PORTLAND, Ore. -- IBM's Watson, the artificial intelligence that beat the human champions on Jeopardy, will soon come to an app near you, thanks to IBM's new software developer cloud that lets third-party apps access Watson's cognitive computing capabilities.
Today only a select few software developers have access to Watson, but with a developer cloud in place, IBM predicts that a plethora of apps for a wide variety of disciples will soon be available to both professionals and consumers.
"Our developer cloud is going to make it easier for them to get hold of this technology -- to leverage this technology to build new solutions that we can't even imagine today," Michael Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM's Software Solution Group, said in the video below.
This program is officially named the IBM Watson Developers Cloud. The developers toolkit and application programmers interface will permit any application developer to access Watson's smarts. Apps can use their own databases or the IBM Watson Content Store, which will be stocked with expanding domains of third-party content, such as Healthline's reference library.
IBM will also offer app-building consultations with its 500-plus domain experts to assist third-part application developers.
"We believe Watson is going to be huge," Elance CEO Fabio Rosati said in the video. "It's going to be the next big thing after the Internet."
Elance has a vested interest, since it will create specialized cloud services to assist app developers in accessing a pool of more than 3 million freelancers, many of whom will complete an IBM Watson certification program.
IBM also pledged to provide testing, training, and deploying services for application developers, as well as to work with its venture capital partners to identify and support developers with promising new app ideas.
Software developers already working with IBM on apps scheduled to be released next year include Fluid Retail (with its Expert Person Shopper), Welltok (with its Intelligent Health Itineraries service for consumers), and MD Buyline (for making informed medical device purchases).
-- R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times