Developers can start filing requests with IBM to use the service starting next week

Developers will soon be able to build applications for IBM's supercomputer Watson via the cloud.

IBM is launching "IBM Watson Developers Cloud," which will provide app developers with an API and developer kit for the creation of third-party apps for Watson. The aim is to make apps that make use of Watson's cognitive computing abilities. 

For those who need a refresher, Watson is the supercomputer that beat human rivals on the TV show "Jeopardy" back in 2011. Watson has since worked in other fields like medicine and banking to offer better customer service. 

Just last month, IBM announced two new Watson projects aimed to specifically help the medical sector: “WatsonPaths” and “Watson EMR Assistant." WatsonPaths shows Watson's course of thinking -- from the initial question to how it arrives at an answer -- and aims to help medical professionals look at new ways of consuming medical information and thinking to arrive at the best treatment options. As for Watson EMR Assistant, it allows for a quicker and more thorough understanding of a patient’s electronic medical records.

But IBM wants to make sure Watson's ability to understand questions and provide correct answers is used to its full potential. That's why it's opening the supercomputer up to devs, who will obtain access to development resources, support from IBM and contractors, and data from third-party providers.

“By sharing IBM Watson's cognitive abilities with the world, we aim to fuel a new ecosystem that accelerates innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit," said Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Software Solutions Group. “With this move, IBM is taking a bold step to advance the new era of cognitive computing. Together with our partners we'll spark a new class of applications that will learn from experience, improve with each interaction and outcome, and assist in solving the most complex questions facing the industry and society." 

Some Watson apps are already in the making from companies like Fluid, MD Buyline and Welltok.

Developers will be able to start filing requests with IBM to use the service starting next week, and apps through the service will be charged on a metered usage model.

Source: IBM

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