One of IBM's first partners Harman will demonstrate Watson Assistant at the event through a digital cockpit aboard a Maserati GranCabrio, though the companies didn't elaborate on what it can do. In fact, IBM already released a Watson-powered voice assistant for cybersecurity early last year. You'll be able to access Watson Assistant via text or voice, depending on the device and how IBM's partner decides to incorporate it. So, you'll definitely be using voice if it's a smart speaker, but you might be able to text commands to a home device. Speaking of commands, it wasn't just designed to follow them -- it was designed to learn from your actions and remember your preferences.
IBM has just become the latest tech giant to tackle the voice assistant market. On Tuesday, IBM launched Watson Assistant, an AI service that companies can integrate into a variety of platforms, like cars, hotel rooms and home appliances, among other things. Don't expect IBM to launch its own smart speaker anytime soon, however. IBM's Watson Assistant is a digital assistant that can be molded into a variety of products, like Harman's digital cockpit (pictured), which learns about the driver with each interaction Watson Assistant is designed to be different from Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple's Siri in that it isn't tethered to a specific device. What's more, IBM describes Watson Assistant as an'enterprise assistant,' meaning that it's aimed at helping companies improve their consumer experience.
Watson services on IBM Cloud are a set of REST APIs. This makes them quite simple to be used as a piece of a solution within an application. It also means they need to be integrated with various other parts of the solution to allow your users to interact with your instance of Watson. With the launch of Watson Assistant, integrating with other channels (Facebook, Slack, Intercom) has never been easier. Building a skill for Alexa is possible with Watson.
There are many reasons why you would want to leverage Watson Assistant to make your Einstein Bot "better". In a previous blog, I spoke to just some of the key reasons why you would need to do so. I will provide additional detail here but first, let's look at how you integrate Watson into your Einstein Bot. The obvious table stakes, you need a Watson Assistant service to integrate with Bots. If you don't already have one, you can get a free IBM Cloud account to deploy a Watson Assistant service, which you can do in about a minute, also for free.
A few days ago we ran a story about a new smart speaker named I•VIE with Watson Assistant. Originally we reported that the smart speaker was an IBM product and our wording made it sound as if I•VIE and Watson Assistant were the same. Well, it turns out, we got some information turned upside down. Watson Assistant is indeed an IBM product but its intent isn't consumer facing. Furthermore, I•VIE is a product made by Chameleon Technology who are using Watson Assistant to power the smart speaker.