Using Watson to Boost Decision Making for Professionals

IBM Introduces MobileFirst for iOS Apps With Speech Interaction And Natural Language Processing

IBM Introduces MobileFirst for iOS Apps With Speech Interaction And Natural Language Processing
IBM MobileFirst for iOS Apps Put Cognitive Insights at the Fingertips of Professionals

Developers and professionals will soon garner a first-of-its-kind ability to combine enterprise mobile apps with IBM Watson for superior decision making after an announcement from IBM at IBM World of Watson.

IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps can now be integrated with a broad set of conversational and cognitive capabilities to help increase the productivity and improve the experience of enterprise employees.

IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps as well as custom-built iOS apps from IBM can now embed variety of Watson APIs to fit a client’s unique use case. As an example, with Watson-enabled speech interaction professionals can now control IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps with their voice, providing easy access to deeper insights that help improve the performance of their work. 

IBM Natural Language Processing, Watson Conversation and other Watson APIs have been optimized to work with the new iOS 10 speech framework. The combination of Watson, iOS and IBM services allows the apps to support conversational interaction, bringing deep insight to the end user so they can make more informed decisions. Apps are more convenient and even easier to use, offering a simple hands-free solution.

Watson services are delivered through IBM Cloud, so current and forthcoming cognitive capabilities can be easily integrated into IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps — even if a client has already rolled the apps out to its workforce. 

This new generation of apps takes advantage of latest cognitive innovations and technologies. IBM Research’s human language technologies lab houses researchers currently incubating the next version of Natural Language Processing as well as other speech recognition advancements that can be integrated into the made-for-business apps.

See also:
Enterprise Insights At Your Fingertips
Industries Overview: Essential Apps for the New Way to Work

IBM Watson Virtual Agent Brings New Conversational Capabilities To Developers

Watson Virtual Agent Helps Enhance How Businesses And Customers Communicate

Deep natural language processing capabilities that can be used to assist consumers

IBM just introduced Watson Virtual Agent, a cognitive conversational technology that allows businesses to simply build and deploy conversational agents. 

Watson Virtual Agent allows users – from startups and small businesses to enterprise – to easily and quickly build and train engagement bots from the cloud, harnessing the power of cognitive technologies.

The established model of creating a digital or virtual agent requires experienced developers with a highly specific skill set to create complex systems that rely on custom – and often cumbersome – rules.

Watson Virtual Agent helps accelerate users’ ability to deploy bots, including pre-trained cross-industry content, with minimal configuration, simplifying the process for both seasoned developers or users without formal technical training.

Companies like Staples and Autodesk are embracing services that go beyond simple, narrowly focused tools to sophisticated full-blown virtual agents, relying on deep natural language processing capabilities that can be used to assist consumers.

Watson services, like Watson Virtual Agent and the Watson Conversation API, draw on advances in natural language processing, machine learning and deep learning, gained from IBM Research innovations and strategic acquisitions.

These conversational capabilities join existing Watson services such as IBM Watson Tone Analyzer, Watson Speech to Text and Watson Text to Speech, offering users a full suite of cognitive capabilities to build conversational agents and other solutions.

Both Watson Virtual Agent and Watson Conversation are offered as cloud-based services, which allows for ongoing enhancements to content and capabilities. The services are available on the IBM Marketplace; and via the Watson Developer Cloud on Bluemix where a growing number of developers are tapping into cognitive capabilities to pilot, test and deploy new business ideas.

See also:
Engage and retain your customers: Announcing Watson Virtual Agent
Video: With Watson Virtual Agent, you can help your customers help themselves. Provide them with instantaneous, personalized support – wherever and whenever they need it.

IBM and Slack Partner To Bring The Power Of Watson To Developers

Developers: Make Slack's chat bot smarter with IBM Watson.
Developers: Make Slack’s chat bot smarter with IBM Watson.

IBM and Slack announced here at World of Watson 2016 that they are partnering to bring Watson to Slack’s global community of developers and enterprise users.

