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Thursday, January 09, 2014
IBM to Create New Business Unit for Watson

IBM said it will invest more than $1 billion to establish a new business unit for Watson supercomputer system, which beat humans on the television quiz show "Jeopardy".

The company said the IBM Watson Group will be headed by Michael Rhodin, who was previously senior vice president of IBM's software solutions group.

IBM's investment includes a $100 million equity fund to boost innovation at its Watson Developers Cloud.

Watson is an artificial intelligence super computer system named after legendary International Business Machines President Thomas Watson.

Using natural language capabilities and analytics, Watson processes information akin to how people think, allowing it to quickly analyze and interpret large amounts of data.

Under the Watson Group, IBM will offer the technology, which is delivered over the cloud and can power new consumer and enterprise apps, to businesses and industries as well as to consumers.

"We have reached the inflection point where the interest is overwhelming and we recognized we need to move faster," said Stephen Gold, vice president of Watson Business.

Watson will be deployed on Softlayer, the cloud computing infrastructure business IBM bought last year.

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