Watson is the supercomputer that famously beat human contestants in the US TV show Jeopardy five years ago. Initially a research project, the cognitive computer is being used across industries the world over to boost revenue, efficiency and even save lives.
IBM Watson provides cloud based predictive analytics for business insight, and with the cognitive computing services embedded in Watson's analytics engine, users can ask natural language questions and visualise their data patterns.
Here are the top 16 ways businesses are using IBM Watson...
1. IBM Watson: General Motors
In October 2016, IBM and General Motors (GM) joined forces to add artificial intelligence to GM's cars. The partnership aims to offer location-based products and services to you while you're in your car.
GM's OnStar Go, is the industry's first cognitive mobility service and will use machine learning to understand user preferences, and recognise patterns found in your decision data. From that, customers will receive personalised marketing services from numerous partners such as Glympse, iHeartRadio, Mastercard and Parkopedia.
2. IBM Watson: Harrow Council
In September 2016, IBM Watson signed a 10-year contract with Harrow Council to bring Watson Care Manager to support individuals in the UK.
IBM's Watson Care Manager can control scheduling, develop personalised care plans, manage budgets, select providers and enable care. This will allow individuals and caregivers to quickly choose the most appropriate healthcare provider, determined by their allocated personal budget.
According to IBM, this is the first implementation of Watson Care Manager outside of the US.
3. IBM Watson: Condé Nast
In September 2016, Condé Nast partnered with Influential to use IBM Watson to help build informed social media campaigns for its brands. The software built by IBM and Influential, a 'data-first influencer platform' offers Condé Nast customers (such as the New Yorker and Vogue) insight into who to target their campaigns towards and what celebrities would make good brand ambassadors.
For example, if a brand wants to find somebody who is compassionate, Watson will analyse the last 20,000 words and emojis potential 'influencers' have published looking for the perfect person fitting the breif.
4. IBM Watson: GSK
Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is teaming up with IBM Watson to better connect with its customers, enabling people to ask questions by voice and text right via GSK's online ads.
"Watson provides a very personalised experience" senior brand manager of the Cough and Cold division at GSK, Jason Andree told Computerworld earlier this year. "If you're sick, through Watson, you can ask a question and it will provide a personalized response."
5. IBM Watson: Macy’s On-Call
In July 2016, US retailer Macy's announced it's testing 'Macy's On-Call', a new mobile service in which shoppers can ask (in natural language) Watson questions about a store's products, services and facilities.
This technology is delivered by Satisfi, a location-based engagement software which accesses Watson from the cloud, providing shop assistance in both English and Spanish.
Macy’s chief growth officer, Peter Sachse said: "This program, in partnership with Satisfi and leveraging the power of IBM Watson, will help us explore new ways to engage one-on-one with customers in-store, providing them another level of service right at their fingertips."
6. IBM Watson: American Cancer Society
In April 2016, IBM Watson partnered with the American Cancer Society to create a virtual adviser that uses machine learning to offer patients personalised information and advice.
To help determine the relevant advice to give, the advisor will look at the patient's type of cancer, its stage and their previous treatments enabling patients to ask questions in natural language and receive audio responses.
IBM Watson will use data from Cancer.org and the cancer society's National Cancer Information centre to provide meaningful answers to patient's questions. The advisors will also take data from IBM's Watson Health Cloud.
American Cancer Society CEO, Gary M. Reedy said: "This partnership can take these efforts to next level by combining the depth and breadth of cancer information from the world's most trusted cancer source with the power of cognitive technology from IBM Watson."
7. IBM Watson: Nonprofit educational organisation Sesame Workshop
IBMWatson and Sesame Workshop announced a partnership to improve early childhood education around the globe. As part of a three-year agreement, this collaboration will see IBM and Sesame Workshop create new educational products and systems that can adapt to the learning styles or children and change according to each individual child's aptitude level.
IBM’s general manager for Watson IoT, Harriet Green said: "The potential for Watson to absorb, correlate, and learn from huge amounts of unstructured data and then deliver very personalized educational experiences is unprecedented. Working together with Sesame Workshop, we aim to transform the way in which children learn and teachers teach, and envision having an impact on the lives and education of millions of children."
8. IBM Watson: Imperial College London predicts crime with Watson
Back in 2014 University students at Imperial College London were able to use supercomputer Watson to analyse and predict crime.
