How are you using Watson in your business? We wanted to improve the candidate experience by creating interactions with job seekers visiting our career site, as well as increase the number of applications we receive for hard-to-fill roles. Watson Candidate Assistant answers general questions about working at NBCUniversal, and it recommends jobs based on keyword matching between openings and the job seeker's resume. Candidates using a traditional job search may look by functional areas or job titles, but that might not match our company's vernacular. We can now drive candidates to roles they might not have found.
Deploying AI-imbued apps and services isn't as challenging as it used to be, thanks to offerings like IBM's Watson Studio (previously Data Science Experience). Watson Studio, which debuted in 2017 after a 12-month beta period, provides an environment and tools that help to analyze, visualize, cleanse, and shape data; to ingest streaming data; and to train and optimize machine learning models in real time. And today, it's becoming even more capable with the launch of AutoAI, a set of features designed to automate tasks associated with orchestrating AI in enterprise environments. "IBM has been working closely with clients as they chart their paths to AI, and one of the first challenges many face is data prep -- a foundational step in AI," said general manager of IBM Data and AI Rob Thomas in a statement. "We have seen that complexity of data infrastructures can be daunting to the most sophisticated companies, but it can be overwhelming for those with little to no technical resources. The automation capabilities we're putting Watson Studio are designed to smooth the process and help clients start building machine learning models and experiments faster."
IBM Watson Health is tapering off its Drug Discovery program, which uses "AI" software to help companies develop new pharmaceuticals, blaming poor sales. IBM spokesperson Ed Barbini told The Register: "We are not discontinuing our Watson for Drug Discovery offering, and we remain committed to its continued success for our clients currently using the technology. We are focusing our resources within Watson Health to double down on the adjacent field of clinical development where we see an even greater market need for our data and AI capabilities." In other words, it appears the product won't be sold to any new customers, however, organizations that want to continue using the system will still be supported. When we pressed Big Blue's spinners to clarify this, they tried to downplay the situation using these presumably Watson neural-network-generated words: The offering is staying on the market, and we'll work with clients who want to team with IBM in this area.
Golf fans who are planning to watch the Masters this weekend will have yet more ways to check out the action. For the first time at a golf tournament, practically every one of the more than 20,000 shots from the first major of the year will be available to view on the Masters website and app within five minutes of a player striking the ball. While these videos won't be live, you'll essentially be able to watch full rounds from the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith without such trivial matters as watching them walk between shots. There is a caveat in that cameras might not capture shots in some instances, such as those from unusual lies, or if a group's tee shots end up in wildly different spots. The Masters attracts sports aficionados who might not typically watch golf as well as devotees, so it's a high-profile way to debut this technology after a few years of development.
In 2014, IBM opened swanky new headquarters for its artificial intelligence division, known as IBM Watson. Inside the glassy tower in lower Manhattan, IBMers can bring prospective clients and visiting journalists into the "immersion room," which resembles a miniature planetarium. There, in the darkened space, visitors sit on swiveling stools while fancy graphics flash around the curved screens covering the walls. It's the closest you can get, IBMers sometimes say, to being inside Watson's electronic brain. One dazzling 2014 demonstration of Watson's brainpower showed off its potential to transform medicine using AI--a goal that IBM CEO Virginia Rometty often calls the company's moon shot. In the demo, Watson took a bizarre collection of patient symptoms and came up with a list of possible diagnoses, each annotated with Watson's confidence level and links to supporting medical literature. Within the comfortable confines of the dome, Watson never failed to impress: Its memory banks held knowledge of every rare disease, and its processors weren't susceptible to the kind of cognitive bias that can throw off doctors. It could crack a tough case in mere seconds. If Watson could bring that instant expertise to hospitals and clinics all around the world, it seemed possible that the AI could reduce diagnosis errors, optimize treatments, and even alleviate doctor shortages--not by replacing doctors but by helping them do their jobs faster and better.
Customer experience management (CXM) programs are necessarily a quantitative endeavor, requiring CX professionals to decipher insights from a sea of customer data. In this post, I will illustrate how you can use IBM Watson Studio to analyze one source of customer data, customer survey responses, to answer two important questions about the health of your customer relationship: 1) what is the current level of satisfaction across the CX touch points and 2) which of these touch points is responsible for ensuring customers are loyal? Customer Experience Management (CXM) programs rely on different types of data that come from a variety of sources. The most popular source of customer feedback is surveys. These two questions will help you understand how well you are meeting the needs of your customers and, more importantly, understand what you need to do to improve customer loyalty.
There has been a lot of hand-wringing in certain circles that European businesses are not exploiting advanced technologies such as AI anything like as well as US or Chinese companies. It is true we haven't (yet) spawned global giants like Google or Baidu. But O think there's a more nuanced reality. Back in November 2018, I was delighted to be invited by IBM to be a judge at its European IBM Watson Challenge event. This was a "Dragon's Den" style event where 32 IBM business partners (from an initial submission of 155 prototypes) were each invited to present an innovative AI-based business solution and associated business plan to a panel of judges (the Dragons!) over two, exhausting and intensive (but exhilarating) days.