IBM Opens Up Watson AI to Any Cloud

IBM's cloud-based Watson artificial intelligence service is now a portable offering untethered from IBM Cloud, so enterprises can use it on any cloud platform.

With organizations storing data for AI processing in a variety of locations, often in hybrid cloud environments, the company said this untethering eliminates the data silo problem that has limited enterprise experimentation with AI, letting them apply AI processing to their data no matter where it's housed.

Watson, once known in an early implementation for besting all human competitors in the Jeopardy! TV quiz game show, is an AI service that comes with its own set of applications, development tools, machine learning models and management services.

That service is bolstered by integration with IBM Cloud Private for Data, the company's new-age, multi-cloud analytics platform that features built-in governance functionality designed to simplify the process of collecting, organizing and analyzing data.

IBM Cloud Private for Data comes with prebuilt core data microservices, and more can be added from a catalog.

In IBM's new Watson-anywhere scheme, IBM has built microservices based on Watson Assistant and Watson OpenScale. "Businesses will be able to infuse AI into their apps, regardless of where they reside," IBM said. "The flexibility this affords can remove one of the major obstacles to scaling AI, since businesses can now leave data in secure or preferred environments and take Watson to that data." The two new offerings join existing microservices for Watson Studio and Watson Machine Learning.

IBM explained the Watson offerings for which new microservices were built thusly:

  • Watson OpenScale is IBM's open AI platform for managing multiple instances of AI, no matter where they were developed -- including the ability to explain how AI decisions are being made in real time, for greater transparency and compliance.
  • Watson Assistant is IBM's AI tool for building conversational interfaces into applications and devices. More advanced than a traditional chatbot, Watson Assistant intelligently determines when to search for a result, when to ask the user for clarification, and when to offload the user to a human for personal assistance. In addition, the Watson Assistant Discovery Extension enables organizations to unlock hidden insights in unstructured data and documents.

IBM will add more services to ICP for Data later this year, such as Watson Knowledge Studio and Watson Natural Language Understanding.

Another newly announced offering on tap for later this year is IBM Business Automation Intelligence with Watson. "With this new software, business leaders will be able to apply AI directly to applications, helping to strengthen their workforce, from clerical to knowledge workers, to intelligently automate work from the mundane to the complex," IBM said. "In addition, the software will measure the level of impact and effectiveness of AI on business outcomes."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.