IBM’s Watson, known for AI, takes on IoT

IBM’s Watson has earned fame besting Jeopardy! champions. But now the artificial intelligence (AI) platform is rolling out Watson Assistant, designed to “help bridge the information and data sharing gap between people and things.”

Announced this morning at the IBM THINK 2018 conference in Las Vegas, an IBM spokesperson described Watson Assistant in an email as “an AI assistant for enterprises that can be accessed via voice or text interaction. Watson Assistant is helping businesses transform their customer experiences by bringing together data on all the places and things consumers interact with daily.” Watson Assistant is designed to be embedded in a wide variety of things, from cars to conference rooms, retail stores to banks.

The idea, apparently, is that Watson Assistant’s AI capabilities can help Internet of Things (IoT) systems serve proactive and personalized experiences with enhanced data security. Initial applications center around travel and vehicles, with such customers as HARMAN, the Munich Airport, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Autodesk.

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In travel applications, the IBM spokesperson said Watson Assistant could eventually automatically communicate changes in your itinerary, including flight delays and other issues, to all your vendors and devices. For example, it could automatically program your destination into your rental car’s navigation system, and it preset smart appliances in your hotel room with your preferred music, temperature, and lighting.