Posts Tagged ‘Watson’

IBM’s Watson Group Invests In Fluid And Its Cognitive Assistant For Online Shoppers

watsonpixnwqEarlier this year The Semantic Web Blog covered the launch of the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit to create an ecosystem around Watson Cloud-delivered cognitive apps and services. One of the partners announced at that time was Fluid Inc., which is developing a personal shopper for ecommerce that leverages Watson. Today, the Watson Group is pushing that partnership forward by drawing from the $100 million that IBM has earmarked for direct investments in cognitive apps in order to invest in Fluid and in helping deliver what it says will be “the first-ever cognitive assistant for online shoppers into the marketplace.”

At the previous event in January, Fluid CEO Kent Deverell discussed and demonstrated the Expert Personal Shopper, now known as the Fluid Expert Shopper (XPS). Still in development, it takes advantage of Watson’s ability to understand the context of consumers’ questions in natural language, draw upon what it learns from users via its interactions with them, and match that against insights uncovered from huge amounts of data around a product or category – including a brand’s product information, user reviews and online expert publications — to deliver a personalized e-commerce shopping experience via desktops, tablets and smartphones.

The first Fluid XPS prototype is being developed for customer outdoor apparel and equipment retailer, The North Face, which Deverell showcased at the previous event.

At the IBM event in January, Deverell painted a picture of the difference between the experience consumers have with a great sales person vs. traditional ecommerce. Good salespeople, he said, “are personal, proactive conversational,” whereas e-commerce is data-driven. He told the audience at the event that Fluid wants to combine the best of both worlds. “A great sales associate makes you feel good about your purchase,” he said, and he envisions Fluid XPS doing the same through natural conversation, the ability to learn about the users’ needs, “to go as deep as you need to and resurface and provide relevant recommendations.”

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Last Day to Enter the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge

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NEW YORK, April 10, 2014 / PRNewswire / — In my last blog entry, I covered the announcement of the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge. The Watson Mobile Developer Challenge is designed to catalyze mobile developers to explore the opportunity around mobile cognitive computing – bringing the power of Watson to a smartphone or other mobile device. Entrants submit proposals for mobile apps, and the finalists – to be announced at IBM Impact 2014 - will receive access to IBM Interactive Studios experts and Watson APIs in order to bring their vision to reality. Read more

Watson and the Future of Cognitive Computing

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Alex Philp recently wrote for IBM Data Magazine, “The Watson cognitive computing engine is rapidly evolving to recognize geometry and geography, enabling it to understand complex spatial relationships. As Watson combines spatial with temporal analytics and natural language processing, it is expected to derive associations and correlations among streaming data sets evolving from the Internet of Things. Once these associations and correlations occur, Watson can combine the wherewhat, and when cognitive dimensions into causal explanations about why. Putting the where into Watson represents a key evolutionary milestone into understanding cause-effect relationships and extracting meaningful insights about natural and synthetic global phenomena.” Read more

Why Artificial Intelligence is the Next Tech Trend

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Dominic Basulto of The Washington Post recently wrote, “For more than 50 years, we’ve been hearing about the promise of artificial intelligence and intelligent machines, but most of the big success stories to date – the IBM Watsons of the world – have been the result of massive efforts by universities and corporate R&D labs rather than by emerging start-ups. That could change soon, as artificial intelligence shows signs of becoming the next big trend for tech start-ups in Silicon Valley. First of all, there’s the anecdotal evidence about deals getting done for promising new AI startups. One of the most talked about VC deals in March, for example, was a $40 million round for Vicarious FPC, an artificial intelligence company that had so much hype around it that the biggest names of the tech world – including Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk (and Ashton Kutcher) – lined up to participate.” Read more

The New York Genome Center And IBM Watson Group Announce Collaboration To Advance Genomic Medicine

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NEW YORK, March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The New York Genome Center (NYGC) and IBM today announced an initiative to accelerate a new era of genomic medicine with the use of IBM’s Watson cognitive system. IBM and NYGC will test a unique Watson prototype designed specifically for genomic research as a tool to help oncologists deliver more personalized care to cancer patients.