Drawing on the power of Slack’s digital workplace and the cognitive computing capabilities of Watson, developers will be able to create more offerings — including bots and other conversational inferences  — that will transform the platform’s user experience.

Developers can access the range of Watson services — such as Conversation, Sentiment Analysis or speech APIs — and build new tools for the platform with this enhanced cognitive functionality.

Highlights from the IBM and Slack partnership:

  • Slack Intends to Adopt Watson Conversation for Slackbot: Slack intends to adopt Watson Conversation as a technology that helps power its Slackbot — the platform’s popular customer service bot. This integration will improve the accuracy and efficiency of trouble-shooting on the platform, as the tool uses Watson machine learning and can become more accurate over time.
  • IBM Building Watson-Enabled Bot for IT and Network Operations: IBM is building a Watson-enabled Slack chatbot for IT and network operational incidents, so enterprise teams can more efficiently identify, address and fix these issues. The solution provides conversational interactions and resolution recommendations between a Slack channel and traditional Cloud, IT, and Network Operations tools. As the bot gathers data from previous conversations, it can more quickly and accurately address similar issues over time. Primary users of the tool will be subject matter experts, developers, engineers and application owners involved in supporting complex technology and application environments.
  • IBM Professionals Use Slack for Solutions Development: In tandem with this collaboration, a number of IBM groups are tapping into Slack. Teams such as marketing, design, and engineering have begun using the technology as part of their work to create new cognitive solutions that can be used on the Slack platform. They will also make their learnings from building these solutions available to developers.
  • IBM and Slack will Offer Onboarding Resources for Developers: IBM and Slack will offer tools that make it easier for developers to integrate into Slack. IBM will release a Botkit Watson middleware plugin that allows the Watson Conversation service to talk to Slack and other messaging channels. The plugin will be made available on Github for easy access. Additionally, the companies will offer an Application Starter Kit that provides resources to developers for getting started, such as code and step-by-step instructions for building on the Slack platform.

“Slack and IBM share the same vision for how Ai can transform workplace efficiency, and we recognize the important role developers are playing as they tap into cognitive technology to improve this part of our lives,” said David Kenny, general manager, IBM Watson. “By combining Slack’s digital workplace capabilities and Watson’s cognitive computing power, one of our first steps is to make it easier for developers to build cognitive-enabled bots and solutions for the Slack platform. From there, we think there will be many more ways we can collaborate and help propel productivity in new ways.”

IBM introduces the power of machine learning with Watson Data Platform

New systems deliver world’s fastest data ingestion engine and machine learning to accelerate AI for business

According to a recent Harvard Business Review survey, 80 percent of organizations believe the inability of teams to work together on common data is an inhibitor to an organization’s ability to achieve business objectives in a timely fashion. So, at IBM World of Watson 2016, IBM announced the new Watson Data Platform to help companies gain more valuable insights from data in a collaboration-friendly environment.

  • The Watson Data Platform delivers the world’s fastest data ingestion engine and cognitive-powered decision-making to data professionals, allowing them to collaborate in the IBM Cloud. Its capabilities include the ability to:
      Ingest large volumes of diverse data into the cloud at record speeds – more than 100 gigabytes per second
      Cleanse, edit, and shape data for easier modeling
    1. Add and remove collaborators as needed while maintaining version control
      Drag and drop services into analytic notebooks for better productivity and time management
  • IBM’s new Watson Machine Learning Service is also now available, making machine learning simple with an intuitive, self-service interface.
      Built on Apache Spark, Watson Machine Learning intelligently and automatically builds models from structured and unstructured data and open machine learning libraries.
      It also accelerates model deployment into business operations, and its patented Cognitive Assistance for Data Science technology scores each machine learning algorithm against the data provided to recommend the best match for the need.

