IBM Announces Watsonx — An AI Platform for Businesses

IBM’s Watsonx is an AI toolkit for businesses looking to improve their data infrastructure and accelerate growth with generative AI.

Globally renowned for their business applications, IBM unveiled Watsonx (stylized watsonx) in their Think conference, which had AI as one of its most important talking points. Teased as an enterprise-grade AI and data platform, it’s “designed to multiply the impact of AI across your business.”

It includes foundation models as well as generative AI among other tools in the larger ecosystem.

It’s well-known now that IBM is heavily investing in AI projects. In an interview with Bloomberg a couple of weeks ago, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said how he “could easily see 30% of [26,000 back office employees] getting replaced by AI and automation over a 5-year period.” That means cutting roughly 7,800 jobs over the coming years.

IBM’s senior VP and Director of Research Dr. Darío Gil remarked on the fundamental shift in AI driven self-supervision and how IBM aims to leverage it through business strategy tools.

The conference also talked about how business leaders are taking advantage of new innovations and technologies to unleash creativity and up-leveling skills.

With a strong intention of scaling up AI and automation for their business clients, IBM has officially thrown its hat in the ring. How well it fares against tech giants such as Google and Microsoft remains to be seen.

Watsonx will allow businesses to create a competitive advantage using models that can be fine-tuned to any company’s unique data. It additionally packs the power to extend AI deeply into any business by improving data access, applying governance, cutting costs, and getting quality models into production faster.

There are three core tenets of Watsonx: the studio with generative AI, the analytics arm for a cloud data infrastructure, and the governance module for transparency. Taken together, these features will equip modern businesses with a more refined version of generic AI language models that are more of a hit-and-miss, traditionally speaking, in terms of training and relevant application.

It’s noteworthy that IBM already has an IP called Watson that they have been using for a while now. It’s an assistant-like software. The “x” iteration is the new face of the program for the new world.

Allowing other businesses to find/install AI and automation tools for the sole purpose of cutting jobs might become an industry on its own. IBM’s Watsonx can easily herald a new age of other B2B service providers who have a consulting business to also offer similar services as AI is something every business is looking at, if only to just cut their workforce to automate rote tasks. This can have a negative effect when even otherwise okay businesses start finding out ways to fire employees as it no longer makes sense to keep them on.

By Abhimanyu

Unwrapping the fast-evolving AI popular culture.