Posts Tagged ‘Watson’

The Future of Intelligent Virtual Assistants? Consolidation

Photo of Nova SpivackSerial entrepreneur and thought leader Nova Spivack recently wrote for Gigaom, “When we talk about the future of artificial intelligence (AI), the discussion often focuses on the advancements and capabilities of the technology, or even the risks and opportunities inherent in the potential cultural implications. What we frequently overlook, however, is the future of AI as a business. IBM Watson’s recent acquisition and deployment of Cognea signals an important shift in the AI and intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) market, and offers an indication of both of the potentials of AI as a business and the areas where the market still needs development. The AI business is about to be transformed by consolidation. Consolidation carries real risks, but it is generally a sign of technological maturation. And it’s about time, as AI is no longer simply a side project, or an R&D euphemism. AI is finally center stage.”

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Can IBM’s New Smart Chip Think Like a Human?

ibmTim Beyers of The Motley Fool recently wrote, “For years, International Business Machines has been dabbling with what it calls ‘cognitive computing.’ Now the company that brought you the Watson supercomputer believes it has a chip that can think like the human brain. Called TrueNorth, the chip draws on some 5.4 billion interconnected transistors to form a vast network not unlike the neural networks found in the human brain. That’s a potentially massive breakthrough, especially for Internet-connected mobile devices that encounter new data every second. We’re likely to be years away from mass production of the TrueNorth chip. And even then, experts quoted in this article in The New York Times seem to be split on its potential impact.” Read more

What’s The Word On Enterprise Search?

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee/ Flickr

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee/ Flickr

Context is king – at least when it comes to enterprise search. “Organizations are no longer satisfied with a list of search results — they want the single best result,” wrote Gartner in its latest Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Search report, released in mid-July. The report also says that the research firm estimates the enterprise search market to reach $2.6 billion in 2017.

The leaders list this time around includes Google with its Search Appliance, which Google touts as benefitting from Google.com’s continually evolving technology, thanks to machine learning from billions of search queries. Also on that part of the quadrant is HP Autonomy, which Gartner says is “exceptionally good at handling searches driven by queries that include surmised or contextual information;”  and Coveo and Perceptive Software, both of which are quoted as offering “considerable flexibility for the design of conversational search capabilities, to reduce the ambiguity of results.”

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USAA Turns to IBM’s Watson for Online Customer Assistance

WatsonSuzanne Kattau of Silicon Angle reports, “IBM and the United Services Automobile Association (USAA), a financial services provider for the military community, today announced they have teamed up to offer IBM’s Watson Engagement Advisor in a pilot program to assist USAA members. USAA provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 10.4 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, IBM Watson uses natural language processing and analytics, and can process information similar to the way people think. This helps organizations to quickly analyze, understand and respond to vast amounts of Big Data. IBM’s Watson Engagement Advisor analyzed USAA’s business data and now understands more than 3,000 documents on topics exclusive to military transitions.” Read more

DATAVERSITY and SemanticWeb.com Launch Cognitive Computing Forum

Cognitive COmputig Forum logoDATAVERSITY™ and SemanticWeb.com have announced the first Cognitive Computing Forum in San Jose, California, on August 20-21, 2014. This two-day conference was developed to help attendees understand the new world of Cognitive Analytics, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Reasoning and next generation Artificial Intelligence. Visit www.cognitivecomputingforum.com to view speakers, the agenda, registration options, and to learn more about this unique event.

Cognitive systems are the next stage in the evolution of smarter computing and are often described as emulating the human brain. Built upon recent advances in technologies such as natural language processing, machine learning, sensors, and neural networks, and combined with massive computational power, cognitive computing promises to bring staggering improvements to applications. Among the biggest improvements are expected in predictive analytics, robot intelligence, computer-based reasoning, and human annotation. New technologies and companies are on the horizon, and these top technologies will be represented and available to attendees throughout the event.

DATAVERSITY has enlisted a world-class group of speakers to lead the in-depth presentations at the conference. Tom Mitchell, Professor of AI and Learning at Carnegie Mellon University; Chris Welty, Research Scientist at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center; Ted Dunning, Chief Application Architect at MapR, and Google Fellow R.V. Guhaare among the industry experts on the schedule.

Discover the potential of Cognitive Computing for your organization and register your staff for this event. Register two staff members from the same organization and the third is free. See details at www.cognitivecomputingforum.com on this and other discounts available now.

The inaugural Cognitive Computing Forum will be co-located with the 10th Annual Semantic Technology & Business Conference and the fourth annual NoSQL Now! conference.

If you are a member of the press and would like to attend, please request a Press Pass by contacting Samantha Taylor at sam@dataversity.net.

 

 

Read the full press release here.

What’s Next For Watson Mobile Apps?

ibmwatsonlogoIBM’s quest to build Watson into a business (see our story here) took another step last week when the vendor announced the winners of its 2014 Watson Mobile Developer Challenge to create consumer and business apps with its cognitive computing capabilities.

The winners were GenieMD,  Majestyk Apps,  and Red Ant, whose solutions were focused respectively on the health care, educational and retail markets. But twenty-two other companies with innovative ideas of their own also made it to the finalist stage

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“Watt-sun” Hopes to Improve Solar Power with Machine Learning

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Katie Fehrenbacher of GigaOM recently asked, “What happens when you leverage technologies like IBM’s artificial intelligence engine Watson for clean power? The answer is the awesomely named Watt-sun project, a machine learning platform that IBM Research has quietly been building over the last year, and which is now highly accurate at predicting how cloud cover, weather and atmosphere (among many other data points) affect the way solar panel systems operate.Solar forecasting has been around as long as solar panels have been plugged into the grid. But the forecasting systems historically haven’t been all that accurate, given that so many factors can contribute to the amount of sunlight that’s able to descend from the sky and onto the solar panel and then get converted into electricity.” Read more

IBM Watson is Going to the Dermatologist

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Neal Ungerleider of Fast Company reports, “Big Blue wants you to get to know Watson better. And now that means you could soon encounter the super-computer in a most intimate place–your dermatologist’s office. Early last year IBM announced plans to invest $1 billion into its cognitive-computing platform Watson. That money included $100 million in venture capital for companies developing new ways to use Watson. Today IBM reveals that one of the companies they are investing in will bring artificial intelligence into dermatologists’ offices. Modernizing Medicine, a Florida-based firm which produces iPad software for electronic medical record-keeping, is partnering with IBM to integrate Watson into their software package for dermatologists.” Read more

The Smart Machines Nipping at Watson’s Heels

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Jeff Bertolucci of Information Week recently asked, “So what’s a smart machine? As a computing model designed to analyze growing volumes of unstructured data, including video, images, and human language, a smart machine, or cognitive computing system, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to ‘sense, predict, infer and, in some ways, think,’ according to IBM. In a recent report, Cool Vendors in Smart Machines, 2014, Gartner named three well known examples of smart machines, including IBM’s Watson, Google Now, and Apple’s Siri, and predicted the technology will gain wider acceptance this decade. It also spotlighted a few up-and-coming vendors in the genre, including AlchemyAPI, Digital Reasoning, Highspot, Lumiata, and Narrative Science.” Read more

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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