IBM extends Watson cognitive capabilities to MobileFirst for iOS apps

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2016
As part of a continued partnership with Apple, IBM on Tuesday announced an extension of the MobileFirst for iOS program that integrates Watson cognitive computing technology to bring natural language processing, deep data analytics and more to iOS 10.




Debuted at the World of Watson event in Las Vegas, Watson's advanced APIs can now be incorporated into both MobileFirst for iOS apps and custom-built business software crafted by IBM on a case-by-case basis.

IBM worked to optimize Natural Language Processing, Watson Conversation and other in-house APIs to work seamlessly with the new iOS 10 speech framework, the company said. With Watson, users can interact with apps using conversational language, much like they would a virtual assistant.

For example, service technicians are able to speak to the Find & Fix app to request a schedule modification. The app consequently notifies dispatch and automatically adjusts remaining jobs listed for the day. Additional voice prompts allow techs to ask for suggestions relating to specific problems, adding another degree of hands-free interaction.

"This is a digital assistant for the business -- one that creates the next-generation professional experience tailored for enterprise processes," said Mahmoud Naghshineh, IBM's general manager, Apple partnership.

Alongside speech recognition, Watson's cognitive capabilities allow apps to better parse complicated data sets, and are able to "to understand, reason and learn based on deep data analytics."

Examples provided include the Passenger + app, which flight attendants can use to gain insight into a traveler's personality. Diving into opt-in data histories, Watson is able to surface relevant information like a customer's favorite snacks or beverages, a penchant for priority seating or the need for specialized services.

Other examples include the retail centric Sales Assist app, which leans on Watson to gather data from customer databases and product forums to deliver information on a buyer's unique tastes. Financial advisors might also tap Watson's learning capabilities to conduct targeted market research and analysis to furnish investors with bespoke recommendations.

IBM notes Watson mines data only from opt-in databases, an important measure in protecting customer information.

Since Watson is cloud-based, the features unveiled today, as well as upcoming functions, are easily integrated into existing MobileFirst for iOS apps.

Apple and IBM partnered on the MobileFirst initiative last July in an effort to create business solutions built around Apple's iOS platform. Under partnerships terms, IBM handles hardware leasing, device management, security, analytics, mobile integration and on-site repairs, while Apple aids in software development and customer support through AppleCare.

Earlier this week, the companies announced IBM Watson Element for Educators, their first MobileFirst collaboration for education.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    This is profound.
    radarthekatwilliamlondonairmanchairmanmike1
  • Reply 2 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,736member
    "I can do that Dave, sorry, I mean Siri"
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Why is Watson not 'consumerized' yet? One would think that there are tremendous opportunities to make a smarter, more informed version of Siri, if all the ads and publicity around Watson are to be believed. Why is it still in the b-to-b realm?
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 16
    wigbywigby Posts: 681member
    Why is Watson not 'consumerized' yet? One would think that there are tremendous opportunities to make a smarter, more informed version of Siri, if all the ads and publicity around Watson are to be believed. Why is it still in the b-to-b realm?
    I'm glad it is for now because if it went consumer, Apple would probably walk away and gain nothing. Or worse, they would cave in and use that data the same way Google does and then there would be no company left willing to protect privacy.
    jay-trepressthis
  • Reply 5 of 16
    Why is Watson not 'consumerized' yet? One would think that there are tremendous opportunities to make a smarter, more informed version of Siri, if all the ads and publicity around Watson are to be believed. Why is it still in the b-to-b realm?
    Probably because of a couple of reasons :smile: 
     
    1. It doesn't work well in a general sense - just in narrow problem domains.

    If Watson was as good in a general purpose sense, as IBM's marketing claims it is, why didn't they use Watson to fix IBM's own (tanking) business ? They've had Watson for years, and IBM still keeps going downhill - modulo a little financial engineering here and there.

    2. It might not be architected to have any privacy at a consumer level - IBM has basically zero consumer exposure these days having sold everything consumer off to Lenovo, - they would be trying to spool up consumer outcomes from scratch, and it doesn't make business sense to them (as they don't have a consumer business)


    repressthisairmanchairman
  • Reply 6 of 16
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,381member
    Any chance Apple could acquire IBM?
  • Reply 7 of 16
    wigby said:
    Why is Watson not 'consumerized' yet? One would think that there are tremendous opportunities to make a smarter, more informed version of Siri, if all the ads and publicity around Watson are to be believed. Why is it still in the b-to-b realm?
    I'm glad it is for now because if it went consumer, Apple would probably walk away and gain nothing. Or worse, they would cave in and use that data the same way Google does and then there would be no company left willing to protect privacy.
    Privacy? What's that?

