AlchemyAPI: Beefing Up Watson

March 5, 2015

Why does Watson need beefing up? I have been inundated with information about Watson the game show winner, Watson the recipe maker, Watson the cancer fighter, and Watson the developer’s Eagle Scout.

IBM acquired a company involved in smart software and predictive analytics. That’s great for the owners of AlchemyAPI. I just am curious why the analytics tools IBM has developed itself, the SPSS toolset, the analytic components like WebFountain on the shelf in an IBM office somewhere are not enough.


At any rate, the news is presented in “IBM Buys AlchemyAPI to Boost Watson Computing Unit.” The write up reports in the best spirit of recycling IBM PR:

The purchase is designed to boost IBM’s push into more human-like computing services, based around its Watson technology, which can sift huge amounts of data, learn from the results and respond to spoken questions.

I quite like the phrase “IBM is trying to build a big business around Watson.”

No kidding. What does desperation smell like? The odor of cold muffins and warm laptops in a Manhattan office?

When it comes to delivering an integrated suite of service based on predictive analytics and other next generation goodies, I am not sure just buying stuff is the optimal approach. In my opinion, IBM seems to be struggling with the whole Watson offering. Executives unable to land deals with the velocity of Recorded Future, RedOwl, and some other hot outfits may believe that an acquisition is just what Dr. Watson needs.

We’ll see if a startup can power the new smart software economy which Google also covets and Hewlett Packard is chasing with the Autonomy black box of goodies.

Stephen E Arnold, March 5, 2015


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