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IBM inundated with Watson pitches as it prepares to offer service to developers

31 May 2013
IBM Watson supercomputer

IBM is receiving hundreds of ideas from developers wanting to use its Watson supercomputing technology, which will be made available to anyone wanting to build applications on top of its capabilities.

The firm's vice president of Watson Solutions, John Gordon, told V3 the firm is hoping the numerous ideas it is receiving can be realised as it moves to make the Watson technology available for developers.

"We receive hundreds of ideas for applications of Watson technology," he said. "As we continue to scale our capabilities, we intend to make Watson available as a set of services for all kinds of application developers to incorporate in their solutions as they bring these ideas to life."

While a specific date has not yet been announced, the move to bring Watson to developers has already been revealed by IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty. "We'll launch an ecosystem where Watson is a service and you build applications around it," she said, speaking at an event in San Francisco earlier this month, as reported by Bloomberg.

So far it has been used in high-level areas such as healthcare, where it's being used to spot for signs of cancer in patients' medical records. IBM also recently announced a move to bring Watson to the customer service arena.

Gordon said moving into these areas would help take Watson's capabilities to a wider market so the benefits it offers can be more widely appreciated.

"We see cognitive computing as the foundation for the next era of computing. We wanted to find a market that would not only reach specialists and experts, but would help all of us in our regular interactions. We really see this as Watson for all of us," he explained.

Watson first hit the headlines when it was able to win the US game show Jeopardy! using its processing power. This is built around 2,880 processing cores, 90 IBM Power 750 servers, and 16TB of memory to offer 80 teraflops of computing power.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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