IBM Adds to Watson Mix with AlchemyAPI Acquisition

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    Adding to the billions of dollars already invested in cognitive computing applications powered by the IBM Watson platform, IBM today announced it has acquired another cognitive computing platform in the form of AlchemyAPI.

    Based on a text analytics engine that can be accessed as a service, the API platform has extended its core capabilities using application programming interfaces (APIs) that expose, for example, vision capabilities that allow the system to correlate relationships between images, which is an area that Watson thus far has not been able to address.

    AlchemyAPI CEO Elliot Turner says that AlchemyAPI has already exposed a dozen APIs to some 40,000 developers and as of today, AlchemyAPI is available on the IBM Bluemix cloud service. For its part, IBM has thus far exposed 13 Watson APIs.


    The end goal, says Turner, is to combine the APIs that AlchemyAPI and IBM have developed to create a buffet of cognitive computing services that will help democratize access to next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) services. In the case of AlchemyAPI, Turner says that will include a raft of services based on machine learning software and neural network technology that the company has been developing since its inception in 2009.

    While most of the applications that invoke services are still being developed, it’s becoming clear that everything from machine learning to advanced natural language services will soon change how organizations interact with software, and also entire job functions. In fact, IBM says that any function where there is more data available than a human can possibly consume is a candidate for a cognitive computing application. Of course, depending on the intellectual capacity of the individuals concerned, that could cover almost anything.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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