IBM says Watson AI will work on rival cloud providers

IBM announced that some of its Watson artificial intelligence services will work on rival cloud providers as it seeks to win over customers that want greater flexibility in how they store and analyze data.
Rob Thomas, general manager of IBM Data and AIIBM aims to position its services as compatible with any form of computer infrastructure a customer wants to operate. IBM earlier announced its decision to buy open-source software company Red Hat for $34 billion.

CIOs and IT heads at companies will be able to deploy Watson AI tools such as Watson Assistant to develop conversational services such as a virtual customer service agent, in mobile apps hosted on and Microsoft as well as IBM servers, IBM said at the Think, its annual conference in San Francisco to showcase new technology.

“With most large organizations storing data across hybrid cloud environments, they need the freedom and choice to apply AI to their data wherever it is stored,” Rob Thomas, general manager of IBM Data and AI, said in a news release on Tuesday.

IBM will rely on an open-source software package known as Kubernetes to make the links to rival clouds.

IBM in recent years has sought to bolster its cloud and analytics businesses while moving away from slumping hardware products and traditional software offerings.

Qatar Development Bank has selected IBM to establish the IBM Innovation Hub Doha. One of the key technologies that the Hub will deploy is IBM Cloud Private for Data.

IBM also announced that IBM Watson Machine Learning extended with a new Accelerator (Watson Machine Learning Accelerator) that enables high performance GPU clustering on Power Systems and X86 systems.

Combined with IBM POWER9’s GPU memory bandwidth, the solution can offer up to 10x faster machine learning training than competitive solutions.

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