Watson APIs

Three cognitive APIs that can help drive innovation

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According to a recent survey conducted by IBM, 66 percent of organizations would like to create more digital, personalized experiences.1 But doing so isn’t always easy. For companies seeking ways to deepen relationships with individuals without the upfront costs, delays, and staffing challenges associated with conventional methods, cognitive application programming interfaces (APIs) offer a promising alternative.

The IBM Watson suite of cognitive APIs are backed by advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Using these APIs, developers can quickly and easily build applications that understand, reason, learn and interact naturally with people. Three Watson APIs are particularly useful for organizations that want to create more personalized experiences:

  • Personality Insights
  • Emotion Analysis
  • Tone Analyzer

Organizations often wonder what they can do with cognitive APIs focused on individual insights. Here’s a little more information about the three APIs and examples of how companies might use them.

Personality Insights

The Watson Personality Insights API predicts an individual’s personality characteristics, needs and values to drive personalization. It extracts and analyzes a spectrum of personality attributes to give you insights into people and entities. Then, it guides users through highly personalized interactions based on those insights. The service outputs personality characteristics divided into three dimensions: The Big 5, values and needs.

Using the information from Personality Insights, companies can tailor outreach directly to individuals and improve message resonance. For example, an organization might use Personality Insights to help them create personalized marketing offers or screen job candidates.

Emotion Analysis

Emotion Analysis, which is a component of the AlchemyLanguage API, discerns the feelings of an individual by analyzing his or her writing. The API uses linguistic analytics to measure the emotions implied by a text sample. Each request returns confidence scores for anger, disgust, fear, joy and sadness.

In every interaction with an organization, individuals expose their emotions and expect an empathetic response. With a better understanding of a person’s emotion at the point of interaction, organizations can alter their responses to make them more appropriate. For example, an organization might use Emotion Analysis to evaluate internal response to new employee plans and programs based on real-time feedback.

Tone Analyzer

The Tone Analyzer API uses linguistic analysis to detect three types of language tones from text: emotion, social tendencies and language style. Organizations can analyze an individual’s writings to assess the emotional, social, and linguistic themes that are conveyed throughout the text. They can then fine-tune the message to improve the response. For example, human resources teams could embed Tone Analyzer within online employee review tools to help ensure that managers and employees are communicating in productive tones.

Learn more about how organizations are gaining insights into individuals and seizing opportunities using the Watson suite of cognitive APIs by downloading the “Getting to know you, part 2” white paper.

  1. Redefining Boundaries: Insights from the Global C-suite Study. IBM Institute for Business Value. 2015.

Read the “Getting to know you, part 2” white paper.


Senior Writer, IBM Watson

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