IBM (NYSE: IBM) has launched a 10-year initiative to bring Watson and other cognitive systems to Africa in a bid to fuel development and spur business opportunities.
Dubbed “Project Lucy” after the earliest known human ancestor, IBM will invest US$100 million in the initiative, giving scientists and partners access to the cognitive computing technologies.
“With the ability to learn from emerging patterns and discover new correlations, Watson’s cognitive capabilities hold enormous potential in Africa – helping it to achieve in the next two decades what today’s developed markets have achieved over two centuries,” said Kamal Bhattacharya, director, IBM Research – Africa.
IBM’s Watson represents a new era of cognitive computing, in which systems and software are not programmed, but actually improve by learning so they can discover answers to questions and uncover insights by analyzing massive amounts of Big Data.
Watson technologies will be deployed from IBM’s new Africa Research laboratory providing researchers with a set of resources to help develop commercially viable solutions in key areas such as healthcare, education, water and sanitation, human mobility and agriculture.
IBM made this announcement today, Feb. 6.
In the picture above: IBM CEO Ginny Rometty, Addresses Business and Government Leaders at the Smarter Planet Leadership Exchange Forum in Lagos, Nigeria. Announces Details of ‘Project Lucy’ – a 10-Year, $100M initiative to bring Watson cognitive technologies to Africa.