IBM opens APAC Watson hub in Singapore

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 14 June, 2016

IBM opens APAC Watson hub in Singapore

IBM has opened a new Watson Centre at Marina Bay in Singapore with the goal of accelerating the development and commercialisation of cognitive computing and blockchain-based technologies.

The new centre will act as an incubator that will bring together expertise from nearly 5000 IBM cognitive computing professionals in the APAC region, including researchers, data scientists, software engineers and analytics experts.

It will offer training, hackathons and workshops for innovation ecosystem clients including companies, start-ups, developers and systems integrators.

Asian financial services group DBS Bank plans to work at the centre to pursue internal innovation and assist in its strategy of supporting FinTech start-ups in the region.

The Watson Centre will also host IBM Studios Singapore, a new centre designed to help APAC clients develop more individualised digital experiences for their customers.

IBM Garage Singapore will meanwhile help accelerate the development and commercialisation of Singaporean blockchain applications, and support the develop of an open standards-based blockchain ecosystem.

The launch forms part of IBM's wider efforts to meet growing demand for cognitive computing in the APAC region, which also include partnerships with technology conglomerate SK Holdings in South Korea and with Bumrungrad International Hospital in Thailand.

"Watson and blockchain are two technologies that will rapidly change the way we live and work, and our clients in Asia Pacific are eager to lead the way in envisioning and creating that future," IBM Asia Pacific chairman and CEO Randy Walker said.

"Here they can leverage the latest in customer experience design, use cognitive technology to draw insight from vast quantities of data, and draw on IBM's huge investments in research and development. In partnership with our clients we are nurturing local talent and building an ecosystem to accelerate the development of cognitive solutions and blockchain platforms."

Watson is IBM's cognitive computing platform that made headlines in 2011 when it won an exhibition match of Jeopardy against two of the quiz show's biggest champions.

IBM has three business units dedicated to advancing the platform — Watson, focused on the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies and AI, Watson Health, dedicated to enabling data-based personalised health care, and Watson IoT, focused on harnessing and generating value from data generated by IoT devices.

Image courtesy of Paul Hudson under CC

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