IBM today announced it will establish the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to the development and commercialisation of cloud-delivered cognitive innovations.
The move signifies a strategic shift by IBM to accelerate into the marketplace a new class of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning, and discover answers and insights to complex questions from massive amounts of big data.
The company will invest more than $1 billion into the Watson Group, focusing on development and research and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market.
This will include $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM’s recently launched ecosystem of start-ups and businesses that are building a new class of cognitive apps powered by Watson.
IBM is introducing three new Watson services delivered over the cloud. The first, Watson Discovery Advisor, is designed to accelerate and strengthen research and development projects in industries such as pharmaceutical, publishing and biotechnology.
The second, Watson Analytics, delivers visualized big data insights, based on questions posed in natural language by any business user.
The third offering, IBM Watson Explorer, helps users across an enterprise uncover and share data-driven insights more easily, while empowering organisations launch big data initiatives faster.
'Watson is the solution to today’s influx of information, delivered from the cloud and ready to be the ultimate advisor for faster, more accurate decisions,' said Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group.
'By bringing a new generation of Watson-powered services to the marketplace, IBM is transforming industries and professions. These new cognitive computing innovations are designed to augment users’ knowledge, be it the researcher exploring genetic data to create new therapies or a business executive who needs evidence-based insights to make a crucial decision.'
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% improvement in performance, and 90% smaller – IBM has shrunk Watson from the size of a master bedroom to three stacked pizza boxes.
Named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, IBM Watson was developed in IBM’s Research labs. 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 posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence is transforming decision making across a variety of industries.