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January 09, 2014

IBM is making a multi-billion bet on Watson Artificial Intelligence for a Siri for Science and Business

This is IBM attempting to use enterprise artificial intelligence to accelerate technology in science, medicine and business. If they succeed this could be the first real artificial intelligence acceleration of technological development and they are attempting to enhance the productivity of science and business. It is a huge lift that is being attempted and it would not be a fast iteration of improvement. It is not like the vision of vastly greater than human level artificial intelligence setting off an explosion of intelligence.

IBM unveiled three new Watson services delivered over the cloud.

1) Watson Discovery Advisor, is designed to accelerate and strengthen research and development projects in industries such as pharmaceutical, publishing and biotechnology.

2) Watson Analytics, delivers visualized Big Data insights, based on questions posed in natural language by any business user.

3) IBM Watson Explorer, helps users across an enterprise uncover and share data-driven insights more easily, while empowering organizations launch Big Data initiatives faster.

The services are being developed and will be offered by the new IBM Watson Group, announced today at an event in New York City. The Watson Group will accelerate a new class of cognitive computing services, software and apps into the marketplace that analyze, improve by learning, and discover answers and insights to complex questions from massive amounts of disparate data.

IBM is investing $1 billion into the Watson Business Group and $100 million in venture capital earmarks toward new Watson apps, and a shiny new Watson headquarters in New York's East Village neighborhood.

IBM wants to transform Watson into a Siri for business. The platform is designed for users to ask Watson questions, with Watson giving answers--such as medical diagnoses for hard-to-diagnose diseases, or the likely outcome of business decisions--on the spot.





Watson to Transform R and D with Big Data Discovery

In the race to bring potentially life saving new treatments to market, medical and pharmaceutical businesses are hindered by high costs and slow timelines. The top 1,000 research and development companies are spending $603 billion on research, according to Booz and Company. Meanwhile, it takes 8.5 years on average for a pharmaceutical treatment to go from initial research stage into practice, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

The Discovery Advisor will call upon Watson’s cognitive intelligence to save researchers the time needed to pore though millions of articles, journals and studies. After quickly reading through, determining context and synthesizing vast amounts of data, it will help users pinpoint connections within the data that can strengthen and accelerate their work.

Nearly three years after its triumph on the television quiz show Jeopardy!, IBM has advanced Watson from a game playing innovation into a commercial technology. Now delivered from the cloud and able to power new consumer and enterprise apps, Watson is 24 times faster, smarter with a 2,400 percent improvement in performance, and 90 percent smaller – IBM has shrunk Watson from the size of a master bedroom to three stacked pizza boxes.

IBM is reengineering Watson to be deployed on Softlayer, a cloud computing firm IBM purchased for $2 billion in 2013. Watson's lack of integration with Softlayer is reportedly a sore spot for IBM customers; as of press time, no date is available for the Softlayer integration. Wall Street Journal reporter Spencer E. Ante also pointed out that “Watson's basic learning process requires IBM engineers to master the technicalities of a customer's business--and translate those requirements into usable software. The process has been arduous.”

AI for banking - but not programmed trading for big companies but advice for the 1%

DBS Bank and IBM today announced an agreement in which DBS will deploy IBM’s Watson cognitive computing innovation to deliver a next- generation client experience. This collaboration is part of an ongoing journey by DBS to shape the future of banking.

For a start, DBS intends to apply Watson to its wealth management business to improve the advice and experience delivered to affluent customers. Watson is a cloud-based technology that can process enormous amounts of information with the ability to understand and learn from each interaction at unprecedented speed, representing a significant shift in the ability for organizations to quickly analyze, understand and respond to vast amounts of Big Data.

DBS’ implementation of IBM’s cloud-based Watson Engagement Advisor solution – targeted for rollout in the second half of the year – comes as the bank continues to execute on strategy to be a leading regional wealth player. DBS will look to progressively deploy these capabilities to its other businesses over time.



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