Developers

The Future Cognitive Workforce Part 2: Teaching the Next Generation of Builders

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By Steve Abrams, IBM Vice President of Watson Developer Advocacy

Announced today at World of Watson, and as Rob High outlined in the first post in this series, IBM has partnered with Udacity to develop a nanodegree in artificial intelligence. Rob discussed IBM’s commitment to empowering developers to learn more about cognitive computing and equipping them with the educational resources they need to build their careers in AI.

To continue on this commitment, I’m excited to announce another new program today geared at college students that we’ve launched with Kivuto Solutions, an academic software distributor. Via Kivuto’s popular digital resource management platform, students and academics around the world will now gain free access to the complete IBM Bluemix Portfolio — and specifically, Watson. This offers students and faculty at any accredited university – as well as community colleges and high schools with STEM programs – an easy way to tap into Watson services. Through this access, teachers will also gain a better means to create curriculum around subjects like AI.

Starting today, students and teachers can register online using their academic credentials, download IBM software and secure Bluemix promotion codes that enable them to access our suite of cognitive services available through the Watson platform. They will receive six months’ worth of free access and then can renew their access at no cost while they are enrolled at the university. Faculty receive 12 months of free access.

For academic faculty, we have gone a step further and are now providing them access to specialized IBM courseware, including labs, exercises and answer sheets for use in classes or lectures. For both groups, our goal was simple – to provide fast, easy and free access to a huge portfolio of tools and resources that will enable them to tap into the power of cognitive computing.

All of the software and products available through the IBM Academic Initiative can be accessed through the OnTheHub IBM Academic Initiative page, a digital storefront of IBM’s offerings including, of course, Watson.

Our partnership with Kivuto is just the latest example of IBM’s commitment to building the next generation of developers. Watson courses have been offered at nearly 300 universities, and many budding developers are attending Watson webinars and participating in hackathons.

Some of the best cognitive solutions we’ve seen created with Watson have originated from university students. A great example is ROSS Intelligence, a Y Combinator-backed startup that began as a winning team from the University of Toronto at a Watson Academic Competition. ROSS ultimately built the world’s first artificially intelligent lawyer that is currently helping in legal research for bankruptcy law firms.

As we look to building the future cognitive workforce, new approaches like our work with Udacity and Kivuto will be essential to ensuring that every member of our developer community, at every point in their journey, has the tools, the talent and the expertise to execute on their vision. In turn, they will bring to market a new class of cognitive innovations that will transform how humans interact with technology, and how businesses and consumers make decisions.

We encourage you to join us and help build the technologies of the future.

Senior Content Manager, IBM Watson

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