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.
IBM Expands Watson Cognitive Computing Ecosystem
Also in the healthcare space, Welltok, a member of the new Watson Health ecosystem and one of IBM’s first direct investments to seed Watson innovation, is helping Centura Health give individuals with heart conditions personalized guidance to help manage and optimize their health via its CaféWell Concierge app. Powered by Watson, the app gives consumers relevant and actionable recommendations based on their health conditions, interests and goals.
Another Watson healthcare ecosystem partner, hc1.com, is empowering healthcare professionals to deliver personalized patient care and service through hc1 Patient Insights, an app powered by IBM Watson that analyzes patient interactions to tailor future engagement based on personality insights. Eskenazi Health, an Indianapolis based health system, will leverage the app to acquire and retain patients based on patient sentiment profiles.
“Where I think Watson should work extremely well is in areas or industries where already large and still rapidly growing information sources make it difficult for professionals to get and keep on top of the latest developments,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. “Healthcare is a terrific example of this, and one complicated—in the US, anyway—by the rapid influx of new patients who have gained insurance under the Affordable Care Act. But the same issue can be seen in other countries where a growing middle class is placing strains on traditional services. If it works as IBM and healthcare partners and developers envision, Watson could make a real difference in the health and quality of life for, potentially, tens of millions of people.”
In engineering, ENGEO is using Watson for its GoFetchCode app to bring expertise to engineers and help them make critical decisions. Whether in developed countries, the developing world, or following a natural disaster, practitioners need to have access to expertise around infrastructure. Leveraging Watson’s cognitive capabilities, users can tap into engineering expertise, asking questions in natural language with answers at their fingertips.
For its part, IBM is continuing to expand Watson’s knowledge base relevant to specific professional domains. Moreover, IBM continuously expands the Watson Content Marketplace, bringing together diverse third-party data ranging from general knowledge to industry-specific content. This information is then used by IBM clients, partners, developers and others in their Watson powered apps and services. To date, the marketplace features partner content from Wikivoyage, Centers for Disease Control, Cancer.gov, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and others.
Now, IBM is adding new content contributors to the marketplace across a variety of domains including the Associated Press, Barchart.com, Morningstar, RxWiki and WAND. These partners are already working with Watson to expand its knowledge base across editorial news archives, wealth management, financial services, oncology, medication, engineering and other domains.
In addition to enhancing Watson’s corpus of knowledge, the Watson Content Store gives these partners the ability to shift from being passively organized among the world’s information to actively providing new insights about the world through cognitive computing. The new partner content can be requested on the Watson Content Marketplace Website.
To expand the tools used by the growing Watson developer community to build a wide range of Watson-powered apps, IBM also announced the general availability of AlchemyData, a set of cognitive services that allow developers to build a new class of apps that aggregate, analyze and organize high volume news data. By aggregating news and blog content from more than 75,000 sources, and augmenting it with natural language processing (NLP), these apps will be able to gather signals, automate once manual business processes and perform trend analysis. IBM recently acquired AlchemyAPI, a pioneer in artificial intelligence-based text and image analysis services.
With AlchemyData News, now available through the Watson Developer Cloud, businesses bypass the manual process of reading and cataloguing articles. Instead, they can now query historical and real-time news and blog content enriched with NLP to understand trends, identify key events such as company acquisitions, improve advertising performance, and automate the search and retrieval of content.
The AlchemyData service 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, in order to automate business processes, make more timely and informed business decisions, and respond to current events in real-time.