Businesses often get excited about data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning, because of their combined power to potentially impact everyday lives. Across the business landscape, the potential applications of AI are limitless: Farmers are using it to increase crop yields, manufacturers are using it to modernize the supply chain, healthcare organizations are using it to improve diagnosis and treatment accuracy, and banks are relying on algorithms to safeguard data and prevent cybercrime. IBM Watson, through its rich AI capabilities and applications, is causing a storm in the business world. In many ways, IBM Watson is like the poster child for the power of this transformative technology. Every Watson triumph drives greater enthusiasm and shows new use-cases. So, here are 5 times IBM Watson made the headlines in 2018 and gave a tantalizing glimpse of the potential of AI:

  1. Addressing the needs of the hourly workforce: With 58% of the US workforce – over 80 million people – comprising hourly workers, 2018 saw IBM Watson enabling organizations to understand the unique needs of hourly employees. It offered intelligent insights to improve the engagement, performance, career development, and retention of hourly workers. By delivering several AI-driven insights across communications and workforce management, shift-scheduling, personalized training recommendations, and career-coaching, IBM Watson empowered hourly workers and provided actionable insights to the people who manage them, allowing them to navigate challenging workforce management situations better. After a recent collaboration with workforce management company Kronos, employees can interact via chat with Watson Career Coach and get guidance on career paths to choose, open opportunities for advancement, and take up training courses to receive a raise or promotion.
  2. Providing better visibility into global supply chains: The changes in today’s business models created by global operations are putting enormous pressure on the supply chain. Improving visibility of data and processes is critical to predict and mitigate the disruptions and risks that threaten competitive advantage. In 2018, IBM Watson Supply Chain, through its cognitive learning power began enabling organizations to speed up and improve day-to-day decisions and actions – allowing them to create a more transparent, intelligent, and predictive supply chain. With Watson, companies can now monitor and analyze an ever-increasing array of data sets and build a more intelligent, demand-sensitive, customer-centric supply chain. Cognitive sourcing and fulfillment logic optimizes inventory utilization and fulfillment efficiencies in real time, offering a single view of orders and inventory across the entire fulfillment network.
  3. Helping gold miners mine data for value: The dangerous environment mining companies have to deal with every single day comes with a human cost. Add to that the intensity of competition that puts a lot of pressure to maintain economic viability. New gold deposits are extremely hard to find, and the process is unimaginably expensive. In 2018, IBM Watson developed AI capabilities that enabled mining companies to examine a wealth of geological data and detect areas that may have substantial quantities of gold that could be mined. IBM Watson, in association with Goldcorp Inc., brings synergy across the information collected from multiple owners and the mergers and acquisitions of surrounding mining areas and reduce the time geologists spend sourcing and preparing data. Through a set of sophisticated algorithms, Goldcorp can gain critical mining information that is expected to lead to the recovery of an additional 255 kilograms of gold, valued at more than $11 million annually.
  4. Enabling farmers to predict crop prices and combat pests: With farming decisions impacting the entire food supply chain, in 2018, IBM upped its AI game to stabilize a market characterized by unpredictability. IBM Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture leverages AI, IoT, and cloud solutions to generate evidence-based insights, allowing farmers to make better farming decisions without being at the mercy of Mother Nature. By analyzing data generated from farm equipment and environmental sensors, it helps farmers understand factors that drive variation in yields, guiding them to take the right, data-driven decisions. The platform highlights key factors that could affect crop yields including soil temperature, moisture levels, pests, and diseases. Farmers can also use the platform to predict when harvests are likely to happen and the price they’ll fetch on the global market. Farmers can not only identify the best irrigation, planting, and fertilization practices but also be informed about the ideal time to sell a given crop.
  5. Correlating weather with health: The exploding amount of unstructured data about the weather is driving healthcare companies to find the correlation between weather and population health. In 2018, IBM Watson launched the WEATHERfx platform that allows companies to leverage weather data and connect it with patients in more targeted and relevant ways. Through a strategic partnership with the Truven MarketScan database, WEATHERfx is helping predict what weather patterns can trigger particular health conditions. This empowers doctors to connect with patients to drive awareness and specific actions. Based on weather conditions, health and wellness brands can engage with patients at the appropriate moment and get an immediate response. People susceptible to pollen allergies, for instance, may experience the onset of symptoms as winter comes to a close. By aggregating anonymized data, healthcare brands can have a better understanding of the circumstances that may affect the typical allergy patient and proactively engage with patients when weather conditions may seem more likely to trigger a symptom.

Gain a Competitive Edge

IBM Watson, through its AI features, is already making an impact in life and business around the world. Watson’s ability to mine large data sets and uncover critical insights is making it a much sought-after platform, for manufacturing businesses and also those interested in functions like customer service, HR, marketing, and operations. With the capability to meet the demands of several industry segments, IBM Watson is giving organizations the control and decision-making accuracy they need to drive innovation and competitive edge and 2019 promises to be even bigger. The Trinus partnership with IBM has given us deep and varied insight into the implementation of IBM Watson, so talk to us if this post has inspired you to look at your own business as a fit use-case and we will help you derive the maximum mileage that IBM Watson can offer you!