IBM will invest $1 billion to establish the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to the development and commercialization of cloud-delivered cognitive innovations, headquartered in NYC's "Silicon Alley."
With new headquarters at 51 Astor Place in New York City's "Silicon Alley" technology hub, the Watson Group will leverage the talents of approximately 2,000 professionals, whose goal is to design, develop and accelerate the adoption of Watson cognitive technologies that transform industries and professions. The new group will tap subject matter experts from IBM's Research, Services, Software and Systems divisions, as well as industry experts who will identify markets that cognitive computing can disrupt and evolve, such as healthcare, financial services, retail, travel and telecommunications.
Watson Group “will focus on development and research, bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market. This will include $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM's recently launched ecosystem of start-ups and businesses that are building a new class of cognitive apps powered by Watson, in the IBM Watson Developers Cloud,” company officials said.
"IBM has transformed Watson from a quiz-show winner, into a commercial cognitive computing breakthrough that is helping businesses engage customers, healthcare organizations personalize patient care, and entrepreneurs build businesses," said Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group. "Watson is one of the most significant innovations in IBM's 100 year history, and one that we want to share with the world. With these investments we strive to make new markets, reach new buyers and transform industries and professions."
A major initiative for the IBM Watson Group will be to continue advancing its research and development to accelerate the delivery of cognitive innovations to organizations via the cloud. As part of this initiative IBM will engineer Watson to be deployed on Softlayer, the cloud computing infrastructure business recently acquired by IBM.
In addition to launching the IBM Watson Group, IBM is announcing three new services based on Watson's cognitive intelligence.
IBM Watson Discovery Advisor aims to revolutionize how industries such as pharmaceutical and publishing conduct research. Representing a giant leap from existing research tools that churn out thousands of search results their users must wade through, the Watson Discovery Advisor will delve into the influx of data-driven content today's researchers face, and uncover connections that can speed up and strengthen their work.
IBM Watson Analytics allows users to explore Big Data insights through visual representations, without the need for advanced analytics training. The service removes common impediments in the data discovery process, enabling business users to quickly and independently uncover new insights in their data.
IBM Watson Explorer is designed to help users across the enterprise uncover and share data-driven insights more easily, while helping organizations launch big data initiatives more quickly. Watson Explorer provides users with a unified view displaying all of their data-driven information, as well as a framework for developing information-rich applications that deliver a comprehensive, contextually-relevant view of any topic for business users, data scientists and a variety of targeted business functions.