IBM Expands Watson Cognitive Technology with Project Intu

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IBM has announced the experimental release of Project Intu, a system-agnostic platform designed to enable embodied cognition. The new platform allows developers to embed Watson functions into various end user device form factors. Project Intu, in its experimental form, is now accessible via the Watson Developer Cloud and also available on Intu Gateway and GitHub.

According to IBM, the growth of cognitive-enabled applications is sharply accelerating, and cited recent IDC estimates that by 2018, 75% of developer teams will include cognitive/AI functionality in one or more applications/services, which represents a dramatic jump from last year’s prediction that 50% of developers would leverage cognitive/AI functionality by 2018.

The Project Intu platform aims to simplify the process for developers that seek to create cognitive experiences in various form factors such as spaces, avatars, robots and other IoT devices. It also extends cognitive technology into the physical world, enabling devices to interact more naturally with users.

Developers can simplify and integrate Watson services, such as Conversation, Language and Visual Recognition, with the capabilities of the “device” to, in essence, act out the interaction with the user. Instead of a developer needing to program each individual movement of a device or avatar, Project Intu allows the combination of movements that are appropriate for performing specific tasks such as assisting a customer in a retail setting or greeting a visitor in a hotel in a way that is natural for the end user.

Project Intu offers developers a ready-made environment on which to build cognitive experiences running on a wide variety of operating systems – from Raspberry PI to Mac OS, Windows to Linux machines, to name a few.

IBM says that Project Intu is a continuation of IBM’s work in the field of embodied cognition, drawing on advances from IBM Research, as well as the application and use of cognitive and IoT technologies. Making Project Intu available to developers as an experimental offering to experiment with and provide feedback will serve as the basis for further refinements as it moves toward beta.  

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