Archive for the ‘artificial intelligence’ Category
IBM and Salesforce have announced a global strategic partnership to deliver joint solutions designed to leverage artificial intelligence and enable companies to make smarter decisions, faster than ever before.
With the partnership, IBM Watson, the leading AI platform for business, and Salesforce Einstein, AI that powers the world’s #1 CRM, will seamlessly connect to enable an entirely new level of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. IBM is also strategically investing in its Global Business Services capabilities for Salesforce with a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities.
Salesforce Chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff and IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty announced a global strategic partnership to deliver joint artificial intelligence solutions that will enable companies to make smarter decisions, faster than ever before. (Photo Credit: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)
The partnership will bring new insights from Watson directly into the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform, combining deep customer insights from Salesforce Einstein with Watson’s structured and unstructured data across many sources and industries including weather, healthcare, financial services and retail.
Together, Watson and Einstein will ingest, reason over and derive recommendations to accelerate decision making and drive greater customer success.
“Within a few years, every major decision—personal or business—will be made with the help of AI and cognitive technologies,” said Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive officer, IBM. “This year we expect Watson will touch one billion people—through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars. Now, with today’s announcement, the power of Watson will serve the millions of Salesforce and Einstein customers and developers to provide an unprecedented understanding of customers.”
“The combination of Einstein and Watson will make businesses smarter and our customers more successful,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “I’m thrilled to form an alliance with IBM—no company’s core values are as close to Salesforce’s as IBM’s. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Salesforce and IBM will initially deliver the following:
- IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein Integration: Integrating IBM Watson APIs into Salesforce will bring predictive insights from unstructured data, inside or outside an enterprise, together with predictive insights from customer data delivered by Salesforce Einstein to enable smarter, faster decisions across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. For example, by combining local shopping patterns, weather and retail industry data from Watson with customer-specific shopping data and preferences from Salesforce Einstein, a retailer will be able to automatically send highly personalized and localized email campaigns to shoppers.
- IBM Weather Insights for Salesforce: The Weather Company, an IBM business, will power a new Lightning component on the Salesforce AppExchange to provide weather insights that inform customer interactions and business performance. For example, an insurance company will be able to pull local forecast data from IBM Weather into Salesforce, and automatically send safety and policy information to customers who are at risk of being impacted by severe weather events.
- IBM Application Integration Suite for Salesforce: Customers will be able to able to bring together on-premise enterprise and cloud data with specialized integration products for Salesforce, surfacing that data directly within the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform. For example, a wealth advisor will be able to unify client data, such as individual investments and risk profiles, with financial trends and public macroeconomic information from Application Integration Suite right within Salesforce to make smarter decisions for her customers.
- Bluewolf Dedicated Consulting Services and Expertise for Cognitive Solutions, Adding to IBM Strategic Services for Salesforce: Bluewolf, an IBM company, has formed a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities. This new unit capitalizes on Bluewolf’s over fifteen years of Salesforce implementations and their current portfolio of multiple Salesforce and Watson projects. Bluewolf will also develop new industry-specific accelerators used by enterprise clients to accelerate adoption of cognitive applications.
As part of the partnership, IBM will deploy Salesforce Service Cloud across the company to transform its global product support services and gain a single, unified view of every IBM customer.
Pricing and Availability
- The IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein integration is expected to be available in the second half of 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
- IBM Weather Lightning Component on Salesforce AppExchange is expected to be available in the second half of 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
- Bluewolf, an IBM company, expects to offer new industry-focused Solution Accelerators at in the second half of 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
- IBM Application Integration Suite for Salesforce is expected to be available by the end of March 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
IBM today introduced IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review — the first cognitive imaging offering from Watson Health.
It also announced the expansion of the Watson Health medical imaging collaborative to 24 organizations worldwide, adding clinical and industry expertise for the worldwide initiative already tackling eye, brain, breast, heart and related conditions.
The Watson Health medical imaging collaborative is an initiative comprised of leading health systems, academic medical centers, private radiology practices, ambulatory radiology providers, and imaging technology companies that are finding ways to use medical imaging to identify and predict the risk of cancer, diabetes, and diseases of the eye, brain and heart and related conditions.
Watson Health will debut Watson Clinical Imaging Review, the first cognitive imaging offering from IBM. The offering reviews medical data including images to help healthcare providers identify the most critical cases that require attention.
The first application for the offering is cardiovascular disease, starting with a common condition called aortic stenosis (AS). AS, which affects 1.5 million Americans, occurs when the aortic valve in the heart is narrowed, impeding blood flow to the rest of the body and causing shortness of breath, tiredness, and chest pain.
A pilot study found that Watson Clinical Imaging Review was able to help hospital personnel identify potential AS patients who had not been previously flagged for follow up cardiovascular care.
Using Watson Imaging Clinical Review, hospital administrators may identify cases where follow up care is warranted and assure EMR information is complete. It uses cognitive text analytics to read structured and unstructured information in a cardiologist’s medical report, combines that with a variety of data from other sources (e.g. EMR problem list), and extracts relevant information to verify key data, including the diagnosis, is accurately reflected throughout the health record.
“Watson Imaging Clinical Review is the type of targeted AI-driven tool that providers could put to use to help them standardize care delivered across their organization, and gradually build a critical mass of reproducible results from their patient population. In doing so, it can support a population health-driven approach to personalized care,” said Nadim Michel Daher, a medical imaging and informatics analyst for Frost & Sullivan.
“Out of the gate, this type of cognitive tool may provide big benefits to hospitals and doctors, providing insights we don’t currently have and doing so in a way that fits how we work,” said Ricardo C. Cury, M.D., director of Cardiac Imaging at Baptist Health of South Florida and chairman and CEO of Radiology Associates of South Florida.
