By Deepak Advani
Today’s news that IBM will open a Watson hub in San Francisco represents an exciting move that will allow us to continue working with hundreds of developers and dozens of start-ups in the Silicon Valley to advance our Watson cognitive computing platform. Now let me tell you why I’m particularly excited by this new Watson hub.
One of the most promising areas for cognitive computing is Commerce and as part of this news we are moving the global IBM Commerce headquarters to San Francisco. I’m personally thrilled to be moving to the Bay Area, and even more so to be focusing on fueling the next generation of cognitive commerce innovations with the innovative and exciting clients, partners, venture capitalists and start-ups in the region.
Our new location will make it easier for IBM Commerce and Watson researchers, developers and designers to work together to bring natural language and deep learning cognitive capabilities to our Commerce portfolio as well as our partner ecosystem.
By integrating Watson APIs such as Personality Insights, brands will gain a view into an unimaginable amount of consumer information to make more informed decisions. But that’s not all. With this insight they can then uncover precise consumer buying patterns and behaviors in context, gain a deeper understanding into each person’s unique needs at any given moment and design highly personalized and timely experiences that build customer advocacy.
A great example of the potential for cognitive commerce comes from our work with Silicon Valley partners such as Fluid Inc. to create powerful new cognitive commerce capabilities. Using Watson technology, Fluid Inc. has enabled outdoor sportswear retailer NorthFace to transport personalized in-store experiences online.
Now a customer looking for a backpack for an upcoming trip can simply ask Watson what type is appropriate for a 14-day hiking expedition in Patagonia and, rather than spending hours looking through dozens of options, quickly receive a few personalized responses as well suggestions on some additional unexpected items.
And this is just the tip of the Cognitive Commerce iceberg. We’re excited to begin the next step of our journey into the cognitive era in San Francisco – and to helping brands everywhere engineer powerful moments that create tighter bonds with their customers and deliver experiences that matter.