IBM is turning its cognitive computing platform Watson into a new voice assistant for enterprises. The Watson Assistant combines two Watson services -- Watson Conversation and Watson Virtual Agent -- to offer businesses a more advanced conversational experience that can be pre-trained on a range of intents. IBM said the aim was to make Watson Assistant an out-of-the-box, white-label type service that's easier for organizations to embed into their consumer-facing offerings than the Watson API. "Everyone was trying to build an assistant using the API, but building a conversational intelligent assistant from the API alone was really hard," said Bret Greenstein, IBM's global vice president for IoT products. "We realized we needed to build a hosted offering for the types of brands that engage with consumers."
COVID-19 has citizens looking for answers about symptoms and testing sites as well as current status of schools, transportation and other public services. This has caused a strain on government agencies, hospitals, schools, non-profits and other businesses working to keep their citizens, customers and employees safe. IBM Watson Assistant is a conversational AI platform that provides an engaging experience for users to get even their most complex issues solved. Watson Assistant for Citizens is a virtual assistant that supports both chat and speech interfaces, and is pre-loaded to understand and respond to common questions about COVID-19, based on the latest CDC information. IBM is offering Watson Assistant for Citizens via the IBM Cloud available for no charge for at least 90 days, and will assist with initial setup.
A hotel room can make a guest feel welcome by proactively addressing their needs once they step into the room. Watson Assistant can set the room temperature and make dining recommendations based on preferences from past stays, turn on the lights and close the blinds depending on the time of day. IBM Watson is seeking to join the exclusive club occupied by Siri, Alexa, and the Google Assistant. At the IBM Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, IBM is set to announce the Watson Assistant, an artificial intelligent advisor that the company describes as an "AI enterprise assistant." "Enterprise" is the key clue not to think of Watson Assistant has another Alexa or Siri but rather a new product tailored to IBM Watson partners.
At the THINK 2018 conference, IBM announced Watson Assistant, a new addition to its cognitive computing platform. This service enables developers to build digital assistants that can interact through conversational user experience. Watson Assistant is not entirely new to developers familiar with IBM Cloud. It's an enhancement to an existing service called Conversation. In its improved version, the API supports newer conversational flow combined with natural language understanding.
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.