IBM Think 2018: Major Announcements This Week

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IBM Think 2018: Major Announcements This Week

The first-ever IBM Think conference is happening right now in Las Vegas. Here are some of the biggest news items from the week so far.

· AI Zone ·
Free Resource

This year, IBM brought many of its most well-known business and technology conferences together under one name, IBM Think. The first IBM Think conference has been unfolding all week long at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. About 40,000 people from a broad range of industries—including the two of us from DZone—are here to learn all they can about the future of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain, data analytics, cloud security, and much more.

IBM also had a few big announcements to share during the conference this week, which we’ll go over here.

Watson Assistant

On Tuesday, IBM officially launched Watson Assistant, a service designed to help companies create their own voice-activated chatbots for a wide variety of applications. Watson Assistant takes technology already developed for Watson Conversation and repurposes it as an AI assistant for the enterprise. Companies will be able to use it to develop their own virtual assistants—consumer-facing or otherwise—to help with training, customer service, personalized recommendations, and smart home/work integrations, to name a few common starting points.

IBM invited conference attendees to demo Watson Assistant and experiment with its capabilities by taking a simulated test drive in a Maserati concept car mockup. Drivers interacted with the Watson Personal Assistant in the dashboard, one of the first applications of Watson Assistant.

Integration of Apple and Watson

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty announced at the keynote on Tuesday that Watson will integrate with Apple via the new Watson Core ML offering, bringing the ability to make business apps on Apple devices more intelligent (along with other exciting new capabilities). Customers can build machine learning models with Watson and convert those models to Core ML in their particular application.

This new partnership will help developers quickly and easily build apps. These apps can then share data back with Watson to improve the machine learning algorithms that are used to fuel this integration.

IBM also announced a Cloud console that will make it easier to carry out the Watson model-building process and use that model on an Apple device, as well as to gather insights more quickly.

Watson Studio

Also announced at the keynote was Watson Studio, which provides a single environment for teams to build and deploy AI solutions, thus increasing productivity. Watson Studio helps users infuse AI into their workflows and enhance their businesses. It is built on open source, provides easier data preparation, allows users to share interactive dashboards, and more.

Watson Studio comes with a wide range of features, such as continuous learning (allowing you to teach Watson with embedded AI services), deep learning integration (making it easy to design neural network architectures with DL frameworks), and Data Refinery (a program that allows you to spend more time discovering insights instead of preparing data).

Significantly, Watson Studio also introduces IBM’s Deep Learning as a Service (DLaaS) capabilities. This means that developers can continue to use their favorite open-source frameworks. This will allow more businesses to enter the field of machine learning by lowering the barrier to entry. This new managed environment for deep learning will also automatically tune hyperparameters for users, which will save a significant amount of working time.

ai ,ibm think ,ibm watson

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