IBM’s Watson returns as an AI development studio

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Years before everyone was impressed with ChatGPT and other AI systems producing text like a human, IBM’s Watson was blowing us away on Jeopardy. It famously beat its human opponents, but IBM had even bigger plans for the cognitive computing project: to help doctors diagnose patients and recommend treatments. That didn’t work out. Now, they’ve pivoted to Watsonx – an AI dev studio with models companies can use to train their own AI platforms.

It may sound familiar ’cause NVIDIA just announced their AI Foundations program – both give enterprises a way to build, train, scale and deploy an AI platform. With Watsonx, you get a series of training models with an auditable data lineage – from datasets generating code for devs or handling industry-specific databases, to climate datasets helping orgs plan for natural disasters.IBM has already built an example of what the platform can do with that latter dataset in collaboration with NASA, using the geospatial foundation model to convert satellite images into maps that track changes from natural disasters and climate change.Reimagining Watson as an AI development studio doesn’t have the same wow-factor as a headline-grabbing supercomputer that can beat humans on TV, but it’s way more accessible. Depending on how companies use IBM’s new AI training program, you could be interacting with a part of Watson yourself soon.

Watsonx will roll out in stages, starting with the studio in July and adding new features later this year.

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