Think you know completely about IBM Watson post IBM Developer Day 2019? We all need to think again as IBM have made extensive changes to lineup of AI and cognitive products. The service reintroduction has caused a paradigm movement what we call as the IBM Watson re-positioning in the IT Market.While people remember IBM Watson as a basic Hadoop-based question and answer supercomputer that IBM built to beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy way back in 2011. The cognitive system bearing the Watson name installed at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2013 was more robust. However Memories of IBM investing nearly $1 billion in its new Watson Group in 2014 has created a huge brand recall in the Watson-branded APIs. IBM wrapped up this launch successfully following the acquisition of Alchemy API successfully in 2015.
While these products still exist in the Watson brand among other tangibles. The Watson of today is much more which we saw from recent NVidia GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California. To better understand Watson from a top down approach, it’s useful to break Watson down into three main groups of products and services. Where Watson will be the brand for all AI based software’s would look something like below.
- On the bottom layer are Basic Do-It-Yourself Watson tools that data scientists can use to build custom AI, machine learning, and deep learning applications. We can provide assistance on this via our SPVC based modules.
- In the middle layer are Watson APIs that customers can use to call a variety of pre-built AI and cognitive services. We can provide visual training modules to help you reskill better on this pedagogy.
- At the top layer are pre-built Watson solutions that are geared to specific industries. We handle IT and project consulting to help you get the best outcomes from your IT activity.
While IBM’s strategic repositioning of Watson came to light during IBM’s recent Think conference just before IBM Developer DAY 2019. The company has also announced that its Watson software offering would be available on any public cloud and not just IBM’s cloud as well as on premise. This eliminates the need for cloud deployment and investment as well as it displays Watson’s multi- and hybrid-cloud capabilities to stakeholders and users at large. The other thing IBM also announced was a unification of all their data scientist AI software. Let us take a look at the offerings in detail.
- Watson’s DIY Data Science Tools
Watson Studio is the new name for IBM’s Data Science Experience (DSX) tool
The Watson lineup studio includes several DIY (Do it Yourself) data science tools including Watson Studio, Watson Machine Learning, Watson Machine Learning Community Edition (WMLCE), Watson Machine Learning Accelerator (WMLA), and Watson Open Scale.While Watson Studio looks more of a notebook-style development environment, data scientists actually write code for machine learning, deep learning, and AI applications in this intuitive platform. This was formerly known as DSX in the Apache Spark- and Jupiter-based Data Science Experience tool that IBM launched way back in 2016.
While Watson Studio is available with Cloud, Desktop, and local deployment options it’s also integrated with a range of machine learning deployment tools and Watson API services. This also hooks into a data catalog known as Watson Knowledge Catalog, which helps users organize, prepare and govern their data. The Watson Machine Learning, meanwhile, is where data scientists successfully manage the deployment, monitoring, and retraining of models created in Watson Studio. The software was formally launched in 2017 after a 12 month beta and is poised for growth big time.
IBM is now offering two versions of Watson Machine learning including
- WMLCE i.e. Watson Machine Learning Community Edition: - This is a free entry-level version of the product and the software runs on Power and X86 platforms. This includes popular open source machine learning frameworks including Tensor flow and Caffe SnapML the open source machine learning framework based on Scikit Learn that came out of IBM’s Zurich lab in the past few years.
- WMLA i.e. Watson Machine Learning Accelerator: - This is an enterprise-level tool that IBM originally launched in 2017 as PowerAI Enterprise. WMLA is designed to handle large-scale deep learning and machine learning workloads that can span large clusters of machines which is something that WMLCE isn’t designed to do.
What Watson has done for machine learning accelerator is that we can do elastic distributed training. So it’ll take your job, shrink it from 16 to eight GPUs, very elegantly, so that you don’t lose anything and actually finishes the last iterations at ease, but it does it within a few seconds at ease. This combined with the distributed storage provided by Elastic Storage Server (ESS) and Spectrum Scale product forms the core of its big data analytics strategy in a post-Hadoop world.While analytics, AI, and deep learning is about high performance, Watson Open Scale helps data scientists track the quality of the model including whether its accuracy is high or whether bias has been introduced into the model as everything in Open Scale is based on an transparent open source platform.
Watson Machine Learning Accelerator (WMLA) is the new name for IBM’s PowerAI
- Watson Apps, Solutions, and APIs
As an aspirational brand IBM Watson is constantly evolving. In addition to the above five DIY Watson tools discussed above, the brand is composed of the following 13 related products.
- Watson Assistant: - This builds an AI assistant for a variety of channels, including mobile devices, messaging platforms, and even robots.
- Watson Discovery: - This is a product for extracting knowledge from data using natural language understanding (NLU) techniques.
- Watson Discovery News: - This is a product built on Watson Discovery that features pre-enriched collection of news content from the Internet.
- Watson Natural Language Understanding: - This is a product designed for advanced text analytics.
Natural language understanding (NLU) underpins many aspects of Watson services
- Watson Knowledge Studio: - This is a customizable cognitive solution designed to learn linguistic nuances of particular companies and industrial domains.
- Watson Visual Recognition: - This is a product for tagging and classifying visual content using machine learning.
- Watson Speech to Text: - This is a product for converting audio and voice to written text.
- Watson Text to Speech: - This is a product for converting written text into natural audio.
- Watson Language Translator: - This is a deep learning-based product that translates written text to and from 23 different unique languages.
- Watson Natural Language Classifier: - This is a machine learning-based text classification and labeling product that supports nine different languages.
- Watson Personality Insights: - This is a product that uses linguistic techniques to detect personality characteristics in written text.
- Watson Tone Analyzer: - This is a product that uses linguistic techniques to detect tone in written text.
- Watson Compare and Comply: - This is a product that uses machine learning to make sense of complex text for the purpose of compliance.
But wait, there’s more to Watson than above! In addition to these Watson applications, IBM also offers the following eight Watson solutions where we provide reskilling extensively as well as an IBM business partner.
- Watson Advertising – A new product based on The Weather Company’s advertising sales division.
- Watson Marketing – A pre-built solution used to analyze customer experiences across channels, build B2B and mobile marketing campaigns, and heighten personalization.
- Watson Education – A collection of applications designed to deliver personalized curriculum, AI-based tutoring, and vocabulary aids to students.
- Watson Financial Services – An AI-based application developed with partner Promontory for helping financial services firms comply with regulations.
- Watson Health – A multi-faceted solution designed to apply AI to various aspects of a healthcare delivery system, including clinicians, administrators, executives, IT, research, government and compliance, and strategy.
- Watson IoT – An AI solution designed to help companies manage and optimize real estate, facilities, and assets in the field.
- Watson Media – An application designed to infuse AI in a media workflow or video library.
- Watson Talent – An application that brings AI to human resources and human capital management challenges.
And if that wasn’t enough Watson for you, IBM also offers these 92 Watson APIs, conveniently housed in a public GitHub location. Clearly, Watson is much more than a single entity or thing these days. For data scientists it’s always helps to know that IBM is making some of its tools and services available for free downloads.
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