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Augmented Intelligence Watson Is Easy Enough For Beginners To Use


“If we can do it, anyone can do it!” That was the message from Monash students who were at the IBM Watson demonstration held at their office. The students were of non-IT backgrounds and had little or no experience with coding or creating bots, but were able to easily use the analytics provided by IBM to derive search queries and insights.

The event was held to understand more about the potential of IBM Watson Conversation & Watson Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and for the media present to get a rare opportunity to see the future of man-machine interactions. Present at the demonstration was Ms. Chong Chye Neo, Managing Director of IBM Malaysia.

IBM Watson is a cognitive intelligent system that uses natural  language processing and machine   learning to reveal insights from large amount of unstructured  data. It has the capability to  tackle  tough  problems  in  every industry from healthcare to finance.

Ms Chong says in IBM, AI stands for Augmented Intelligence and that IBM plans to usher in the era of AI in a responsible and human friendly manner.

Prior to the demonstration conducted by the students from Monash, IBM personnel Zainal Azman  Shaari and Cheok Swin Voon from IBMs Eco-system Development team developed the app on Telegram and demonstrated the AI’s uses which included being able to pull data from other API’s to complete tasks.

By simply requesting by voice command or typing in the request, Watson was able to reply, both by voice, as well as in text format to the requests. From the latest movies and viewing times, to local restaurants based on the desires of the user, Watson had instant and almost zero latency in replying the requests.

In the first half of 2017, IBM Malaysia conducted two hands-on workshops for coders and developers to program on IBM Bluemix Cloud platform.  Ten of the 30 coders were certified upon completion.

Jimmy Kwang, General Manager, Software Group IBM Malaysia shared that when SMS  first emerged  in  our lives, we discovered a way to  communicate quietly. No need to shout over the static buzz on the phone.

“Some of us discovered ambidexterity –we could type with both the left and right thumbs! Speech took a back seat. Until now. Instead of typing on our phones, we want to talk to it –to instruct it to do things for us. If we had our way, we would be talking to the microwave and  fridge  like we hope to talk to our cars – soon”, he joked.

He added that for IBM, cognitive is much more than seeing patterns in data or translating speech into text  and  then  putting  it  into  a  search  engine.  It’s  about  systems  that  make  sense  of  all sorts   of   data,   which   reason,   which   learn,   which   interact   naturally   with   humans. Cognitive  systems  can  learn  continually,  augmenting  our  own  expertise  so  we  can immediately  take  more  informed  actions.  Cognitive  systems  can  interact  with  us  and with  our  customers  in  natural  language,  breaking  down  barriers  between  humans  and machine, creating unique, user experiences.

“Which  brings  us  there  today.  We  invited  you  to  take  part  in  little  experiment  of  what goes under the hood in developing cognitive applications. Over the last two quarters, we have  provided  free  Bluemix  training  to  30  developers  and  coders.  Ten  coders  are certified  on  Bluemix.  Some  of  them  are  here  today.  We  believe  cognitive  technologies will dominate the future. Deloitte report on consumer trends found that innovation is in the areas of voice and virtual reality/augmented reality capabilities.”

He explained that the team fitted Watson with two different set of APIs that give it the ability to both comprehend  and  respond  to  human  interactions:  Natural  Language  Understanding (NLU) & Watson Conversation. The Natural Language Understanding API allows Watson to analyze text to extract meta-data from content such as keywords, entities, sentiment, emotion, relations and many more. Watson Conversation,  on the other hand,  functions as a visual dialog builder that helps create natural conversations for Watson that can be deployed on chatbots and other virtual agents.

“Watson is currently available for both large and small enterprises and IBM remains an enterprise driven organisation and we look forward to support both large and small enterprises,” he said.