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IBM Offers Watson as Cloud Application Tool

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(Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp.’s Watson technology, famous for outsmarting humans on the game show “Jeopardy!,” will be offered as a cloud-based tool to application developers, letting them tap a resource capable of giving everything from shopping tips to medical advice.

Programmers will be able to access the IBM Watson Developers Cloud, an online marketplace with resources for developing apps, use a content store with data from third-party providers and get help from IBM and contracted professionals, the Armonk, New York-based company said in a statement today.

“There is so much more that can be accomplished by drawing on the creativity of individuals, organizations, entrepreneurs, startups and established businesses that truly innovate every day on their own,” said Stephen Gold, vice president of Watson Solutions, in an interview. “Watson can be this ultimate assistant to help individuals get their questions answered and their problems solved.”

Opening up the Watson platform to outside developers is IBM’s latest step to commercialize the technology as it tries to boost revenue from cloud computing amid a decline in its hardware business. Watson, which can answer questions after being preloaded with documents and websites, has been deployed in the health and finance markets since its debut on the “Jeopardy!” in 2011.

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