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/25/at-t-is-spying-on-americans-for-profit.html
    Solicali
  • Reply 8 of 16
    blitz1blitz1 Posts: 410member
    Watson to the rescue to know my favourite snack.
    Awesome!
    palomine
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Now that's what I'm talking about! Siri about to put on her "Big Boy Pants", as Phil Schiller might say...
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Soli said:
    Any chance Apple could acquire IBM?
    People keep saying that but look at the market cap and compare it to the cost of building Watson in house and it makes zero sense
  • Reply 11 of 16
    uroshnor said:
    Why is Watson not 'consumerized' yet? One would think that there are tremendous opportunities to make a smarter, more informed version of Siri, if all the ads and publicity around Watson are to be believed. Why is it still in the b-to-b realm?
    Probably because of a couple of reasons :smile: 
     
    1. It doesn't work well in a general sense - just in narrow problem domains.

    If Watson was as good in a general purpose sense, as IBM's marketing claims it is, why didn't they use Watson to fix IBM's own (tanking) business ? They've had Watson for years, and IBM still keeps going downhill - modulo a little financial engineering here and there.

    2. It might not be architected to have any privacy at a consumer level - IBM has basically zero consumer exposure these days having sold everything consumer off to Lenovo, - they would be trying to spool up consumer outcomes from scratch, and it doesn't make business sense to them (as they don't have a consumer business)


    A share price of $150, up 31 cents doesn't really sound like this 100+ year old business is tanking any time soon, bud...
    cali
  • Reply 12 of 16
    1st1st Posts: 260member
    excellent.  finally the AI is going bear fruit (apple to start with... line up all the other fruit)... Right direction to enhance user behaviour learning, voice activation (intend, not just commend) and security (personally, like mainframe cloud mix anyhow... better than the mix matched server network... that difficult to defend...IMHO).  Will see what happen to Google fiber next...
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Why is Watson not 'consumerized' yet? One would think that there are tremendous opportunities to make a smarter, more informed version of Siri, if all the ads and publicity around Watson are to be believed. Why is it still in the b-to-b realm?
    I suspect these are some of the reasons:
    1. IBM's customers are not consumers -- they're other businesses
    2. Complexity -- there's a lot of code needed just to write an app to  effectively use Watson -- with a lot of complex glue bits involved 
    3. Versioning nightmare of packaging a multitude of open-source components -- each with many dependencies on other open-source components
    4. Bleeding edge beta versions of many key components: Swift 3.0, beta Web Server, beta Package Manager, rewritten IBM APIs to IBM services, etc.
    5. Developer knowledge/experience required to make everything work together
    Lets see if I can illustrate:
    1. IBM has a beta tool called IBM Cloud Tools for Swift -- ICT (pronounced Ice Tea).  In theory:
    2. IBM provides complete packages for ICT
    3. These packages are mainly written in Swift 3.0 beta
    4. They are downloaded to a Mac and can be run locally in Xcode 8 or later
    5. They include both front and back ends -- clients and servers
    6. Conceptually both the client and server can be entirely deployed, modified, run and tested locally -- then the server components are deployed to IBMs Cloud -- rinse and repeat
    7. It doesn't work that way yet -- the deployment to the IBM Cloud doesn't really use the local server component -- it's still beta
    To illustrate, here's an ICT package that uses Watson to make restaurant recommendations:


    Here's what's involved getting it running:



    The server-side compiles and runs fine, fine locally -- here's the client-side app compile:



    30 errors, most of which are caused by the inability to perform all the non-Xcode steps required (above) -- due mainly to version mismatch.

    BTW, Watson has its own voice-recognition/analysis/response and does Not use Siri!

    SpamSandwichSoli1stP-DogNC
  • Reply 14 of 16
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,935member
    Apple needs to educate IBM a bit while working with them. I found the IBM press release, http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/50845.wss, dealing with this topic and they're still using Flash. Come on IBM, get with the program and dump Flash, especially if you're going to be working with Apple.
    cali
  • Reply 15 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,108member
    Soli said:
    Any chance Apple could acquire IBM?
    The thought of Apple partnering with (or even buying) IB-f-n-M -- which Jobs listed as enemy #1 and the target of his 1984 ad --  could get him to resurrect himself, 

    Yet, especially since his death, Apple has become the consumer version of IBM.   People like to think of IBM as a tech company -- just as they like to think of Apple as a tech company.   Yet, neither is...

    Both are customer driven organizations.   Their primary focus is their customer.   For them, technology and tech products are a means to that end.   Instead, both have earned their status as the gold standard in their field by meeting the needs of their customers -- and it takes far more than a glitzy new product to do that.  Anybody can develop a new product -- a fancy new automated buggy whip -- but it takes an exceptional organization to meet the needs of their customers.   Both Apple and IBM know how to do that.   Maybe that's why Jobs hated IBM so much:   Sibling rivalry.
    P-DogNC
  • Reply 16 of 16
    1st1st Posts: 260member

    The thought of Apple partnering with (or even buying) IB-f-n-M -- which Jobs listed as enemy #1 and the target of his 1984 ad --  could get him to resurrect himself, 

    .
    Please bring Jobs back! I think he would be happy to see Watson AI on under his skin. 
    GeorgeBMac
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