IBM at The Next Web Summit 2017

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Last week Amsterdam was one big European fusion of tech and digital with almost 15,000 people visiting over 2 days! The vibe, weather, and people could not have been any better. It was a unique way to get a glimpse into the future of upcoming industry initiatives like the impact of technology on humans, AI, VR, IoT and blockchain. Did it challenge your thinking too?  

This year we took part by creating a 360 degree IBM Cognitive Experience demonstrating the role augmented intelligence can play to amplify the human interaction via participation at the hack battle, a VR experience, a chatbot workshop, our cognitive café and demo’s and with an amazing keynote by Marc Teerlink (see video below).

May 17: Best of the battle of the sensors

It all started with the epic Hack Battle, aka the IoT sandbox placing a grid of sensors throughout the entire terrain. 200 developers and designers spent 36 hours on developing prototypes of applications based on local data points like waste measurement, foot traffic, speech recognition, energy use and APIs by The Things Network, Triggi, Mollie, IBM Bluemix, Toon, and Radix. From elderly care to how not to get your stuff stolen, read here about this year’s 10 finalists in no particular order. Nerdalized was one of my personal favourites; based on the mood of the music, you can direct people to a location of their favourite music.

TNW pre-boat party. We started TNW 2017 in true local style…cruising the Amsterdam canals! Amsterdam’s only ‘boat-thru’ takeaway was setting the scene for some casual networking with the local & visiting tech community. See the pictures here to relive the good times on the Dutch water in the sun with great company!


May 18: TNW 2017 It’s the final countdown!

Technology is inserting itself into our daily rituals. Your living room, bedroom, even your bathroom. You haven’t seen it yet. The question is what is to come in the future and how will it affect different industries? How can industry experts create something valuable for their clients and guide them through the ever-changing technology landscape in a way that benefits them and their customers and fans? In other words, how can you capitalize on data and AI and integrate these new initiatives into your brand and products?

We created experiences using the IBM technology to create a bot, remix a song, pick your candy, or assist you with a coffee/beer recommendation to learn about Watson and see how IBM clients and partners are “making with Watson”. A small recap of the demos.

Cognitive Coffee and Beer + machine learning = your perfect match

When you entered the booth, we would ask you a few personal questions, such as “Do you like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?” Based on the answers given, the attendees received a personal picked flavour of coffee or beer based on the taste that Watson Personality Insights identified.

Watson Beat – discover how Watson can analyze your personal music taste

Artists can collaborate with Watson music to inspire the hit making process from volumes of data. Watson gives artists the tools they need to see inspiration in places they never could before. The ability to turn millions of unstructured data points into emotional insights helps artists and producers to create a new kind of music. Watson Beat can look at the composition of songs to find useful patterns between various keys, chord progressions, and genres completing an emotional fingerprint of music. As Watson Beat started out a research project, I am happy to announce the API of this functionality will be available on IBMs Cloud platform for everyone to use after the summer.

The Cognitive Candy Machine – Are you hungry or hangry?

By extracting the type of sentiment via Watson Natural Language Understanding and Speech to Text, Watson decided if you deserved a sweet or sour candy based on your question. If you asked for a candy politely, you got an M&M. The prize for a sour sentiment was a skittle.

What is the tone of #TNW2017?

We created a wearable device that was real-time monitoring the #TNW2017 twitter feed connecting with the Watson Tone Analyzer. It detects three types of tones from written text: emotions (anger, fear, joy, sadness, and disgust), social tendencies (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism), and writing style (confident, analytical, and tentative). The different “tones” were shown in colors on this device.

Get in touch with an immersive VR experience

Here you could discover how Watson changes everyday life and can maximize your involvement by visiting three different interactive areas that tell three different stories.

Nine Connections – AI for employee advocacy

One of the startups that we are very proud of that uses the Watson Discovery News API is Nine Connections. They have worked with AI for over 7 years already and created an app for employee engagement by assisting employees in reading and sharing the right news for their specialism to post recommended content, engage more people, and reach new audiences. Check it out here

Build your own chatbot in a snap

When you have a curious mind and like to work with your hands, you like building things. Well, we’ll show you how easy it is using the Watson Assistent API. The workshop was hands-on, giving you the opportunity to create your very own bot for all levels of expertise, learning by doing. For a recap check out this Github link.


The future of AI keynote by Marc Teerlink from IBM Watson

“Five years from now, all of the very important decisions that we make will be assisted by AI”, according to Marc Teerlink

Already today, doctors are making treatment decision support by AI. Already today, 200 Fortune 500 companies are contributing AI use in their earning results. In five years, AI will be adopted by the mainstream. The question, however, is; how will you capitalize your company with AI? Find the key take-aways here:

  1. Do one thing, focus and do it better then anyone else.
  2. Your data is your currency, it’s the most valuable asset you have; don’t give it away without getting something more valuable in return
  3. Focus on the benefits of the benefits
  4. Take a process that you know very well and infuse it with AI
  5. Focus on what value AI brings to your business and let the robots process and the human think.

The misconception is that many people think that you should capitalize on AI by big initiatives that are bold and that have never been done before; shooting for the moon! The reality is that people want the same things as they have always wanted. They just want it faster, cheaper, and across an enormous amount of data.

See what IVY did with Watson for hotels, or the Watson Oncology Advisor for healthcare via the video of Marc’s keynote.

Want to know more? Don’t spend that time twiddling your thumbs!

  • Pick up our tools and create a world changing idea of your own.
  • Sign up for the developerWorks newsletter, and check out the IBM Cloud platform to get started with AI and join the community of your preference.
  • Make sure you liaise with one of our own developer advocates (Edward Ciggaar, Hans Boef or Damiaan Zwietering)  during the upcoming Watson Event 2017 in Amsterdam on the 14th of June.

from left to right, IBM’s developer advocates: Edward Ciggaar, Hans Boef and Damiaan Zwietering

Developer Ecosystem and Startups Leader

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