Latest innovations in IBM Watson to improve AI automation, NLP

Developed by IBM Research, the new capabilities in IBM Watsons are designed to improve the automation of AI, provide a higher degree of precision in natural language processing (NLP), and foster greater trust in outcomes derived from AI predictions.

One of the innovations includes Reading Comprehension, which is based on an innovative question-answering (QA) system from IBM Research. At present, it is still in beta in IBM Watson Discovery, it is planned as a new feature that can help identify more precise answers in response to natural language queries from vast troves of complex enterprise documents. It also provides scores that indicate how confident the system is in each answer.

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FAQ Extraction uses a novel NLP technique from IBM Research to automate the extraction of Q&A pairs from FAQ documents. Currently in beta in IBM Watson Assistant’s search skill, it is planned as a new feature to help businesses keep virtual assistants up-to-date with the latest answers and reduce the time-consuming process of manual updates.

A new intent classification model is now available in IBM Watson Assistant. It is designed to more accurately understand an end user’s goal or intent when engaging with a virtual assistant and to enable administrators to train the system faster. The model provides more accurate results from less data versus compared to commercial systems. This can help businesses go live with virtual assistants in a few days while achieving high accuracy.

IBM Watson Discovery now includes support for 10 new languages including Bosnian, Croatian, Danish, Finnish, Hebrew, Hindi, Norwegian (Bokmål), Norwegian (Nynorsk), Serbian and Swedish. IBM has continued to add support for additional languages to help businesses build global, enterprise-grade NLP solutions.

New features in IBM Watson Assistant and IBM Watson Discovery are designed to improve the automation of AI and provide a higher degree of accuracy and precision in natural language processing.

AI Factsheets

“This past year has shown us that the real power of AI is in helping companies take action and respond to changing conditions in real time. That means in minutes and hours — not weeks or months,” said Daniel Hernandez, GM of Data and AI, IBM. “Today’s new AI capabilities are yet another example of how cutting-edge AI advancements coming out of IBM Research help us to deliver innovations for language, automation and building trust in IBM Watson that are changing the game for businesses of all sizes and across all industries.”

IBM also announced plans to commercialize IBM Research-developed “AI Factsheets” in Watson Studio in Cloud Pak for Data throughout the next year. Like nutrition labels for foods or information sheets for appliances, AI Factsheets are designed to provide information about a product’s important characteristics. Standardizing and publicizing this information will help build trust in AI services across the industry.

To complement this, IBM Services for AI at Scale, a new consulting offering, provides businesses with a framework, methodology, and underlying technology to guide organizations on their journey to trustworthy and ethical AI. IBM Cloud Pak for Data also has new capabilities to provide a complete foundation for AI that can run on any cloud. Read more about the AI Governance updates here.