IBM Goes Global with Increasing Number of Watson Clients

Big Blue's Watson is going where it has never gone before. IBM is taking its artificially intelligent computer system that processes vast amounts of big data to answer questions asked in natural language to the global corporations.

IBM on Tuesday made four noteworthy announcements: new Watson clients across six continents and more than 25 countries; Watson's move to learn Spanish; the first wave of Watson ecosystem partners rolling out new apps for various industries; and the opening of IBM's global Watson headquarters in New York City's Silicon Alley, as well as five new Watson Client Experience Centers around the world.

"Watson is bringing forward a new era of computing, enabling organizations around the globe to launch new businesses, redefine markets and transform industries," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM Watson Group. "Watson is fueling a new market and ecosystem of clients, partners, developers, venture capitalists, universities and students. The next great innovations will come from people who are able to make connections that others don't see and Watson is making possible."

Goal: Transforming IT

That may sound like hype, but Watson was the first and is the most aggressive in its category. Whether or not it will launch new businesses, redefine new markets and transform industries remains to be seen but the computer system is attracting corporations and believers who are buying into the promise.

Industry analysts also see the potential of systems like Watson. According to market research firm Gartner, smart machines will be the most disruptive change ever brought about by information technology, making people more effective and empowering them to "do the impossible."

Again, Watson is out in front of the pack and is posting momentum as companies adopt cognitive technologies to change how they interact with customers. In a few weeks, IBM says, ANZ Global...

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