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IBM to Use Watson in Latin America

By on February 17, 2016

SAN JUAN – IBM and GBM Corp., an IT company in the Central American and Caribbean region, announced Wednesday a partnership to accelerate the use of IBM’s Watson cognitive computing capabilities in Latin America. GBM has created a new company, Cognitiva, for this purpose in the region.

Watson is IBM’s supercomputer that mines data. It is famous for having beaten two Jeopardy winners, but has been used at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to make treatment decisions and Citibank to improve customer service.

Cognitiva will be offering computing solutions in Spanish-speaking countries to provide data-driven capabilities. Cognitiva will collaborate with IBM to bring Watson to Latin America, providing sales, service and support for the Spanish-enabled version of Watson.

In the announcement, Cognitiva says it will hire and train a team of industry-specific professionals, focused initially on the banking, insurance and health care industries.According to Cognitiva, it is investing tens of millions of dollars over the next two years to establish hubs in 23 Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and México.

One of the potential areas of impact is within healthcare. By applying cognitive computing, physicians and other healthcare professionals could identify evidence-based treatment options, helping oncologists to provide cancer patients with individualized healthcare.

Cognitiva will establish an ecosystem of third-party organizations that will use Watson technology to create a new class of cognitive-powered apps, services and businesses in the region. These partners will join a community of startups and businesses that are leveraging the Watson Developer Cloud, a platform used by more than 80,000 developers globally to design, develop and test new business applications in industries ranging from health care, financial services and retail to education, music and sports. These apps and services are offered by more than 500 Watson ecosystem partners globally.

Last year, IBM announced a landmark global alliance with SoftBank to bring Watson to Japan, and established a joint venture with Mubadala to introduce Watson to the Middle East and North Africa region. Both initiatives include the establishment of local Watson Partner Ecosystems, as well as work to expand on Watson’s language capabilities, teaching the system to understand Japanese and Arabic, respectively.

To advance Watson, IBM has three dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of “artificial intelligence” or “AI” across a variety of industries; Watson Health, dedicated to improving healthcare; and Watson IoT, focused on making sense of data in the more than 9 billion connected devices operating in the world today, which generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily.

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