IBM preps AI platform for business users
published : 11 May 2023 at 10:16
newspaper section: Business
writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Global technology giant IBM plans to launch Watsonx, its next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) platform that leverages generative AI capabilities to help organisations make speedier, more efficient decisions.
A large number of global tech companies are jumping on the generative AI bandwagon.
Watsonx is an IBM AI and data platform that provides business users, data scientists and developers with self-service access to high-quality, proprietary IBM foundation models to build and refine both traditional machine learning and newer foundation models using their own data securely.
"With the development of foundation models, AI for business is more powerful than ever. The foundation models make deploying AI significantly more scalable, affordable, and efficient," said Arvind Krishna, IBM chairman and chief executive, at the IBM annual Think conference in the US, which is being held during May 9-11.
IBM built Watsonx to serve the needs of enterprises to quickly train and deploy custom AI capabilities across their entire businesses while retaining full control of their data.
"Businesses need AI that is accurate, scalable, and adaptable. They demand AI that provides accurate results they can trust, can be built and scaled quickly across clouds and can easily be adapted to new scenarios and use cases," said Kitman Cheung, director of technical sales for APAC at IBM Technology -- Software, at a virtual press conference held on Wednesday.
A study by IBM found 41% of IT professionals say their companies are exploring generative AI, while 27% are actively using it.
"All generational AI and the potential it has on interacting with information is huge. But IBM recognises that delivering this to business requires a different technology platform. That's why we put together the Watsonx offering," said Mr Cheung.
He added that Watson has been a flagship brand for IBM for many years and IBM has continued to invest in AI technologies.
"This is now our future direction and the way we see AI for the next 10 years. We are providing a platform that can help you scale and deliver this next generation of AI technology," said Mr Cheung.
"We are trying to solve business problems, so it is important that this platform helps our customers roll out models in an accurate, scalable, and adaptable manner and that is why we feel it is the right time to roll out Watsonx."
The early use cases range from digital labour, IT automation, application modernisation, and security to sustainability.
The watsonx platform consists of of three unique product sets. The first -- IBM watsonx.ai -- is a next generation enterprise studio, expected to be generally available in July 2023. It is for AI builders to train, test, tune and deploy both traditional machine learning and new generative AI capabilities powered by foundation models through an open and intuitive user interface.
The second -- IBM watsonx.data -- is a fit-for-purpose data store that is optimised for governed data and AI workloads, supported by querying, governance and open data formats to access and share data. The solution is expected to be generally available in July 2023.
The third -- IBM watsonx.governance -- is an AI governance toolkit to enable trusted AI workflows. The solution is expected to be available later this year.
Mr Cheung said AI is projected to unlock nearly US$16 trillion by 2030. But as businesses rush to adapt AI, people must remember that consumer and business AI applications are different, especially when it comes to foundation models and generative AI.
- AI platform