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From Kasparov to Jeopardy! – IBM continues its pioneering work in AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) may not be taking over the whole world in a literal sense just yet, but it is on the tip of the tongue and front of mind of just about every leader in every level of every business. What is particularly interesting about this new thinking around AI is that IBM has already been leading the charge for decades now.

In a recent webinar Hein Badenhorst, Data, AI and Automation Leader at IBM, as well as Kevin McKerr, Head of Sales & Marketing at BITanium Consulting, reminded everyone of the history of IBM and its strides in AI.

IBM, rather famously (or infamously depending on your chess allegiances) conquered the world of grandmasters by besting the legendary Garry Kasparov with the Deep Blue system in the 90s after the pair had several clashes beforehand. Decades later IBM then beat the beloved American game show Jeopardy! in 2011.

“This shows us how far back this whole notion of AI and supercomputing goes, and also the fact that IBM was already using something similar to the language input we see today. These language models have been around for a long time and the advent of ChatGPT really just brought it to the fore,” McKerr states.

Now as we head into 2024 and the uncertain future of AI, IBM is back to lead the world in another field as Watson returns, but not as you remember it. The new watsonx.ai platform is another revolution in AI and how it can be used today.

The watsonx.ai isn’t a singular AI, but instead an AI platform that allows you to deploy generative AI after custom training, validation and tuning. IBM has also innovated by reducing the time that is needed for this process, and the amount of data required.

Because of this, Watsonx.ai is meant to manage the full lifecycle of your AI from inception to completion. That’s what really blew us away in the webinar. With IBM we could, theoretically, go from being any other company to having a tailored AI working for us, to solve our specific needs, in a short time.

Badenhorst also explains to webinar attendees that IBM has done things differently in its AI research, such as avoiding problematic content like hate speech and copyrighted materials in its training. These aspects were major concerns of the earlier days of AI where any and all data was used for training.

Badenhorst and McKerr also cover the strong ethics that IBM has in place to govern watsonx.ai and the four core principles that are in place, which you can see below:

One great example of the holistic approach taken by IBM in the world of AI is the Prompt Lab. A major focus of the current generation of large language model AI is the powerful ability to enter a prompt to essentially ask an AI to solve a problem. But even with the most powerful AI, you still need to ask the right questions. Prompt Lab helps AI builders create prompts using prompt engineering to fine tune the system and create the best possible ecosystem for users.

Another key area where IBM is innovating with AI is the onboarding process where you actually bring AI into your business.

For this process IBM has three key processes which you can even start with today. The first of these is the most accessible in the form of a free trial available online through ibm.com/watsonx. You and your business, school or governmental body can get involved right there online at your leisure.

The next step in this process is client briefing where IBM and its local partners can provide you with a live demo of what watson.ai can offer in just a couple of hours. Following this, a pilot program lasting several weeks can fully prove AI integration for your use case and create a plan for full adoption.

“IBM and our business partners work quite closely with our clients. Experiment with the free trial and then moving onto the client briefing which we do often and with great success. The discussions we have in the client briefing stage covers the concepts of generative AI and we even run live demos. I have even seen our watsonx.ai platform accomplishing a client’s end goal – uploading, analysing and providing the best model for summarised financial results – right in the short time of a single client briefing. We follow this up with a pilot program that is critical to get right from day one,” Badenhorst explains about the onboarding process.

To get the ball rolling for your own AI solution, and to move onto a client briefing and pilot
program with watsonx.ai, contact BITanium, an IBM Gold Business Partner, today and request a
Free Trial or Live Demo.

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