hackbattle4On a brisk Saturday morning in New York City, over 100 developers showed up to the co-working space, AlleyNYC, to show off their hacking skills during The Next Web (TNW) USA annual “Hack Battle.” IBM Watson was one of six API partners to give access to their services. With music blasting, a constant flow of coffee and food, and some beer showing up around 11pm, the energy stayed a buzz throughout the entire hack battle. It culminated in 22 teams presenting their applications 36 hours later. The IBM Watson contest was to present drones and Watson swag to the teams that created the most creative application using our APIs. While we were impressed with the quality of all 9 teams that used the Watson APIs, a few stood out.

We profile them below:


APIs Used: Relationship Extraction | Tone Analyzer

Industry: Marketing & Communications

Place: Tied for First

Application: Cil.io dubbed themselves as “natural selection for your copy,” and for a good reason. Their application enables writers to optimize communication with their audience, by identifying words that could be improved and then suggesting changes. In order to determine which modification receives the most traction, they provide multiple different suggestions of the text to test. This is a great example of Watson as a cognitive advisor to a writer, editor, marketer, or communicator.
View Live Application



APIs Used: Sentiment Analysis | Entity Extraction

Industry: Marketing & Communications

Place: Tied for First

Application: FAQist categorizes questions posted on social media channels by sentiment and entity. The goal of this is to automatically create a FAQ page and to track the sentiment of questions over time. To illustrate this, the demo categorized all the questions that Youtube star Casey Neistat receives by entity and emotion. This could help a marketer make sense of all incoming questions to pinpoint how to better engage with their audience.



APIs Used: Concept Insights

Industry: Social Networking

Place: Second

Application: The Networking.Cool team developed an application to help people connect with the most relevant people at a conference. They used TNW USA Conference (Nov.18) as an example for their demonstration. After entering the word “seed money” into the search tab, the application delivered the list of TNW attendees that related to the concept “seed money.” This application reduces the time it takes to find and research networking opportunities and furthermore, helps ensure that the meetings are with the right people.
View Live Application


The Riddler

APIs Used: Relationship Extraction

Industry: Education

Place: Third

Application: The Riddler uses Watson APIs to animate math problems. In the demo, the math problem stated something like, “Four people are at the start of a 400m track. One runs at 4kmph, one runs at 6kmph, and one runs at 8kmph. When do they all return to the start of the track?” The application actually shows each person running around the track and returning to the start in a certain amount of time. In the constantly growing ed-tech industry, this application could facilitate the teaching and learning of math problems.

TNW also picked 4 winners, including Cil.io and Faqist.
Read about their picks.

You can find the full list of Watson API’s with demos, videos, documentation and an App Gallery at ibm.com/Watson Developer Cloud.

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