IBM plans to invest more than $1 billion in its newly-established Watson Group business for building and marketing cloud-based cognitive technologies in an effort to help answer customer queries from large volumes of data.
Michael Rhodin, formerly IBM’s senior vice president for software services group, will lead the Watson Group and that business will focus on research and development of cognitive applications and services, IBM said Thursday.
Rhodin said the group aims to help organizations engage customers, healthcare providers meet patient needs and to work with entrepreneurs on seeking business opportunities.
The company’s investment includes $100 million for IBM’s start-ups ecosystem, which works to build new cognitive Watson-powered apps within the IBM Watson developer cloud.
IBM’s Watson Group will be based in New York City’s Silicon Alley technology center, where nearly 2,000 professionals will work to design and develop cognitive technologies.
Watson will be deployed on the Softlayer cloud infrastructure and collaborate with IBM’s research, services, software and systems divisions.
IBM also introduced the Watson Discovery Advisor for pharmaceutical and publishing researches, Watson Analytics for exploring big data insights and Watson Explorer for sharing data insights.
The Watson Group headquarters will serve as a business incubator for startups to develop products and services using IBM’s technology, tools and talent.