IBM Launches Watson-Powered Data Kits for Hospitality Industry

Watson Data Kits provide companies with pre-vetted, machine-readable, industry-specific data that can enable them to scale artificial intelligence across their businesses.


LAS VEGAS—In the latest illustration as to how IBM is installing Watson as the virtual beating heart of its entire franchise, the company at the Think 2018 conference on March 20 launched a set of tools called Watson Data Kits, which are designed to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence applications for enterprises.

Watson Data Kits aim to provide companies in multiple industries with pre-vetted, machine-readable, industry-specific data that can enable them to scale artificial intelligence across their business.

These kits, which are to become available within the next several weeks, initially will be used first in the travel, transportation and food industries, offering travel points of interest and food menus, respectively.

The kits basically tee up curated data streams for use by line-of-business enterprise users in daily production, saving valuable time for data scientists and analysts.

Saves Time for Data Scientists

Data scientists currently spend about 80 percent of their time collecting, organizing and mining data to glean actionable insights, rather than writing algorithms, IBM said. This makes it difficult for line-of-business employees to implement badly needed AI technology at scale. By helping to streamline and accelerate the development process for data scientists and AI engineers, companies can more quickly extract valuable insights to be used for market advantage.

Developed with Triposo, an IBM data provider, the Watson Data Kit for travel points of interest will provide airlines, hotel brands, online travel agencies and others with constantly updated, point-of-interest data to help them create more useful and effective experiences for travelers. It will contain more than 300,000 points of interest in 100 categories, IBM said.

Companies within the travel and transportation industry can use the kits to more easily build AI-powered web and mobile experiences to help consumers find fun and interesting things to do in their destination city. For example, a hospitality company could use the Watson Data Kit for travel points of interest to train the AI powering the chatbot within its mobile application, recommending personalized destinations and attractions based on a customer's preferences.

700,000 Restaurant Menus in Food Kit

The Watson Data Kit for food menus contains 700,000 restaurant menus in 21,000 U.S. cities, providing AI developers with content for apps that can help users find the menu item, type of cuisine, location and price they want near them. The kit is designed to take a user deeper than the restaurant level, enabling menu choices and prices to be compared side-by-side for particular interests such as organic, soul food, and gluten-free.

For example, the Watson Data Kit for food menus can be integrated into a car's navigation system and could support the system in providing on-the-spot, voice-activated directions to the closest bakery that sells gluten-free muffins.

To learn more about Watson Data Kits, go here.

IBM Think 2018 continues through March 22.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...