A decade ago, IBM Watson was the name of a large computing system that made headlines around the world for its ability to compete on the Jeopardy game show.


Copyright: venturebeat.com – “IBM Watson opens up AI opportunities for software vendors with embeddable libraries”


IBM Watson in 2022 is a very different thing and is no longer a single system or even a single service, but rather is the product brand name for a growing set of IBM artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Those capabilities include natural language processing (NLP), speech-to-text and text-to-speech functionality.

Over the last several years, IBM has been steadily expanding its portfolio of AI services that run as a service on both the IBM cloud as well as on public cloud platforms from Google, Microsoft and Amazon. IBM Watson-powered AI services are also accessible via an application programming interface (API) that enables developers to remotely make use of the AI capabilities within applications.

What had been missing from IBM’s Watson portfolio, however, was the ability to directly integrate core AI services’ code into applications running locally on-premises — or in an organization’s own cloud deployment — without needing to trigger an API call to IBM.

“There is an entire army of independent software vendors (ISVs) and partners who are looking to embed AI into their software products and offerings,” Sriram Raghavan, vice president of AI research at IBM, told VentureBeat. “We have the opportunity to be the provider of enterprise AI core capability that they can use to focus on innovation.”

To help support ISVs and partners, IBM today announced the availability of three new AI software libraries that can be directly embedded into applications. The services include NLP, text to speech and speech to text.

What IBM Watson’s directly-embedded AI software libraries enable

Raghavan explained that the software library form factor adds an additional level of flexibility for software developers looking to make use of AI.[…]

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