IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced the formation of the IBM Watson Group dedicated to R&D and commercialization of cloud-delivered cognitive innovations.
IBM is getting the new Watson Group started off with a $1 billion investment, including $100 million as venture investments into an ecosystem of startups and businesses that are building cognitive apps powered by Watson.
The Watson Group will be headquartered at 51 Astor Place, in the heart of New York‚Äôs ‚ÄúSilicon Alley.‚Äù
The Watson Group offices will house a business incubator that offers the technology, tools and tech support that developers and businesses will need to create and launch new products and businesses using Watson‚Äôs cognitive intelligence.
It will also have a client solutions center where businesses can experience cognitive technologies first-hand and find out how these technologies can help transform their business.
The Watson Group headquarters will also host workshops and seminars on topics such as development skills, and provide networking opportunities.
More than 2,000 professionals, led by IBM Senior Vice President Mike Rhodin, will be working on designing, developing and accelerating adoption of Watson cognitive technologies. This means cloud-based software, services and apps that are capable of thinking and self-improvement through learning and answering complex questions by analyzing huge amounts of Big Data.
Watson became famous as the IBM supercomputer that won Jeopardy nearly three years ago. It has now been transformed from a physical game playing computer into a much-improved and cloud-based commercial technology.
Watson is now 2,400 percent more improved, as well as 24 times faster and 90 percent smaller. IBM has shrunk Watson down in size from an entire master bedroom to three stacked pizza boxes.
Rhodin said IBM has transformed Watson from a quiz show winner into a commercial cognitive computing breakthrough that is helping businesses engage customers, entrepreneurs build businesses and healthcare organizations personalize patient care.
He added that Watson is one of the most significant innovations in IBM‚Äôs 100-year history, and one which he says they want to share with the world. With the creation of the Watson Group and the investments being made, Rhodin said they are striving to make new markets, reach new buyers and transform industries and professions.
Find out more about Watson at IBM.com.¬†