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IBM Watson

The Watson Group on red couch

Nearly three years after its triumph on the television quiz show Jeopardy!, IBM has advanced Watson from a game playing innovation into a commercial technology. Now delivered from the cloud and able to power new consumer and enterprise services and apps, Watson is 24 times faster, smarter with a 2,400 percent improvement in performance, and 90 percent smaller – IBM has shrunk Watson from the size of a master bedroom to three stacked pizza boxes. 

Named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, IBM Watson was developed in IBM’s Research labs. Using natural language processing and analytics, Watson processes information akin to how people think, representing a major shift in an organization’s ability to quickly analyze, understand and respond to Big Data. Watson’s ability to answer complex questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence is transforming decision making across a variety of industries. 

In January, 2014 IBM announced the establishment of a new Watson business unit dedicated to the development and commercialization of cognitive computing innovations: The IBM Watson Group. IBM will invest more than $1 billion into the Watson Group, a cross-company unit focusing on development and research and bringing cognitive applications and services to market. This will include $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM’s recently launched Watson Developer Cloud, opening up the Watson platform to third party software application providers that aim to build a new class of cognitive apps powered by Watson. 

The Watson Group, which will be headquartered 51 Astor Place in New York City’s “Silicon Alley” technology hub, will leverage the talents of approximately 2,000 professionals, whose goal is to design, develop and accelerate the adoption of Watson technologies to transform industries and professions. For entrepreneurs and start-ups, the Watson Group's headquarters will provide a business incubator offering the technology, tools and talent to create and launch new products and businesses based on Watson's cloud-delivered cognitive intelligence. 

Also announced in January, 2014, the IBM Watson Group introduced three new cloud-delivered services: 

All three of these new Watson services are fueled by IBM Watson Foundations, a comprehensive, integrated set of Big Data and analytics capabilities that enable clients to find and capitalize on actionable insights. 

In November 2013, IBM announced it would make Watson available as a development platform in the cloud, enabling software application providers to build a new generation of apps infused with cognitive computing intelligence. This includes the Watson Developers Cloud: a cloud-hosted marketplace where application providers can tap into resources for developing Watson-powered apps, including Watson's API. Three business partners plan to go to market in 2014 with Watson apps: from Fluid to transform how consumers shop, from MD Buyline to help hospitals procure devices, and from Welltok to enable health plans to engage their members.  Currently more than 760 applicants have shared their ideas for creating cognitive apps that redefine how businesses and consumers make decisions. 

In May 2013, IBM unveiled the Watson Engagement Advisor, a commercial breakthrough that helps businesses deepen and redefine engagement with customers. IBM is now working with top brands who are exploring how Watson can help them engage customers, including DBS Bank and Nielsen. 

IBM has partnered with a range of healthcare organizations to transform how medicine is practiced, paid for and taught, via Watson-powered solutions. This includes collaborations with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, WellPoint, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. 

IBM collaborated with eight universities to develop Watson’s capabilities. Over the past three years, IBM has introduced through its Academic Initiative a range of academic programs to prepare today's students to become tomorrow's cognitive computing leaders. This includes Watson-focused case competitions, Watson-inspired curriculum, faculty grants to fuel additional coursework, the Watson internship program and IBM’s donation of Watson technology to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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IBM Senior Vice President Mike Rhodin demonstrates a Watson cloud service at IBM Research headquarters in Yorktown Heights, NY, announced on Thurs., January 9, 2014. Mr. Rhodin will lead the IBM Watson Group, a new IBM business unit headquartered in the heart of New York City's Silicon Alley that will develop products and collaborate with start-ups on cloud-based cognitive apps and services powered by Watson. The IBM Watson Group will focus on R&D and commercialization of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning and discover answers to complex questions by analyzing massive amounts of Big Data. IBM will invest more than $1 billion in the unit, including $100 million in venture investments to support an ecosystem of entrepreneurs developing Watson-powered apps. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service)

