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An Introduction to IBM Watson in 2 Minutes

posted May 27, 2018, 6:37 AM by Apoorva Gokhale   [ updated Jul 10, 2018, 12:05 PM by Chirag Trasikar ]
    Voice assistants have, of course, been the most frequently used technology in mobile phones or laptops, thanks to increase in the numbers of assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana or nowadays Alexa or Echo. These intelligent virtual assistants respond to your voice commands. They can perform simple actions like calling someone, setting reminders, read and reply to emails or texts, even play song or crack a joke(they are good at cracking puns). Making such human alike and interactive applications isn't easy as it seems. For understanding and providing with the efficient output based on the user inputs, the computer needs something similar to the human brain.
Cognitive Computing gives any system the ability to mimic the human brain. IBM has a similar type of cognitive computing assistant, Watson. Watson can understand, reason, make decisions itself by learning from the inputs to give an processed output according to users demand. It uses classical Machine Learning and Deep Learning algorithms to find the pattern from the input data to take evidence based decisions. With frequent updates, IBM Watson handles the unstructured big data easily at massive speed and scale. Big data is all the information in the world but it's unstructured as 90% of it is in the form of blogs, articles, media reports, research papers, speech, pod cast, blah blah (you got the point). To know more about how Watson learns take a look at this video:

Now let's see how Watson can benefit you. Watson is essentially a platform for analyzing language, speech and visual data. It's main component is called Watson Developers Cloud. which gives access to the APIs. Watson services can be divided as - conversation services which will help you to create virtual agents such as chatbots, vision services with which you can analyze visual content, speech services which can convert speech to text and vice versa, language services which helps to translate and interpret any language, empathy services with which you can predict personality and analysis emotions and lastly, discovery which gives insight into the data. All these APIs have a demo for our better understanding. To know more about the services listed in the developers cloud, Watson has an API Explorer which has the documentation of all the APIs.
So, adding cognitive functionalities to your application is fairly elementary, (thanks to) my dear Watson!

- Anuja Khadatkar