IBM Unveils Watsonx, a New AI and Data Management Platform for Enterprises
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At its annual Think conference today, IBM announced watsonx, a new AI and data management platform for enterprises. With watsonx, IBM is offering an AI development studio with a suite of foundation models that enterprises can use to build, train, tune and deploy traditional machine learning and new generative AI capabilities.
Expected to launch in July 2023, the IBM watsonx.ai studio will allow customers to access a library of foundation models trained on a variety of modalities, including code, time-series data, tabular data, geospatial data, and IT events data.
In addition to IBM’s models developed in-house, the company has inked a new partnership with Hugging Face to offer thousands of open-source Hugging Face foundation models, datasets, and libraries in watsonx.ai. Hugging Face, in turn, will provide access to all of IBM’s exclusive and open-source models and tools. Other organizations that have partnered with IBM s include Meta and NASA.
One of the tools available in the watsonx suite is the Prompt Lab, which allows users to complete AI tasks using only a few labeled examples. Another tool is the Tuning Studio, which utilizes fine-tuning techniques developed by IBM Research to enable businesses to personalize foundational models using their own data.
A core component of the IBM watsonx platform, IBM watsonx.data is a data store built on an open lakehouse architecture. It allows users to retrieve their data through a centralized entry point and run multiple query engines across IT environments.
The third product set in the watsonx platform is IBM watsonx.governance, an AI governance toolkit to enable trusted AI workflows expected to be available later this year. The toolkit will provide the mechanisms to protect customer privacy, proactively detect model bias and drift, and help organizations meet their ethics standards.
IBM also plans to integrate watsonx foundation models – including a generative AI solution that allows developers to generate code with an English language command – into its software products.
Doubling down on its focus on hybrid cloud and AI adoption, IBM has also announced new GPU offerings, a Center of Excellence for generative AI with over 1,000 generative AI experts, and an AI-informed dashboard to enable clients to measure, track, manage and help report their carbon emissions associated with their hybrid multi-cloud journey.
“Three years ago, our CEO declared that IBM’s strategy is focused on hybrid cloud and AI. Since then, we have concentrated R&D in those areas, acquired companies with the right mix of capabilities and divested those that don’t align with our focus,”Kate Woolley, General Manager of Ecosystem at IBM, wrote in a blog post.
The unveiling of watsonx comes shortly after IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told Bloomberg last week that the company will pause hiring as it plans to replace 7,800 jobs with AI.
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