Feeds

Siri, what do you make of IBM's Cognea gobble? Oh, we can't print THAT

Big Blue plugs virtual-assistant upstart into celebrity supercomputer Watson

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

IBM's Watson supercomputer team has acquired virtual-assistant maker Cognea.

We're told the upstart developer will slot into the “Watson Platform” to help sharpen the Jeopardy!-winning machine's chitchat with humanity.

Now that the celebrity super has won a gameshow, thanks to its banks of POWER7 processors and a copy of Wikipedia in 15TB of RAM, Big Blue is touting access to the beast – and it hopes to use Cognea's knowhow to lure in more developers.

“At IBM, we’re working on a host of technologies – a set of conversational services – aimed at enriching the relationship between you and the system,” wrote Michael Rhodin, senior veep at IBM Watson Group, yesterday. “These conversational services range from helping systems understand us as individuals to selecting the appropriate words and responses that are most meaningful to each of us.”

These "conversational services" will be available to programmers signing up to access a slice of Watson, we're told.

The supercomputer group was keen on Cognea as a first acquisition for the platform because its virtual assistants can adopt a personality to suit the situation: the software can act like a formal business stereotype, a friendly neighbour character, and so on, as required.

“We believe this focus on creating depth of personality, when combined with an understanding of the users’ personalities will create a new level of interaction that is far beyond today’s 'talking” smartphones',” Rhodin continued, letting slip a little stab at Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana.

Big Blue is putting a lot of effort into turning Watson into a money-spinner, forming the Watson Group around it, and investing $1bn in R&D for the system. Having plonked the supercomputer into a "cloud", IBM is offering its DeepQA software to businesses such as DBS Bank, which is using the Watson platform to give better advice to wealthy customers. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.