IBM buys Cognea, will add its virtual assistant technology to Watson

The deal is part of IBM's plans to commercialize Watson

IBM has acquired virtual assistant software startup Cognea, with plans to roll its capabilities into the Watson cognitive computing platform.

Cognea's virtual assistants "relate to people using a wide variety of personalities -- from suit-and-tie formal to kid-next-door friendly," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM's Watson Group, in a blog post. "We believe this focus on creating depth of personality, when combined with an understanding of the users' personalities will create a new level of interaction that is far beyond today's 'talking' smartphones."

That seeming swipe at the likes of Apple's Siri underscores the depth of IBM's ambitions in the virtual assistant and artificial intelligence market.

"I'm not talking about just giving the computer a simple command or asking a simple question," Rhodin said in the blog post. "That's yesterday's technology. I'm talking about more realistic conversations -- everything from friendly chitchat to intense debate."

The Cognea deal follows IBM's investments in Fluid, which makes a shopping assistant application, and Welltok, which develops online health-care community sites. IBM did not disclose financial terms of the Cognea acquisition.

IBM made a big splash with Watson in 2011, when the computer system defeated former champions of the game show "Jeopardy," and subsequently has tried to commercialize the technology.

Earlier this year, IBM announced it would invest more than US$1 billion to create the business group Rhodin now leads, including $100 million in startup companies creating applications on its Watson-powered development cloud.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags databasesMergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuesIBMbusiness intelligencesoftwareapplicationsdata miningCognea

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?