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Saturday, 7 March 2015

#AlchemyAPI bought by IBM for #Watson -- it's obvious whom IBM will buy next

Every time I start getting enthusiastic about an artificial intelligence company's products, IBM buys them for Watson.

Last year I blogged about the code I had written to make a Google App Engine mail handler which displayed summaries of emails by keywords and sentiment. Today I've discovered that AlchemyAPI (who provided a lot of the smarts) have just been bought by IBM.

Earlier last year I was working with Cognea (and a few other chatbot companies) trying to get a service desk agent that could outperform human beings at a mega-sized organisation -- where even handling helpdesk text chats and email was a job handled by a large team. The part I was looking after (routing of incident tickets and predicting failed changes) turned into Queckt (AEED).

Yes, well, anyway, Cognea got bought last year too.

So here's my next prediction: IBM buys x.ai

Two reasons:
  1. I'm a big fan of x.ai's work, so based on past experience they will be bought out by someone sooner or later. If IBM doesn't, someone else will.
  2. Lotus has an integrated calendar and mail system. It's in large organisations with busy executives who could be served very well by an (AI) agent who could organise meetings on their behalf. x.ai only need to plug-in a new back-end calendar service and a new fetch-from-a-Domino-server mail client. Then Notes actually has a useful feature that might stop customers slipping away to Google Apps and Office365.
On the other hand, not every company with artificial intelligence products gets bought by IBM. For example, IFOST hasn't. ;-)

Here are some of the things we've done:

  • Smart systems monitoring: automatic anomaly detection for events on CPU, memory and I/O; detection of log files without human intervention and then determining which messages are important or trivial; prediction of future capacity exhaustion.
  • Intra-oral dental image analysis
  • Improving ITIL ticket handling by 30% using vocabulary detection
  • Identifying student learning disabilities by timing analysis

Let me know if you are interested in any of these. I'll make sure we're not bought out by IBM!