The context and purpose behind this series: “The 17 Companies Reshaping the Landscape of Enterprise AI“.
Who They Are
For many, the name Watson is associated with Sherlock Holmes. The ever-faithful friend and assistance to his many adventurous mysteries. However, for IBM, Watson is synonymous with artificial intelligence. And, in February 2011, IBM’s Watson entered the world stage and competed on Jeopardy! against two of the show’s biggest all-time champions.
The accomplishment of IBM Watson on Jeropardy! showcased how far AI had come by understanding natural language beyond basic questions. Now, IBM Watson is operationalizing AI and transforming how work gets done.
But, where does this innovation come from?
IBMers – the company’s greatest and diverse asset – believe “that the application of intelligence, reason and science can improve business, society and the human condition.” The driving force behind the continued innovation is IBM’s CEO, Arvind Krishna.
In an open letter to all IBM employees during the height of the pandemic, Krishna shared the core principles that are guiding IBM forward:
“I am extremely proud of the work that IBMers have done to combat the global COVID-19 emergency, address systemic racism and establish new protocols for the future of work.
some of the world’s most challenging problems, which means…”
➡️ We led with purpose and culture, empowering the IBMer at the center of our efforts.
➡️ We applied science and technology to accelerate discovery, provide trusted information and respond resiliently to the pandemic.
➡️ We reinforced our fight against climate change with leadership and innovation.
➡️ We reaffirmed IBM’s commitment to address long-standing social injustices, accessibility gaps and growing socioeconomic differences.
➡️ We worked to earn the trust of our clients and society.
What They Do
At the root of IBM’s artificial intelligence solution is IBM Watson – designed to reduce the costs and hurdles of AI adoption while optimizing outcomes and responsible use of AI.
The IBM Watson solution is comprised of 4 pillars that define AI for IBM.
Transparent processes provide insight into AI-led decisions. We enable data privacy, compliance and security across highly regulated industries, and support an open, diverse ecosystem driving responsible use of AI.
Natural language processing lets Watson analyze complex, unstructured data, computer code, and even industry-specific jargon. So you can make more informed decisions and deliver better experiences.
Intelligently automate virtually any type of work, at scale. Augment core strengths, offset skilled-labor shortages, and give employees more time to focus on creating new value.
Underpinned by Red Hat OpenShift, Watson brings AI to your data wherever it resides, including AWS, Azure, and GCP. This means a more unified view of your data, more consistency and flexibility, and better integration.
Not surprisingly, IBM has created a full suite of pre-built and industry-specific applications on top of this foundation. This suite provides the ability to get deep insights from data, interact with customers and employees, and train AI systems on the language of your industry.
Intelligently automate virtually any type of work, at scale. Augment core strengths, offset skilled-labor shortages, and give employees more time to focus on creating new value
Surface answers and insights from complex enterprise data with AI-powered search and text analytics
The natural language processing (NLP) service for advanced text analytics
Transform voice into written text with powerful machine learning technology
Convert written text into natural-sounding audio in a variety of languages and voices
Teach IBM Watson the language of your domain
Dynamically translate news, patents, or conversational documents
Text classification made easy
Most Unique / Impactful Application
Would you know the answer if you were asked if your company was fully data compliant? Could you produce a detailed overview of the risks impacting your organization?
If the answer is “No” to both questions, then this is what IBM OpenPages is built for.
Simplify how you manage risk and regulatory compliance with a unified GRC platform fueled by AI and all your data.
As the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve at an accelerated pace, it requires being proactive in cybersecurity to mitigate and remediate cyberattacks. IBM OpenPages gets you out front fast with huge benefits such as:
✅ Zero-training UI
✅ Expertise with AI
✅ Third-party integrations
✅ Predictive insights
✅ Automate workflows
✅ Deploy anywhere
These benefits drive massive short-term and long-term impacts.
Who They Have Impacted
Crédit Mutuel, located in France, found they were fielding more than 350,000 online inquiries a day. This volume continued to grow at a pace of 23% a year. Further, the time involved to continuously answer repetitive questions was eating up valuable focus needed elsewhere.
This is where IBM stepped in. The partnership that had been in place for years now turned into an opportunity to leverage IBM Watson’s AI capabilities.
However, Crédit Mutuel was met with some resistance as employees feared their jobs would be replaced by AI.
“The challenge was offering something that would be good enough for customer advisors to change their habits,” said one of Crédit Mutuel’s project managers.
This required IBM Watson to address the challenges in a way that improved the quality of interactions between advisors and customers. IBM Watson learned in 5 steps to tackle this effort.
- Watson was trained // Watson learned from four virtual assistants and an email analyzer, analyzing banking and insurance vocabulary and building 50,000 lines of dialogue.
- Watson was tested // Crédit Mutuel rolled out solutions progressively, across different lines of business.
- Watson was launched // Watson has been assisting 20,000 customer advisors to strengthen customer relationships in 5,000 branches.
- Watson got results // Once Watson was adopted, client advisors could answer customer questions 60% faster.
- Watson keeps learning // Watson continues to be trained by business experts on thousands of customer inquiries.
The customer advisors quickly realized the benefits as IBM Watson has made it possible to…
- Find the right answers 60% faster
- Deflect and address 50% of the 350,000 daily emails
- Provide the right information for the right client across 200+ products
People are still at the center of all the technology being used and created. Yes, with every new iteration of technology that comes along, people will experience FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). This requires continued education and a concerted effort to cut through the BS.
AI will continue to be a valuable tool as we traverse the physical, digital, and virtual realities of today and tomorrow. But it’s up to you to create scalable, sustainable, and ethical environment to foster human growth and ingenuity augmented by technology.