International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)’s Plan for Watson


International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s artificially intelligent computer system Watson had been first seen on a public platform on the TV show Jeopardy in 2011. Since then there has been a lot of work that has went in towards improving and tuning the system for commercial application.


CNBC’s Bob Pisani caught up with the Senior VP of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s Watson group, Michael Rhodin yesterday and he asked about the commercial applications in business and financial markets of Watson.

Watson has been helping doctors to perform better diagnosis so far and Rhodin focused on applying Watson’s intelligence in the finance sector.  Rhodin said that they have a lot of clients in the financial sector and the customers of these clients need access to information and the customers also want to make better choices on investments or simply answers to questions and Watson, as per Rhodin was expert in finding answers to questions. He also said that Watson has a huge potential to help the call center and finance industries.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s Watson group would be partnering with Genesys the Call center solutions provider. Rhodin stated:

“They have integrated their system with Watson. So Watson can start taking some of the front end load of questions and then seamlessly transfer it to a call center agent when the questions get to the point where we need to bring a human into the conversation. “

This idea looks brilliant for a layman and for any person who is bored of the typical questions from the IVR and non-cognitive responses.

They further moved to scope of Watson in wealth management systems as the financial services industry is prolific in terms of the number of products the companies constantly launch in the market and most of the product are very informative. So there is a lot of data to cope up with and Watson can be trained to read and understand all that information to answer the end customers.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has opened up the platform for entrepreneurs so that they start to build apps for their customers. Rhodin cited an example where a retailer in San Francisco is building an expert shopper that would guide a customer through the range of products he/she might be interested in. So this adds a personal touch for the shopping and those who hate online shopping due to the lack of personal touch would join the bandwagon with this feature.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is currently exploring a call center and financial sectors for Watson while there might be more industries that it might explore in the future.

Disclosure: None

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