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IBM Forms Watson Group to Develop Thinking Technology

Tech major IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it will establish the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to the development and commercialization of cloud-delivered cognitive innovations.

The move signifies a strategic shift by IBM to accelerate into the marketplace a new class of software, services, and apps that think, improve by learning, and discover answers and insights to complex questions from massive amounts of Big Data.

IBM will invest more than $1 billion into the Watson Group, focusing on development and research and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market.

This will include $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM’s recently launched ecosystem of start-ups and businesses that are building a new class of cognitive apps powered by Watson, in the IBM Watson Developers Cloud.

According to technology research firm Gartner, Inc., smart machines will be the most disruptive change ever brought about by information technology, and can make people more effective, empowering them to do “the impossible,” says IBM.

The IBM Watson Group will have a new headquarters at 51 Astor Place in New York City’s “Silicon Alley” technology hub, leveraging the talents of approximately 2,000 professionals.

Their goal is to design, develop and accelerate the adoption of Watson cognitive technologies that transform industries and professions.

The new group will tap subject matter experts from IBM’s Research, Services, Software and Systems divisions, as well as industry experts who will identify markets that cognitive computing can disrupt and evolve, such as healthcare, financial services, retail, travel, and telecommunications.

In the picture above: IBM Senior Vice President Mike Rhodin demonstrates a Watson cloud service at IBM Research headquarters in Yorktown Heights, NY, announced on Thurs., January 9, 2014.

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