White coats, talking robots and excited delegates. That was the scene at the second IBM Mad Scientist event last week, which took place at the BigDataLDN conference in Olympia. Three members of the Emerging Technology team were in attendance, showcasing the latest developments in Cognitive, Cloud and IoT technology. Elizabeth Bowen demonstrated how IBM’s Watson can be used for natural language conversation in conjunction with a talking robot! This project, which was developed alongside researchers at Oxford Brookes University, aims to generate human like responses to natural language questions. Using IBM Watson’s Conversation, Speech to Text and Text to Speech Services, the Emerging Technology team have created a natural language system capable of discussing robotics and AI. On the second day of the conference, Oxford Brookes brought their “AI Head” to demonstrate the ability to simulate human like movements and the potential of combining their research with IBM’s cognitive capability.
Tim Donovan from Emerging Technology showcased the potential of combining Amazon’s Alexa with IBM’s opensource IoT platform Node-RED, hosted within Bluemix. His demo entitled ‘Alexa talking to Watson’, demonstrated the ability to quickly connect Alexa to additional services hosted within IBM’s Bluemix cloud platfom including IBM’s own Watson conversation service.
In Emerging Technology, we rapidly prototype solutions to help solve client problems. Dan Cunnington was demonstrating the outcomes of recent Hackathons which included a smarter bus disruption app to predict congestion on the streets of London. Using geolocated tweets related to buses and image recognition of TfL’s CCTV traffic cameras with IBM Watson, Dan showcased the potential to rapidly integrate third party services using IBM Bluemix. Also on show was LightHouse – a novel method of providing control for vulnerable banking customers without taking away their independence. This showcased the potential of using IBM Design Thinking to create innovative solutions.
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