New APIs and SDKs for the IBM Watson Developer Cloud

Posted 10/1/2015 8:05:34 AM by RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

New APIs and SDKs for the IBM Watson Developer Cloud
The IBM Watson Developer Cloud is getting new APIs and SDKs that will expand the ability to enable cognitive computing features for apps using IBM Watson's Language, Vision, Speech and Data APIs.

These services use advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning approaches to provide new opportunities to understand and engage users, and leverage the growth of unstructured data in multiple formats: text, speech, photos and videos.

General Availability Services 

Several services released in GA include:

- Natural Language Classifier mimics the human ability to classify naturally expressed short phrases into categories, or classes. By applying a deep learning approach, it can classify new phrases it has not been given before.

- Dialog provides a comprehensive and robust platform for managing conversations between virtual agents and users.

- Retrieve and Rank combines the power of Apache Solr with machine learning algorithms to rerank results and deliver superior answers to queries. It is especially valuable for finding information buried in vast amounts of content.

- Concept Insights enables the ability to work with concepts and identify conceptual associations in the content that is provided as input to the service.

- With Natural Language Classifier, Dialog and Retrieve and Rank, IBM has opened up a flexible approach to building a broad range of Q&A solutions with Watson APIs.

New Services

Two new services are being released in experimental mode:

- Document Conversion helps convert content in different formats such as PDF to formats that can be used by other Watson services, such as Retrieve and Rank. 

- Visual Insights enables drawing insights from large collections of images, such as those in social media. It infers attributes from the visuals related to interests, activities, hobbies, life events, and places to a more comprehensive view of what users are communicating.

New Features

Among the new features for IBM Watson are:

- Language Translation now enables the ability for developers to customize translation models using their own data to create a custom dictionary. 

- Speech to Text and Text to Speech support new languages and have added mobile SDKs to serve wider variety of platforms.

- Concept Expansion released a new application as Limited Availability (access by request), allowing the ability to rapidly expand and enrich a concept set to boost the performance of analytics. This cognitive application learns by example, taking the concept set already known and learning from it to reveal additional, similar terminology that may not have been known to exist.

AlchemyAPI in Bluemix

All AlchemyAPI services are now available through Bluemix. This enables the ability to access more Watson API’s through Bluemix, take advantage of the benefits of building apps in the Bluemix platform and leverage Bluemix subscriptions for using AlchemyAPI services. These services include:

- AlchemyLanguage
- AlchemyVision
- AlchemyData

Included with the updates is a new IBM Watson Developer Cloud website highlighting the full breadth of IBM Watson capabilities.

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About the author: RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

As the Publisher and Editor for App Developer Magazine, Richard has several industry recognitions and endorsements from tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google for accomplishments in the mobile market. He was part of the early Google AFMA program, and also involved in the foundation of Google TV. He has been developing for mobile since 2003 and serves as CEO of Moonbeam Development, a mobile app company with 200 published titles in various markets throughout the world. Richard is also the founder of LunarAds, a mobile cross-promotion and self-serv mediation network for developers. He has been a featured presenter at trade-shows and conferences, and stays active with new projects relating to mobile development.

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