New York, NY/January 9, 2014/FPSnewswire -- IBM employees at the company's offices in New York City discuss next-generation Watson cloud apps that will be developed by the IBM Watson Group, a new IBM business unit headquartered in the heart of New York City's Silicon Alley, on Thurs., January 9, 2014. The Watson Group will develop products and collaborate with start-ups on cloud-based cognitive apps and services powered by Watson. The Watson Group will focus on R&D and commercialization of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning and discover answers to complex questions by analyzing massive amounts of Big Data. IBM will invest more than $1 billion in the unit, including $100 million in venture investments to support an ecosystem of entrepreneurs developing Watson-powered apps. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service)

Additional YouTube Videos on Watson:

Watson Overview Number

BU Announcement Healthcare 

IBM Watson: New Era of Cognitive Technology  

The Future of Cognitive Computing

MSK partners with IBM to Use Watson in the Fight Against Cancer.

The Watson Ecosystem Empowers Development of Apps

IBM Watson Inspires Millennials to Seek Cognitive Computing Career

Healthcare Industry Taps Into the Power of Watson

Exploring IBM Watson

Watson at Work

IBM & DBS Bank - Shaping The Future of Banking

IBM Research WatsonPaths Demo

Announcing the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor 

Doctors are Addressing Big Data Challenges Using Watson

IBM's Watson Joins Rensselaer

First Academic Case Competition Proposes Novel Ways to Put IBM Watson to Work

Memorial Sloan-Kettering and IBM Watson to Advance Cancer Care.mov

To view a flickr set on IBM Watson, click here

To view a Flickr set on IBM WatsonPaths Research Project, click here

To view the Infographics - IBM and MSK Advancing Cancer Care, click here.

To read the Smarter Planet blog post on "Learning Machines: Watson Could Bring Cancer Experitse to the Masses," click here.

To view the Flickr set - IBM Makes the Grade, click here.

To view the Watson Microsite:  http://www.ibmwatson.com 

To view the Watson Tumblr:  http://ibmblr.tumblr.com/

Join the conversation at #IBMWATSON.

Livestream: http://www.livestream.com/ibmstglive 

Smarter Planet Blogs:

IBM Watson Group: Technology to Transform Business and Society 

Helping Doctors Research Deeper and Faster  

Singapores DBS Bank Blending Big Data Anaytics and Watson 

The live blogging IBM Watson Event: 

News releases
Date Title
19 Mar 2014 The New York Genome Center and IBM Watson Group Announce Collaboration to Advance Genomic Medicine
26 Feb 2014 IBM Challenges Mobile Developers to Bring the Power of Watson to the Palm of Your Hand
12 Feb 2014 Welltok Raises $22 Million in Series C Funding, Including IBM Investment to Fuel Watson-Powered Health App
09 Jan 2014 IBM Forms New Watson Group to Meet Growing Demand for Cognitive Innovations
09 Jan 2014 DBS Bank Engages IBM’s Watson to Achieve Next Generation Client Experience
09 Jan 2014 IBM Watson Group Unveils Cloud-Delivered Watson Services to Transform Industrial R&D, Visualize Big Data Insights and Fuel Analytics Exploration
14 Nov 2013 IBM Watson’s Next Venture: Fueling New Era of Cognitive Apps Built in the Cloud by Developers
18 Oct 2013 MD Anderson Taps IBM Watson to Power "Moon Shots" Mission Aimed at Ending Cancer, Starting with Leukemia
15 Oct 2013 IBM Research Unveils Two New Watson Related Projects from Cleveland Clinic Collaboration
21 May 2013 IBM Watson At Your Service: New Watson Breakthrough Transforms How Brands Engage Today's Connected Consumers
24 Apr 2013 Analytics Heads to Graduate School at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
08 Feb 2013 IBM Watson Hard At Work: New Breakthroughs Transform Quality Care for Patients
30 Jan 2013 IBM's Watson to Join Research Team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
30 Oct 2012 Cleveland Clinic and IBM Work to Advance Watson’s Use in the Medical Training Field
23 Oct 2012 IBM Announces Student Winners of Watson Case Competition from Cornell University
07 Sep 2012 Michigan State University to Introduce Students to Analytics and Big Data Using IBM Watson
17 May 2012 First Academic Case Competition Proposes Novel Ways to Put IBM Watson to Work
22 Mar 2012 Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, IBM to Collaborate in Applying Watson Technology to Help Oncologists
05 Mar 2012 Citi and IBM Enter Exploratory Agreement on Use of Watson Technologies
01 Mar 2012 IBM Forms Watson Healthcare Advisory Board
18 Nov 2011 Jeopardy! Winnings Spur IBM and Scripps Research Institute Collaboration to Fight Against Malaria
17 Nov 2011 IBM Watson Visits Stanford and UC Berkeley to Engage the Next Generation of Leaders
31 Oct 2011 IBM Watson Heads to Harvard, MIT to Explore Future of Technology in Business
12 Sep 2011 WellPoint and IBM Announce Agreement to Put Watson to Work in Health Care
29 Aug 2011 IBM and Jeopardy! Relive History with Encore Presentation of Jeopardy!: The IBM Challenge
30 Mar 2011 IBM Watson Goes to School to Engage Next Generation of Innovators
17 Feb 2011 IBM to Collaborate with Nuance to Apply IBM’s "Watson" Analytics Technology to Healthcare
11 Feb 2011 IBM Announces Eight Universities Contributing to the Watson Computing System's Development
13 Jan 2011 Jeopardy! And IBM Announce Charities To Benefit From Watson Competition
14 Dec 2010 IBM’s “Watson” Computing System to Challenge All Time Greatest Jeopardy! Champions
27 Apr 2009 IBM Developing Computing System to Challenge Humans on America’s Favorite Quiz Show, Jeopardy!