“Data professionals have a variety of tools and languages that they can choose from when working with data. Whether it is writing in R or Python or Scala – or using different machine learning or visualization services, they want to use what they know when working with data,” Dan Vesset, Group Vice President, Analytics and Information Management, IDC. “IBM Watson Data Platform gives data professionals an open and robust ecosystem of partners that provides them with the services they know in an easily consumable platform that encourages collaboration within an organization.”

Watson Data Platform brings to market “Project DataWorks” and is immediately available on the IBM Cloud through both self-service and enterprise plans that allow data professionals to use the tools they need, when they need them.

IBM Watson Machine Learning Service will begin with Apache SparkML with additional algorithms included in the future and can be accessed through Watson Data Platform, as an API on IBM Bluemix or on z/OS.

See also:
IBM Watson Data Platform Video: Put Data to Work. It’s That Simple.
The Key to the Cognitive Business is Putting Data to Work. What is needed is a platform, an ecosystem, and a method.

IBM Brings Watson to its Cloud Video Technology

IBM Cloud Video is piloting new experimental cognitive technology that can automate the process of segmenting video into scenes based on content.
IBM Cloud Video is piloting new experimental cognitive technology that can automate the process of segmenting video into scenes based on content.
  • Live Event Analysis: Combines Watson APIs with IBM Cloud Video streaming video solutions to track near real-time audience reaction of live events by analyzing social media feeds.
  • Video Scene Detection: Automatically segments videos into meaningful scenes to make it more efficient to find and deliver targeted content.
  • Audience Insights: Integrates IBM Cloud Video solutions with the IBM Media Insights Platform, a cognitive solution that uses Watson APIs to help identify audience preferences, including what they are watching and saying, through social media.

Today’s news builds on other recent projects by IBM to apply cognitive capabilities to video. Earlier this year, IBM Research used experimental Watson APIs to create a “cognitive movie trailer.” The system learned from previous horror trailers what likely made them effective and identified relevant scenes in an unreleased movie that would make an effective trailer. IBM also worked this year with the US Open to convert commentary to text with greater accuracy by having Watson learn tennis terminology and player names before the tournament.

See also:
When streaming video means business:
Videos: IBM Cloud Video Scene Detection Technology and IBM Cloud Video Live Event Analysis Demo

Unified IBM cloud Platform launches today

The IBM developerWorks team is on the ground at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino here in Viva Las Vegas, Nevada. We’ve hardly had time to get the laptops plugged in, the Androids Wi-Fi enabled, the iPhone’s FaceTime ready, and I won’t mention the cold beer — it’s still a little too early Vegas time for that.
However, the news has begun to break, and there was one announcement in particular we wanted to bring to you our faithful developer audience because it has special significance.

Starting today, IBM has announced that you will be able to now log into IBM Bluemix with your IBM ID and use a single UI experience to order and manage app runtimes, services, and infrastructure.

You will also now have a single payment method and be able to pay for those services from a consolidated invoice.
Also, if you are an existing SoftLayer customer, you can choose to upgrade your account to access the full experience, or stay with your SoftLayer ID for now.
These changes have been made explicitly on customer feedback and will bring to you a unified cloud platform experience. You can get all the details about this exciting new direction for the IBM Cloud Platform in this blog post.

World of Watson, Universe of Developers

Four days of intensive education, training and certification.

If you’re looking to learn how you and your organization can unleash the power of data, analytics, and cognitive technologies, look no further than the IBM World of Watson 2016 event taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 24-27.

From the world-class keynote talks to innovation you can touch, you and your peers are going to have the opportunity to get next-level insights and learn how cognitive computing can help you fuel your organization’s next stage of growth.

Below you’ll find a top-line breakdown of some of the leading thinkers and innovators that will be speaking to the cognitive cognoscenti gathered in Vegas, as well as a selection of the top developer-relevant sessions.

At this year’s event, developers will have the opportunity to meet with more than 500 client speakers, get hands-on experience at more than 200 labs (along with certifications and training, all valued at $8,000!), and choose from more than 1,500 targeted business and technical education sessions.



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