said it will invest more than $1 billion to establish a new business
unit for Watson, as the tech giant hopes to get more revenue from the
supercomputer system that beat humans on the television quiz show
The world's largest technology service
provider said the IBM Watson Group will be headed by Michael Rhodin, who
was previously senior vice president of IBM's software solutions group.
said the investment includes a $100 million equity fund to boost
innovation at its Watson Developers Cloud, which it opened up to
external application developers last year.
The unit will have about 2,000 employees and will be based in New York City.
which beat expert "Jeopardy" quiz show contestants in 2011, is an
artificial intelligence super computer system named after legendary
International Business Machines President Thomas Watson.
natural language capabilities and analytics, Watson processes
information akin to how people think, allowing it to quickly analyze and
interpret large amounts of data.
IBM said it has shrunk Watson to the size of three stacked pizza boxes from its original size of a master bedroom.
the Watson Group, IBM will offer the technology, which is delivered
over the cloud and can power new consumer and enterprise apps, to
businesses and industries as well as to consumers.
( Also see : Upcoming technology transformations of the next five years, according to IBM )
IBM said it decided to establish the unit because of strong demand for cognitive computing.
have reached the inflection point where the interest is overwhelming
and we recognized we need to move faster," said Stephen Gold, vice
president of Watson Business.
Watson will be deployed on Softlayer, the cloud computing infrastructure business IBM bought last year.
Popkin, managing vice president at research firm Gartner, said IBM's
technology significantly improved how information can be used and
"I think they've developed something that takes us to the next step where information management needs to go," said Popkin.
to Gartner, by next year there will likely be a large and growing
market for Watson-derived smart advisors and it said that Crédit
Agricole predicted that these systems will account for more than 12
percent of IBM's total revenue in 2018.
IBM's full year revenue in 2012 was $104.5 billion.
© Thomson Reuters 2014