sponsored by health plans, health systems and health retailers, will include tailored activities, relevant content and condition management programs, and will reward users for engaging in healthy behaviors.
    8 - Pioneered by Watson
  • Welltok CafeWell Concierge

    Consumers who use Welltok's app—CafeWell Concierge, powered by IBM Watson—will participate in conversations about their health with Watson. By leveraging Watson's ability to learn from every interaction, the app will offer insights tailored to each individual's health needs.
    9 - Welltok CafeWell Concierge
  • MD Buyline Buys In

    Douglas Taylor, vice president of products at MD Buyline, discusses the company's new powered by IBM Watson app. The provider of supply chain solutions for hospitals and health care systems has developed an app to allow clinical and financial users to make real-time, informed decisions to improve quality, value, outcomes and patient satisfaction.
    10 - MD Buyline Buys In
  • MD Buyline's Hippocrates

    MD Buyline's new cognitive application, Hippocrates, powered by IBM Watson, will provide users with access to a helpful research assistant that provides fast, evidence-based recommendations from a wealth of data to help ensure medical organizations are making the best decisions for their physicians' and patients' needs.
    11 - MD Buyline's Hippocrates
  • Fluid Personal Shopper

    Brooke Aguilar demonstrates Fluid's powered by Watson app. Fluid, which builds online shopping experiences for retail businesses to drive customer engagement and conversion, has developed the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper, which calls upon Watson's ability to understand the nuances of human language and uncover answers from big data. Consumers who use Fluid's app will interact with rich media and dialogue with Watson, as their newfound "cognitive, expert personal shopper." The Fluid app incorporates the information users share and questions they ask to help them make smart, satisfying purchases.
    12 - Fluid Personal Shopper
  • Smartphone Q&A Capability

    This smartphone-accessible Welltok CafeWell application demonstrates the question-and-answer capability of IBM's programmable Watson technology.
    13 - Smartphone Q&A Capability
  • Watson Analysis and Considerations

    The Welltok CafeWell application illustrates what data Watson analyzes and considers to come up with answers to questions posed to it.
    14 - Watson Analysis and Considerations
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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