 

NYGC and its medical partner institutions plan to initially evaluate Watson’s ability to help oncologists develop more personalized care to patients with glioblastoma, an aggressive and malignant brain cancer that kills more than 13,000 people in the U.S. each year. Read more

The Web Is 25 — And The Semantic Web Has Been An Important Part Of It

web25NOTE: This post was updated at 5:40pm ET.

Today the Web celebrates its 25th birthday, and we celebrate the Semantic Web’s role in that milestone. And what a milestone it is: As of this month, the Indexed Web contains at least 2.31 billion pages, according to WorldWideWebSize.  

The Semantic Web Blog reached out to the World Wide Web Consortium’s current and former semantic leads to get their perspective on the roads The Semantic Web has traveled and the value it has so far brought to the Web’s table: Phil Archer, W3C Data Activity Lead coordinating work on the Semantic Web and related technologies; Ivan Herman, who last year transitioned roles at the W3C from Semantic Activity Lead to Digital Publishing Activity Lead; and Eric Miller, co-founder and president of Zepheira and the leader of the Semantic Web Initiative at the W3C until 2007.

While The Semantic Web came to the attention of the wider public in 2001, with the publication in The Scientific American of The Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler and Ora Lassila, Archer points out that “one could argue that the Semantic Web is 25 years old,” too. He cites Berners-Lee’s March 1989 paper, Information Management: A Proposal, that includes a diagram that shows relationships that are immediately recognizable as triples. “That’s how Tim envisaged it from Day 1,” Archer says.

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IBM Launches Watson Mobile Developer Challenge

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Jennifer LeClaire of News Factor reports, “Big Blue wants business users and consumers to put the power of its Watson supercomputer in the palms of their hands. At Mobile World Congress, IBM launched the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, a global competition to encourage developers to create mobile consumer and business apps powered by Watson. Using natural language processing and analytics, Watson processes information akin to how people think, representing a major shift in an organization’s ability to quickly analyze, understand and respond to big data. Watson’s ability to answer complex questions with speed, accuracy and confidence is transforming decision making across a variety of industries, including health care, financial services and retail.” Read more

IBM Invests in Welltok, a Health Platform Using the Power of Watson

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Dan Primack of Fortune reports, “Last month, IBM committed to invest $100 million in tech startups that are leveraging Watson, the company’s famed cognitive computing platform. [Wednesday], IBM [announced] that the first portfolio company in its ‘Watson Fund’ is Welltok, a Denver-based health optimization platform. IBM is participating in Welltok’s new $22 million Series C funding round, which is being led by venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. Also investing is Qualcomm Ventures and existing Welltok shareholders Emergence Capital Partners, InterWest Partners, Miramar Venture Partners and Okapi Venture Capital.” Read more

Watson is Heading to Africa to Address Pressing Problems

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BBC News reports, “The vast brainpower of IBM’s supercomputer Watson is to be utilised in Africa to attempt to solve some of the continent’s most pressing problems. Better agriculture, education and health are just three of the improvements the system could bring, said the firm. Watson uses artificial intelligence to analyse huge amounts of data and can also understand human language. Experts said such a system could help the African economy ‘leapfrog’ others. The project dubbed, Lucy, after the earliest known human ancestor fossil which was found in east Africa, will cost $100m (£61m) and take 10 years to complete.” Read more

The Future of Artificial Intelligence & The Semantic Web

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Charles Silver of Algebraix recently shared his opinions on artificial intelligence‘s recently revamped popularity and growing plausibility. Silver writes, “Just a few months ago, the phrase ‘artificial intelligence’ suddenly started being tossed around presentations, blogs, headlines, seminars — even a Facebook earnings meeting — as if it were the most benign concept in the world. AI could actually win an Oscar, thanks to Scarlett Johansson’s riveting voice-only performance as Samantha, the AI-enabled OS in the new movie ‘Her’. One reason for AI’s new respectability: Big steps have been made in solving the problems of artificial intelligence, especially in speech recognition and concept communication. Just think about how casually we now accept machines that can understand and talk, from Apple’s Siri to IBM’s ‘Jeopardy’-winning Watson.” Read more

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