Images

  • IBM Watson NYGC for Wire

    IBM's Watson to Help Unlock Life-saving Insights from Cancer Patient DNA

    Date added: 19 Mar 2014

    New York, NY/March 19, 2014 - Dr. Robert Darnell (left), CEO of the New York Genome Center, and Dr. Ajay Royyuru, Director of the IBM Computational Biology Center (right) discuss how IBM's Watson will be used to make sense of vast amounts of genetic sequencing data and medical information to identify personalized treatments for cancer patients, at an event at the New York Genome Center in New York City on March 19, 2014. IBM and NYGC will soon begin testing a Watson prototype designed specifically for genomic research to help oncologists deliver unique, customized cancer treatments according to an individual patient's DNA. Photo Credit: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM.

  • IBM Mike Rhodin with Watson

    IBM Forms New Watson Group to Meet Growing Demand for Cognitive Innovations

    Date added: 09 Jan 2014

    IBM Senior Vice President Mike Rhodin demonstrates a Watson cloud service at IBM Research headquarters in Yorktown Heights, NY, announced on Thurs., January 9, 2014. Mr. Rhodin will lead the IBM Watson Group, a new IBM business unit headquartered in the heart of New York City's Silicon Alley that will develop products and collaborate with start-ups on cloud-based cognitive apps and services powered by Watson. The IBM Watson Group will focus on R&D and commercialization of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning and discover answers to complex questions by analyzing massive amounts of Big Data. IBM will invest more than $1 billion in the unit, including $100 million in venture investments to support an ecosystem of entrepreneurs developing Watson-powered apps. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service)

  • IBM Watson Group on red couch

    IBM Watson Group Unveils Cloud-Delivered Watson Services

    Date added: 09 Jan 2014

    New York, NY/January 9, 2014/FPSnewswire -- IBM employees at the company's offices in New York City discuss next-generation Watson cloud apps that will be developed by the IBM Watson Group, a new IBM business unit headquartered in the heart of New York City's Silicon Alley, on Thurs., January 9, 2014. The Watson Group will develop products and collaborate with start-ups on cloud-based cognitive apps and services powered by Watson. The Watson Group will focus on R&D and commercialization of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning and discover answers to complex questions by analyzing massive amounts of Big Data. IBM will invest more than $1 billion in the unit, including $100 million in venture investments to support an ecosystem of entrepreneurs developing Watson-powered apps. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service)

  • IBM opens Watson to Ecosystem

    IBM opens Watson to Ecosystem of Developers for Building Cognitive Apps in the Cloud

