IBM has acquired machine learning specialist AlchemyAPI in a bid to expand on the capabilities of its Watson artificial intelligence technology and bring in a large number of extra developers to the Watson developer community.
Announced today, the acquisition is expected to accelerate IBM's development of next-generation cognitive computing applications, bringing to Watson another cloud-based platform offering deep learning technologies that will expand on the capabilities of IBM's own platform. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
IBM said that it will integrate AlchemyAPI's deep learning technology into the core Watson platform, augmenting Watson's ability quickly to identify hierarchies and understand relationships in large-volume data sets.
Specifically, the AlchemyAPI technology is expected to enhance Watson's ability to ingest, train and learn the intricacies of various data domains, according to IBM, as well as address the need to manage constantly evolving ontologies.
Mike Rhodin, IBM's senior vice president for IBM Watson, said acquisitions such as this are central to the firm's strategy to bring Watson to new markets, industries and regions.
"IBM continues to invest in Watson‘s core technology and cloud development platform, amplifying a robust Watson ecosystem where third-party organisations are creating new businesses and solutions powered by Watson," he said.
Meanwhile, AlchemyAPI founder and chief executive Elliot Turner promised the move will not disrupt existing users of its service, and will ultimately benefit customers of both companies.
"By joining IBM, we believe there will be a combined effect that improves IBM's and AlchemyAPI's customers' ability to impact their businesses," he wrote in a post on the firm's Alchemist Blog.
IBM's latest acquisition also expands the Watson ecosystem, bringing 40,000 developers into the fold who have already been building applications on the AlchemyAPI platform.
IBM said that the need for new "smart systems" that can understand structured and unstructured information continues to grow, as businesses seek to make better use of data for decision making and to deliver more personalised offerings to customers.
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