IBM Expands Watson Cognitive Computing Ecosystem

IBM has expanded its Watson ecosystem with new partnerships, cognitive computing apps and services.

IBM's Watson

IBM announced a major expansion of the ecosystem for its Watson cognitive computing technology.

At an event yesterday in New York City, Big Blue announced new commercial partnerships and cognitive computing apps and services to advance the adoption of Watson technologies. IBM also announced new partner-led client engagements to apply the power of Watson to transform industries and professions.

"We realized early on how important this ecosystem would be in bringing Watson to every corner of the globe and it's inspiring to see our partners take us into entirely new and interesting spaces," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM Watson, in a statement. "We continue to invest in both external and internal innovation to further this momentum, whether that’s through acquisitions like AlchemyAPI, direct investments through our seed fund, or new breakthroughs by IBM Research."

The IBM event, known as the World of Watson, highlighted a number of new partnerships, in-market apps, partner-led client engagements, and cognitive computing apps and services, including Watson powered apps and technologies from Talkspace, Go Moment, Decibel and Epic; client engagements with Line Hotel, Centura Health, and Aberdeen Veterinary Clinic; content partnerships with the Associated Press and others to expand Watson's knowledge base; and the AlchemyData service to aggregate, analyze and organize historical news and editorial data.

IBM has welcomed more than 270 new commercial partners to the Watson Ecosystem. They join a community of tens of thousands of developers, entrepreneurs and other enthusiasts who have created thousands of apps via the Watson Zone on Bluemix—IBM's Platform as a Service (PaaS) that enables any user to tap into over 100 development tools, which include Watson services, to rapidly build, deploy and manage apps across any cloud environment.

IBM said Decibel is changing the way people discover and enjoy new music through MusicGeek, an app powered by IBM Watson. MusicGeek will use Watson analytics to identify musical connections and trends from publications, blogs and social media. It combines those insights with Decibel's data to provide users with new song and artist recommendations.

In the oil and gas industry, energy companies face an increasing challenge in keeping pace with regulatory guidelines. The legal requirements to operate refineries and chemical plants run to many thousands of pages. Technicians tasked with keeping the systems running are required to know almost as much about the law as they do about engineering. Arria NLG's Polus solution, powered by IBM Watson, allows operations staff to generate reports automatically from the systems they monitor, and directly query legislation to get the answers they need. Time is saved, risks are mitigated, and compliance is assured.

Meanwhile, in veterinary medicine, LifeLearn has produced Sofie, a mobile app powered by IBM Watson that helps veterinarians identify potential conditions and practice evidence-based medicine in the treatment of animals. The Aberdeen Veterinary Clinic is one of the first practices to adopt Sofie to enhance point-of-care decisions for its patients. Aberdeen's veterinarians simply access the "Ask Sofie" tab, where they can type in simple, direct questions based on initial patient consultations.

Go Moment is using Watson to power its mobile guest engagement app, Rev1. Rev1 uses Watson's natural language processing and Q&A capabilities to help hotel concierge and front desk staff quickly address guest needs and inquiries. The Line Hotel in Los Angeles is one of the first to offer the new platform, which went live in March.

In the mental health space, Talkspace is using Watson to better match patients with licensed therapists. Once a prospective patient has opted in, the new online platform gives therapists insights about their personality, thinking style and emotional stress prior to providing clinical decision support and during consultations.