When you're a computer capable of beating some of the world's greatest chess players, why keep all of that knowledge to yourself? That's a question that IBM is posing to its wildly intelligent supercomputer, Watson, and it appears that Watson has an answer. This week, IBM announced that, for the first time, it will make its IBM Watson technology available as a development platform in the cloud, to enable a worldwide community of software application providers to build a new generation of apps infused with Watson's cognitive computing intelligence.
Why make such a move? According to IBM, the move aims to "spur innovation and fuel a new ecosystem of entrepreneurial software application providers – ranging from start-ups and emerging, venture capital backed businesses to established players." IBM Watson Developers Cloud, a cloud-hosted marketplace where application providers of all sizes and industries will be able to tap into resources for developing Watson-powered apps, will give devs materials and access to Watson's API. IBM partners that build Watson-powered apps in the cloud will be able to choose from two sources of data-driven content.
Better still, IBM will also connect its app-building partners with skilled professionals who can help advance their visions, and the compay has already committed more than 500 subject matter experts as a part of the overall program. “By sharing IBM Watson's cognitive abilities with the world, we aim to fuel a new ecosystem that accelerates innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit," said Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Software Solutions Group. “With this move, IBM is taking a bold step to advance the new era of cognitive computing. Together with our partners we'll spark a new class of applications that will learn from experience, improve with each interaction and outcome, and assist in solving the most complex questions facing the industry and society."
Let's all hope the world gets smarter as a result, eh?