IBM unveils enterprise-focused AI Assistant to take on Alexa

By : |March 22, 2018 0

IBM introduced its new enterprise-focused personal assistant, dubbed “Watson,” at the company’s Think Conference on Tuesday. The AI assistant can be integrated into a variety of platforms, like cars, hotel rooms and home appliances, among other things.

Unlike Siri and Alexa, Watson has the ability to integrate into a wide range of systems, as it doesn’t need IBM hardware to work properly. This means that businesses can purchase Watson and add personal assistant capabilities to a whole slew of products.

Notably, Watson is not meant to tell you about weather or to play some music in an IBM branded speaker. Instead, it will function as the behind-the-scenes brains for a variety of new digital helpers made by a variety of businesses for your home and in stores, airports, hotels and cars. For example, Watson Assistant is already in use at Munich Airport to power a robot that can tell you directions and gate information. The assistant is also in development by BMW for an in-car voice helper.

“We’re building this Watson Assistant offering so that automakers and hotels and electronics companies and other companies can put an assistant in their product or service in a way that brings real value to end users,” says Bret Greenstein, global vice president of Watson Internet of Things at IBM.

Autodesk is also using Watson Assistant for a digital agent, Autodesk Virtual Agent (AVA), that it built for its customers. AVA is designed to quickly answer the most common customer queries, every day and at any hour. AVA can recognize the intent behind customer queries and communicate that understanding to the web service, before then carrying out the appropriate response to the inquiry.

Separately, a partnership was also announced between Apple and IBM to combine IBM Watson machine learning with Apple Core ML.

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