IBM’s Watson rose to fame for using its artificial intelligence capabilities to continuously win on the hit television quiz show Jeopardy! IBM has realized the need for a powerful artificial intelligence engine such as Watson and therefore, access has been granted to third parties who wish to use Watson in the cloud in order to utilize the super computer’s artificial intelligence nodes. For a couple years, Watson has been used in the healthcare industry. IBM is now ready to release Watson to the general business public. Watson operates on a “Cognitive Computing” model. This means that Watson gets smarter as it ascertains more and more information.
Rob High, the CTO of Watson at IBM was quoted as saying “We’ve been developing, evolving and maturing the technology.” Mr. High also said that Watson has “Come a long way” since being featured on Jeopardy in 2011. Watson has been implemented into the healthcare IT world because of the challenging linguistic problems that arise within the industry. High didn’t shy on his comments in regards to using Watson in other business arenas. High said, “We thought if we could master that, it would open the door for other domains.”
The Watson that is available in the cloud will not be the same Watson that was performing on Jeopardy! In fact, the Watson Supercomputer that was built for Jeopardy was provisioned to have 2,900 CPU cores and 15TBs of RAM. The cloud version of Watson will have 16 or 32 cores dedicated with 256GB of ram available for provisioning. If entities need more processing power, clients can purchase additional Watson instances that will chain together for Supercomputer like capabilities.
In the next few months, the public can expect to see applications that are based on Watson. For example, a company called Fluid is creating a Watson powered service that will help facilitate buying decisions for retail companies. The Watson cloud service will also include a development tool kit that includes access to Watson’s API.