IBM plans to supplement the release of this offering with nine additional cardiovascular conditions, such as myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), valve disorders, cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle), and deep vein thrombosis.
You can learn more about Watson Health here.
It was a big weekend in music… and in artificial intelligence.
Ford Motor Company announced that it had made Detroit’s biggest investment yet in self-driving technology, acquiring a majority stake in artificial intelligence startup Argo AI for $1 billion.
Silicon Angle reported that Argo was founded by veterans of self-driving car projects at Google and Uber, and that Argo AI will become a subsidiary of Ford under the new deal.
“As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future,” said Ford President and Chief Executive Mark Fields.
– via SiliconANGLE
On a related AI front, Chorus.ai, a sound-centric AI firm looking to extract insights from audio, garnered a $16M Series A.
TechCrunch is reporting that Chorus will join conference calls, record and transcribe content in real-time, and then have its platform flag important action items and topics that came up over the duration of calls.
At press time, it was not yet clear what Chorus.ai would make of toilet sounds flushing in the background for those individuals who forgot to go on mute, but this blogger suspects it could lead to a whole other content types with respect to conference call actions.
IBM Launches “Digital – Nation Africa,” Invests $70 Million to Bring Digital Skills to Africa with Free, Watson-Powered Skills Platform
IBM is investing $70 million in building much-needed digital, cloud, and cognitive IT skills to help support a 21st century workforce in Africa.
The initiative, “IBM Digital – Nation Africa”, provides a cloud-based learning platform designed to provide free skills development programs for up to 25 million African youths over five years, enabling digital competence and nurturing innovation in Africa.
This is part of IBM’s global push to build the next generation of skills needed for “New Collar” careers. “New Collar” is a term used by IBM to describe new kinds of careers that do not always require a four-year college degree but rather sought-after skills in cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence, cloud, and much more.
For the youth of Africa to be able to benefit from a cognitive future there needs to be a much higher level of digital literacy. At the top of the skills pyramid are developers, who need to know how to create solutions that can leverage the power of cognitive, and entrepreneurs who are aware of the potential.
IBM Digital – Nation Africa is designed to help raise overall digital literacy, increase the number of skilled developers able to tap into cognitive engines and enable entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs grow businesses around the new solutions.
Through a free, cloud-based online learning environment delivered on IBM Bluemix, the premier cloud platform for business, the initiative will provide a range of programs from basic IT literacy to highly sought-after advanced IT skills including social engagement, digital privacy, and cyber protection.
Advanced users will be able to explore career-oriented IT topics including programming, cybersecurity, data science and agile methodologies, as well as important business skills like critical thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
The initiative aims to empower African citizens, entrepreneurs, and communities with the knowledge and tools to design, develop, and launch their own digital solutions.
Based on Watson, the cognitive online system will adapt and learn. It will review the multiple interactions the education initiative will have with students, to help direct them to the right courses and help IBM refine the courses to better adapt the material for the needs of the users.
Watson will also create a depth of knowledge using anonymous information gathered from interactions with the students. This will help entrepreneurs and developers understand which current Bluemix solutions best meet their needs and refine their idea to help them design a solution that has greatest market potential.
In a Wall Street Journal article published earlier today, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst suggested “the incorporation of machine learning as an element of software is about to soar.”
He told the CIO Journal that currently only about 1% of software developers currently employ machine learning in their work, but that that percentage would rise to about one third of all developers over the next few years.
On a similar note, just last week the MIT Technology Review reported that the Google Brain AI research group also had software design a machine learning system used to benchmark software that processes language.
MIT wrote in its story, entitled “AI Software Learns to Make AI Software,” that:
If self-starting AI techniques become practical, they could increase the pace at which machine-learning software is implemented across the economy. Companies must currently pay a premium for machine-learning experts, who are in short supply.
– via MIT Technology Review
But don’t throw away all the humans just yet. The Google Brain researchers indicated that it took:
800 high-powered graphics processors to power software that came up with designs for image recognition systems that rivaled the best designed by humans.
– via MIT Technology Review
Paul Bunyan, meet Babe the Blue AI Ox.
IBM has announced a new partnership with Ermes Group, the largest and most diversified retailer in Cyprus.
Ermes Group will be leveraging IBM’s Watson Commerce pricing optimization solutions to help ensure product markdowns resonate with value-seeking customers while maximizing profits across all its retail locations relating to Debenhams Department Stores, Next Stores, Oviesse Stores, Peacocks Stores, and Uber Stores.
Product pricing mark downs are a common practice for retailers today. The challenge is identifying the ideal price point and timing of these discounts to deliver cost-conscious customers great deals while avoiding the need to sell items at a loss that erodes potential profits.
This was precisely the issue for Ermes Group, which decided to move from a rather manual approach to IBM’s cloud-based Watson Price Optimization capabilities.
Working with IBM, Ermes is now able to automatically determine which specific products in each store should be marked down due to stagnant sales, what the new price should be and when the reduction should take place.
Previously, teams had to manually go line by line for every product to determine how it was performing and if they should put it on sale. Since going live with IBM, Ermes has significantly streamlined its retail pricing strategy while increasing profits.
“Due to shifts in styles and consumer demands, product markdowns are a reality that all retailers must face. The key is knowing both when to act and what price point will allow the business to still profit on each item left in stock,” said Sophocles Sophocleous, Purchasing Manager of Ermes Department Stores Plc. “With IBM’s cloud offering, our merchandising team can easily and quickly determine which products are lagging in sales and what steps we need to take to get these items moving off the shelf.”
IBM recently released a new study focused on Generation Z, a group that possesses $44 billion in spending power. According to the study, the majority of Generation Z make purchases in the store. Of this group, 66 percent do so because they believe they get good deals and value for their money.