IBM extends Watson capabilities to any connected device
Wed 9 Nov 2016
IBM has announced its plans to enable Watson features as embedded services across any connected end-user device. According to the company’s release, a system-agnostic platform called Project Intu will allow developers to extend Watson functionality such as speech, vision and empathy capabilities to new form factors.
The development means that Watson technology could soon be popping up in a variety of robots, avatars, and smart IoT devices. IBM claims that this advancement will allow for more authentic user interaction. ‘The platform enables devices to interact more naturally with users, triggering different emotions and behaviors and creating a more meaningful and immersive experience for users,’ the release suggests.
While developers would typically have to make complex architectural decisions about how best to integrate cognitive capabilities into their services, IBM argues that Project Intu now offers a ‘ready-made environment’ to easily build these experiences across a wide range of operating systems, from Linux machines to MacOS.
According to recent IDC research, by 2018, 75% of developer teams will include cognitive or AI capabilities in one or more of their applications or services. The research also predicts that by 2019, 40% of all digital initiatives, and 100% of all IoT efforts, will be supported by cognitive or AI technologies.
IBM’s Watson, and its latest Project Intu platform, are expected to represent a significant driving force behind this cognitive growth trend.
‘IBM is taking cognitive technology beyond a physical technology interface like a smartphone or a robot toward an even more natural form of human and machine interaction,’ commented IBM Watson CTO, Rob High.
He added: ‘Project Intu allows users to build embodied systems that reason, learn and interact with humans to create a presence with the people that use them – these cognitive-enabled avatars and devices could transform industries like retail, elder care, and industrial and social robotics.’
The Project Intu platform, in its experimental format, is now available over the Watson Developer Cloud, as well as via Intu Gateway and GitHub. The trial offering and subsequent developer feedback will lead to further refinements as the platform moves into the beta stage.