Computing students in Imperial College London can work with IBM and team Watson to develop a cognitive computer application to solve challenging problems within the university’s crime department.
9. IBM Watson: Mears Group
UK housing and social care provider, Mears Group has over 700,000 social homes to maintain across the UK and 20,000 employees. The Mears Group also has over 600 million health and safety/accident reports on their database.
Last year Mears Group integrated with IBM Watson to gain faster reporting turnaround and new insights and revenue opportunity suggestions.
10. IBM Watson: University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is one of the first European university to collaborate with IBM Watson to offer research modules for students from all disciplines like medicine, chemistry, marine studies and the arts, rather than the typical computing subjects.
Southampton students get to use Watson in a new Cognitive Computing module as part of its Curriculum Innovation programme which will initially be available to over 150 undergraduate and Master’s students across all disciplines.
11. IBM Watson: Citigroup
In 2012 the US based multinational banking company Citigroup explored Watson's analytics with the aim to improve customer relationships and interactions in the bank.
Citigroup aimed to use Watson to gather vast information from customers and provide suggestions to improve customer interactions, evaluated risk and identify opportunities and data patterns.
12. IBM Watson: Cloud start-ups get free credits and access to Watson APIs
IBM launched its global entrepreneur program for cloud startups in 2014. It offers startups $120,000 worth of free cloud credits, as well as connections into IBM’s vast global network of enterprise clients, consultants, innovation centres and more.
IBM unleashed its Watson APIs on Bluemix, IBM's open, public cloud development platform - giving any developer with an internet connection the power to build with the latest cognitive computing technology, spurring them to develop apps which can think, learn and solve problems.
13. IBM Watson: Science and Technology Facilities Council uses Watson to help GlaxoSmithKline, emergency services and construction business
Science & Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre has created a big data innovation hub using IBM Big Data and Analytics technology tohelp organisations solve complex business problems and achieve competitive advantage.
Hartree Centre provides advanced computational and data analytics facilities as well as access to data scientists for customers looking to tackle masses of unstructured data.
Democrata, a UK construction company – is using the powerful analytics at Hartree Centre to automate environmental impact assessments and better predict risk. Surveys are required to analyse a multitude of data sets to understand the impact of a high speed rail link or a new road. In the past this has been a slow and cumbersome task. But now, using big data analytics automated searches and queries on disparate data sets means faster and cheaper decision making for large engineering and construction firms. KnowNow Information, an IBM Business partner is helpinglocal government emergency service providers improve their decision making and resources planning. Using the Hartree Centre big data analytics technology and data scientists, the emergency services provider can now see patterns of incidents across their territory and the system can begin to predict where and when to allocate resources. This has the potential to save time and money for all emergency response teams. Global healthcare company GSK is working with the Hartree Centre to develop clustering techniques similar to that used on social networking sites to enhance the understanding of these relationships. ‘Disease mapping’ looks at a wide array of source data from various journals and other records to identify correlations between genes, biological processes and known diseases.
14. IBM Watson: Cleveland Clinic
US-based not-for-profit the Cleveland Clinic has begun a pilot program using IBM's Watson cognitive computing technology (through the cloud) to research new cancer treatments.
Typically, doctors do not have the time or resources to research specific treatments based on a patients cancer type along with their DNA. The Cleveland Clinic hopes to change this, and IBM's Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty said researchers at the clinic are using IBM's Watson Genomics Analytics to track patient's genes.
15. IBM Watson: Standard Bank
Standard Bank uses IBM Watson to speed handling of customer queries, allowing it to identify customers quickly so they can respond in faster time.
"The ultimate beneficiaries of the project will be our customers for whom the process-known as 'cognitive computing' will undoubtedly bring many benefits as we continue to identify innovative ways of doing business and build a bank for the future,” said Vuyo Mpako, head, innovation and channel design, Standard Bank.
16. IBM Watson: Under Armour
Sportswear brand Under Armour has partnered with IBM to produce in-depth health and fitness insights though digital health and fitness applications and powered by Watson.
Under Armour has created an app using Watson's analytics to pool personal, physiological, behavioural and nutritional data. The app will act as a personal trainer, providing users with suggestions for optimal health and fitness based on Watson's analytic insights.