IBM to open up its supercomputer Watson to third-party app developers everywhere

IBMIBM has recently announced that it plans to open up Watson - a supercomputer introduced by IBM – to app developers in 2014. The company will provide an API and developer kit for developers around the world.

The idea is to spur innovation and fuel a new ecosystem of entrepreneurial software application providers – ranging from startups and emerging, venture capital backed businesses to established players.

To augment an app’s capabilities, the company has said that it will give app providers the option to use their own data, or provide them with access to the IBM Watson Content Store.

From next week, developers will be able to file requests with IBM to use the service. No pricing details are available yet, however, an IBM spokesperson told Bloomberg that, the apps that rely on the service will be charged on a metered usage model.

According to IBM, three apps developed on the cloud-based platform are targeted to enter the market early next year. These include – Hippocrates, an app which lets clinical and financial users make “real-time”, informed decisions about medical device purchases, to improve quality, value, outcomes and patient satisfaction; Fluid Expert Personal Shopper app developed by Fluid Inc., an eCommerce services company, which will help consumers to make purchase decisions; and Welltok Inc.’s CafeWell Concierge app which combines user’s input and Watson’s ability to learn to create personalized health plans catered to an individual’s needs.

“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. “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.”

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