Redefining AI with watsonx: Highlights from IBM Think 2023
- At the annual Think conference, IBM presented watsonx, an AI platform set to boost AI use and scalability in any cloud setting.
- Watsonx equips clients with resources to personalize AI models, promoting distinctive business value and competitive advantage.
IBM has been making intriguing headlines recently with announcements such as the unveiling of IBM Envizi, an AI software solution for managing ESG reporting tasks, and the decision by Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna to reduce back-office hiring in favor of AI and automation.
At its annual Think conference, IBM introduced watsonx, a new AI and data platform set to be released. This platform aims to maximize the impact of advanced AI with trusted data and will allow enterprises to scale and accelerate their AI capabilities across any cloud environment.
In addition to watsonx, the Think conference also revealed plans for further enhancements, including a GPU-as-a-service infrastructure, an AI-powered dashboard for monitoring cloud carbon emissions, and a new IBM Consulting practice to aid client deployment of AI.
IBM Think 2023: Watsonx, a comprehensive AI and data platform
Watsonx offers an AI development studio with access to IBM-curated models, a data store for gathering and cleansing training data, and a toolkit for AI governance. This comprehensive solution aims to streamline the process of AI adaptation and scaling.
Krishna highlighted the enhanced power of AI for business through the development of foundation models. He stated, “Foundation models make deploying AI significantly more scalable, affordable, and efficient. We built IBM watsonx for the needs of enterprises, so that clients can be more than just users, they can become AI advantaged. With IBM watsonx, clients can quickly train and deploy custom AI capabilities across their entire business, all while retaining full control of their data.”
The watsonx platform provides clients with the necessary tools and expertise to customize AI models to their unique data, thereby facilitating unique business value and competitive differentiation.
Set to launch in July 2023, IBM’s watsonx platform comprises three distinct product sets designed to address the specific needs of AI in the enterprise:
- IBM watsonx.ai: This next-gen AI studio allows users to train, test, tune, and deploy a broad range of AI capabilities, from traditional machine learning to innovative generative AI powered by foundation models. The studio includes a library of foundation models across different modalities, all trained on a large, curated set of enterprise data. Examples of model categories include code generation, domain-specific language models, and geospatial models. Watsonx.ai will also collaborate with Hugging Face to provide access to open-source libraries, models, and datasets.
- IBM watsonx.data: Optimized for governed AI workloads, this data store is built on an open lakehouse architecture. It enables data management both on-premise and across multi-cloud environments, potentially reducing data warehouse costs by up to 50%. Watsonx.data provides a single point of access to robust data, supporting valuable insight generation through multiple fit-for-purpose query engines.
- IBM watsonx.governance: This AI governance toolkit facilitates the implementation of trusted AI workflows. It provides tools for operationalizing governance, protecting customer privacy, detecting model bias and drift, and meeting ethical standards.
Addressing key business areas with watsonx
Watsonx platform enables clients to address five key areas of their business: customer and employee interactions, business workflow automation, IT process automation, threat protection, and sustainability goals.
IBM has future plans to incorporate watsonx.ai foundation models across its software products, including:
- Watson Code Assistant: This tool, set to launch later this year, will use generative AI to convert simple English commands into code, simplifying the development process.
- AIOps Insights: AI Operations capabilities will soon be enhanced with code and NLP foundation models, providing greater visibility across IT environments. This will allow for more efficient resolution of incidents.
- Watson Assistant and watson Orchestrate: These digital labor tools will soon integrate NLP foundation models, facilitating improved employee productivity and customer service experiences.
- Environmental Intelligence Suite: Later this year, IBM’s EIS Builder Edition is expected to integrate a geospatial foundation model, allowing organizations to design solutions that address environmental risks according to their specific needs.
At Think 2023, IBM plans to announce several offerings aimed at promoting AI adoption, including:
- New GPU offering on IBM Cloud: IBM intends to offer an AI-optimized infrastructure on IBM Cloud to support enterprise workloads associated with foundation models.
- IBM Consulting Center of Excellence for Generative AI: IBM Consulting is launching a Center of Excellence for generative AI, equipped with over 1,000 experts. It aims to develop and deploy watsonx for clients, leveraging the proven IBM Garage method.
- IBM Cloud Carbon Calculator: This AI-powered dashboard will enable clients to monitor, manage, and report their carbon emissions related to their hybrid multi-cloud operations.
- Seven Bets study: A new report from the IBM Institute for Business Value reveals seven business trends and suggests investments for enhancing business operations. The report emphasizes the need for an “AI-first” mindset and provides guidance on harnessing the opportunities and managing the risks associated with AI.
As IBM pushes the boundaries of AI and data science, the unveiling of watsonx at the Think 2023 conference marks a significant leap forward. As we await the official launch of watsonx in July 2023, the future of enterprise AI looks brighter than ever.
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