IBM makes Watson even smarter with AlchemyAPI acquisition

Watson supercomputer gets deep-learning boost from AlchemyAPI's machine learning ability

IBM is hoping its Watson supercomputer will get more attention from developers after the company picked up AlchemyAPI, a machine learning company.

Watson is IBM's cognitive computing system, and remains famous for winning the US game show Jeopardy, with IBM now offering it in the cloud to anyone seeking to crunch high volumes of data.

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You can also ask it questions in natural language and get "evidence-based" answers, IBM said.

AlchemyAPI's deep-learning technology will be integrated into the Watson platform, helping improve the supercomputer's ability to "quickly identify hierarchies and understand relationships within larger volume data sets," according to IBM.

"The technology is expected to enhance Watson's ability to ingest, train and learn the 'long-tail' of various data domains including general business and target industries, as well as address the need to manage constantly evolving ontologies," Big Blue added in a statement.

Aside from acquiring AlchemyAPI's deep-learning tech and its API services, IBM also welcomes the 40,000 developers using the AlchemyAPI platform, helping to expand the ways users can access Watson's cognitive powers.

The acquisition will expand the number of APIs that can be used in the Watson ecosystem, including language analysis and extracting details from image data.

"IBM will incorporate AlchemyAPI's deep learning and knowledge graph technologies into the core Watson platform, accelerating its ability to learn and understand diverse data sources," said AlchemyAPI CEO Elliot Turner in a blog post.

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"The acquisition will also significantly expand the Watson developer and partner ecosystem, adding AlchemyAPI's natural language processing and computer vision services to the IBM Bluemix platform."

Smith said existing AlchemyAPI partners will see no service disruption following the deal, saying it will continue to be made available to customers after the acquisition by IBM.

"In coming months, you'll see exciting developments in the form of new APIs, natural language processing and computer vision innovations," he said. "With the additional resources of IBM behind us, we expect to offer even better service and support to our customers."

Financial details of the deal weren't disclosed.  

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