This week during Mobile World Congress 2014, IBM launched the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, a global competition that encourages developers to create mobile consumer and business apps that take advantage of Watson's cognitive computing capabilities. This program is driven by the company's newly formed IBM Watson Group.
According to the company, mobile developers will be invited to share their best ideas over the next three months. Three winners will be chosen and added to the Watson Ecosystem Program. These three individuals will work with IBM's Interactive Experience consulting practice to design and support their apps.
As of this week, more than 1,500 organizations and individuals have contacted IBM to share their ideas for creative cognitive computing applications. Even more, developers across the globe have already created and plan to release Watson apps in 2014 across a number of industries.
"The power of Watson in the palm of your hand is a game-changing proposition, so we're calling on mobile developers around the world to start building cognitive computing apps infused with Watson's intelligence," said Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group. "Imagine a new class of apps that deliver deep insights to consumers and business users instantly -- wherever they are -- over the cloud."
Watson, named after IBM's founder Thomas J. Watson, was created in IBM's Research labs. The company is now accelerating Watson into the market by the new IBM Watson Group. A huge $1 billion has been invested to "introduce a new class of cognitive computing services, software and apps." IBM also invested $100 million into helping application developers to create a new generation of Watson-dependent solutions.
At one time, we knew Watson as a "Jeopardy!" contestant, challenging some of the game show's best players. Now Watson is 24 times faster and has a 2,400 percent improvement in performance. The new and improved Watson is even 90 percent smaller than the original system.
"Using natural language processing and analytics, Watson processes information akin to how people think, representing a major shift in an organization's ability to quickly analyze, understand and respond to Big Data," IBM explains. "Watson's ability to answer complex questions with speed, accuracy and confidence is transforming decision making across a variety of industries."
Watson's first dip into the commercial pool was back in February 2013, as it made utilization management decisions for lung cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center via WellPoint.
For more information or to apply to participate in the Challenge, visit www.ibmwatson.com.