    Date added: 11 Nov 2013

    Jeff Margolis, CEO, Welltok and Brooke Aguilar, VP, Global Business Development, Products Team, Fluid discuss their companies' new "Powered by Watson" apps. A pioneer in the emerging field of Social Health Management, Welltok has developed an app that will create Intelligent Health Itineraries for consumers. These personalized itineraries, sponsored by health plans, health systems and health retailers, will include tailored activities, relevant content and condition management programs, and will reward users for engaging in healthy behaviors. Consumers who use Welltok's app -- CaféWell Concierge powered by IBM Watson – will participate in conversations about their health with Watson. By leveraging Watson's ability to learn from every interaction, the app will offer insights tailored to each individual’s health needs. (Credit: Jack Plunkett, Feature Photo Service)

  • IBM opens Watson to Ecosystem

    IBM opens Watson to Ecosystem of Developers for Building Cognitive Apps in the Cloud

    Date added: 12 Nov 2013

    Douglas Taylor, VP Products, MD Buyline discusses MD Buyline's new Powered by IBM Watson application. This provider of supply chain solutions for hospitals and healthcare systems has developed an app to allow clinical and financial users to make real-time, informed decisions to improve quality, value, outcomes and patient satisfaction. Hippocrates powered by IBM Watson will provide users with access to a helpful research assistant that provides fast, evidence based recommendations from a wealth of data, to ensure medical organizations are making the best decisions for their physicians' and patients' needs. (Credit: Jack Plunkett, Feature Photo Service)

  • IBM opens Watson to Ecosystem

    IBM opens Watson to Ecosystem of Developers for Building Cognitive Apps in the Cloud

    Date added: 12 Nov 2013

    Brooke Aguilar, VP, Global Business Development, Products Team, Fluid, demonstrates her company's Powered by Watson application. Fluid, which builds online shopping experiences for retail businesses to drive customer engagement and conversion, has developed the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper powered by IBM Watson. The app calls upon Watson's ability to understand the nuances of human language and uncover answers from Big Data. Consumers who use Fluid's app will interact with rich media and dialogue with Watson, as their newfound “cognitive, expert personal shopper.” The Fluid app incorporates the information users share and questions they ask to help them make smart, satisfying purchases by putting the most knowledgeable sales associate in the hands of consumers, every time. (Credit: Jack Plunkett, Feature Photo Service)

  • Image of a person at WatsonPaths on a tablet

    IBM WatsonPaths Research Project

    Date added: 15 Oct 2013

    This is WatsonPaths, an IBM research project with Cleveland Clinic to develop a new cognitive computing learning and teaching tool that will be designed to help physicians and medical students learn how to make more informed and accurate decisions faster. WatsonPaths is learning the way physicians solve problems and interacting intuitively with them to provide real-time access and understanding of massive volumes of medical information. The tool will help physicians and students learn critical reasoning skills. IBM Researcher Mike Barborak walks through the WatsonPaths user interface. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

  • Watson Goes to Work for You - Infographic

    IBM Watson goes to work for you, tranforming how brands and consumers engage (Infographic)

    Date added: 21 May 2013

    Consumers are increasingly looking for personalized, efficient interactions with the brands they frequent. To address this need, IBM has unveiled the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, which uses cloud-delivered mobile and online chat technology to assist businesses' customers, anytime and anywhere. From answering questions to offering guidance for purchases, IBM Watson will allow a brand's customer-facing employees to make better recommendations, or sit directly in the hands of consumers, offering helpful advice via mobile engagement. (Credit: IBM)

  • IBM unveils the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, tranforming how brands engage with consumers

    IBM unveils the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, tranforming how brands engage with consumers

    Date added: 21 May 2013

    IBM Watson Solutions VP Stephen Gold interacts with the new IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, which uses cloud-delivered mobile and online chat technology to assist businesses' customers, anytime and anywhere. From answering questions to offering guidance for purchases, IBM Watson will allow a brand's customer-facing employees to make better recommendations, or sit directly in the hands of consumers, offering helpful advice via mobile engagement. (Credit: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

  • IBM unveils the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor

    IBM unveils the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, tranforming how brands engage with consumers (2)

