IBM’s Watson cognitive computing platform is almost a victim of its own fame. Watson famously beat all-comers to win the Jeopardy game show a few years ago. At the time, the general public (helped, it has to be said, by IBM’s marketers) assumed the win was an indication that, in short order, smart computers would be everywhere and intuitively making the right decisions in every situation.
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Since the Jeopardy win, however, IBM seems to have had a hard time finding good market fits for Watson. This isn’t a criticism of IBM in any way. The reality is that while many consumer brands apply artificial intelligence (AI) to their products (think Amazon book recommendations, Google maps smart routing or Apple’s Siri) most existing examples have been from those companies building AI tools themselves. There are far fewer examples of enterprises leveraging a third-party cognitive platform to build into their own applications.