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May 9, 2023
IBM is launching a new, enterprise-focused AI and data platform aimed at allowing businesses to accelerate advanced AI usage with trusted data, speed and governance.
The new platform, called watsonx, was introduced by IBM CEO Arvind Krishna at IBM’s three-day annual Think conference, which started today in Orlando.
Watsonx comprises three main components:
Watsonx.ai, aimed at AI builders to train, test, tune and deploy traditional machine learning and new generative AI capabilities powered by foundation models.
Watsonx.data, a data store optimized for governed data and AI workloads, supported by governance, querying and open data formats to access and share data.
Watsonx.governance, a toolkit to enable trusted AI workflows.
The first two components are expected to be ready in July with governance following sometime later in the year, according to IBM.
In addition to watsonx, which Krishna called “a groundbreaking platform for data and AI that will be inclusive of machine learning, deep learning and foundation models,” IBM also introduced GPU-as-a-service.
That service is designed to support AI intensive workloads, with an AI dashboard to measure, track and help report on cloud carbon emissions.
A new practice for watsonx and generative AI also was announced, with the intent of IBM Consulting supporting client AI deployments.
Krishna also promoted hybrid cloud environments, highlighting Delta Airlines as an example.
Joining the CEO on stage, Rahul Samant, executive vice president and chief information officer at Delta Air Lines, highlighted Delta’s free wi-fi recently introduced as one of numerous benefits of the airline moving many of its activities to the cloud.
Delta has been using AI technology in its operations for some time.
“We're no stranger to machine learning models and have been using around scheduling and optimizing our routes for over two decades,” said Samant.
The first day of IBMs flagship event had a heavy focus on watsonx, both in presentations and exhibits.
IBM also announced a partnership with ML tool developer Hugging Face, allowing the watsonx.ai library to carry thousands of Hugging Face open models, data sets and libraries.
Krisha made a point of noting that Watsonx was built on Red Hat OpenShift and brought Kaete Piccirilli, director of product marketing at Red Hat Ansible Automation, to the stage to present a short use case of how developers could use the new platform.
“The use cases are as endless as what you can imagine,” she said.
One session to provide more detail on watsonx, conducted in a large presentation area following the opening CEO keynote, was standing-room only with barely any room to even stand.
Event attendees include senior business and technology leaders from across industries.
Editorial Director AI & IoT
Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book is titled "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis). He also is the author of "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things). He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.
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