IBM Invests $100M in Watson Computer Africa Roll Out; Kamal Bhattacharya Comments

IBMlogo3 EbizIBM Corp. wants to invest $100 million in a 10-year initiative to roll out its artificial intelligence and cognitive systems in Africa in an effort to seek business opportunities in the region.

IBM will deploy the Watson technology from its Africa research laboratory, where researchers can develop new services in healthcare, education, water and sanitation, human mobility and agriculture under the Project Lucy initiative, IBM said Thursday.

Kamal Bhattacharya, director of IBM Research in Africa, said the company intends for Watson to help Africa achieve economic growth.

IBM also plans to open a pan-African development center, where partners such as universities, development agencies and start-up companies will collaborate to build the Watson ecosystem and seek fresh markets.

The new center's initial goals are to help medical workers diagnose diseases and identify proper treatment methods, as well as to analyze previous correlations data for the educational system in the region.

IBM has also established new facilities in Nigeria and South Africa for big data analytics and cloud services.

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