    Date added: 21 May 2013

    On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, IBM unveiled the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, which uses cloud-delivered mobile and online chat technology to assist businesses' customers, anytime and anywhere. From answering questions to offering guidance for purchases, IBM Watson will allow a brand's customer-facing employees to make better recommendations, or sit directly in the hands of consumers, offering helpful advice via mobile engagement. (Credit: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

  • IBM unveils the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, tranforming how brands engage with consumers (3)

    IBM unveils the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, tranforming how brands engage with consumers (3)

    Date added: 21 May 2013

    On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, IBM unveiled the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, which uses cloud-delivered mobile and online chat technology to assist businesses' customers, anytime and anywhere. From answering questions to offering guidance for purchases, IBM Watson will allow a brand's customer-facing employees to make better recommendations, or sit directly in the hands of consumers, offering helpful advice via mobile engagement. (Credit: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

  • IBM unveils the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, tranforming how brands engage with consumers (4)

    IBM unveils the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, tranforming how brands engage with consumers (4)

    Date added: 21 May 2013

    On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, IBM unveiled the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, which uses cloud-delivered mobile and online chat technology to assist businesses' customers, anytime and anywhere. From answering questions to offering guidance for purchases, IBM Watson will allow a brand's customer-facing employees to make better recommendations, or sit directly in the hands of consumers, offering helpful advice via mobile engagement. (Credit: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

  • IBM Watson: New Breakthroughs Transform Quality Care for Patients

    IBM Watson: New Breakthroughs Transform Quality Care for Patients

    Date added: 08 Feb 2013

    Manoj Saxena, IBM General Manager, Watson Solutions, Mark Kris, MD, Chief of Thoracic Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Lori Beer, WellPoint’s Executive Vice President of Specialty Businesses and Information Technology use the new Watson-based cognitive computing product for oncology. IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint today introduced the first commercially based products based on Watson at an IBM healthcare forum in New York City.(Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service)

  • BIG COMPUTER ON CAMPUS

    Big Computer On Campus

    Date added: 30 Jan 2013

    Flanked by the avatar of IBM's Watson computer, IBM Research Scientist Dr. Chris Welty (left) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student Naveen Sundar discuss potential new ways the famous computer could be used. IBM donated a version of its Watson system to Rensselaer, making it the first university in the world to receive such a system. Rensselaer students and faculty will explore new uses for Watson and ways to deepen its cognitive computing capabilities. (Philip Kamrass/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

  • IBM Watson Makes the Grade

    IBM Watson Makes the Grade

    Date added: 17 May 2012

    In Rochester, New York, Christian Beck (left) and Jamiee Saxton (right), students of the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester are winners of the IBM Watson case competition for their proposal on crisis and disaster management. Students from the school submitted new ideas for applying the IBM Watson technology to address complex societal and business challenges in the transportation, energy, retail and public sector industries. The competition is helping students gain new skills in analytics and cognitive computing to prepare for future career opportunities. (Matt Wittmeyer/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

  • Watson Playing Jeopardy! thumbnail

    IBM and Jeopardy! Relive History with Encore Presentation of Jeopardy!: The IBM Challenge

    Date added: 30 Aug 2011

    IBM's Watson computer system, powered by IBM POWER7, competes against Jeopardy!'s two most successful and celebrated contestants -- Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Jeopardy! will broadcast an encore presentation of the first-ever man vs. machine Jeopardy! competition airing on September 12, 13 and 14, 2011.

  • Watson Computing System logo thumbnail

    IBM Watson Computing System

    Date added: 14 Dec 2010

    IBM's Watson computing system is made up of electronically generated graphic compositions in which computer algorithms define the shape, texture and motion.The visual identity provides a peak at what a computer goes through as it responds to a Jeopardy! clue. Watson’s on-stage persona shares the graphic structure and tonality of the IBM Smarter Planet logo, a symbol of the company's effort to make the world work better.


Contact(s) for the Press kit

Christine Vu
IBM Media Relations
914-945-2755
vuch@us.ibm.com

Kristen Dattoli
IBM Media Relations
617-869-4378
kmdattoli@us.ibm.com

John Natale
IBM Media Relations
1 (617) 875-3658
jdnatale@us.ibm.com