IBM Targets 9 Key Industries and Functions with Watson-Based AI Toolset

IBM has introduced Watson solutions and services pre-trained for a variety of industries and professions including agriculture, customer service, human resources, supply chain, manufacturing, building management, automotive, marketing, and advertising. This follows IBM's previous announcement of a new software service that gives businesses more transparency into AI decisions.

"As data flows continue to increase, people are overwhelmed by the amount of information we have to act on every day, but luckily the information explosion coincides with another key technological advance: artificial intelligence," said David Kenny, Senior Vice President of IBM Cognitive Solutions. "AI is the tool professionals need to take advantage of the data that's now at our fingertips and tailoring general AI for specific industries and professions is a critical way to enable everyone to reach new potential in their daily jobs."

IBM's industry-specific solutions include Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture, which gathers data from multiple sources – such as weather, IoT enabled tractors and irrigators, satellite imagery, and more – and provides a single predictive view of data as it relates to a farm in an app.

IBM is releasing specially-crafted Watson toolsets to help industrial teams reduce product inspection resource requirements significantly using visual and acoustic inspection capabilities. By combining the Internet of Thing (IoT) and AI, manufacturers can stabilize production costs by pinpointing and predicting areas of loss such as energy waste, equipment failures, and product quality issues.

For supply chain management, IBM announced Watson Supply Chain Insights, which incorporates weather data, traffic reports, and regulatory reports to provide a fuller picture of global supply issues.

For talent management, IBM's new AI functionality for HR analyzes the background of current top performing employees from diverse backgrounds and uses that data to help flag promising applicants. It provides an indicator of success and can help address bias in hiring decisions. For companies that face hiring litigation, it can also help provide a clearer explanation of hiring rationale.

The IBM Watson Assistant for Marketing feature, embedded into the Watson Campaign Automation SaaS solution for marketers, can help by converting the busy work of marketing into a simple conversation with Watson.

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