What’s hot and what’s not in application development

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Wondering what the “next big thing” in application development will be? Unless you happen to have a crystal ball handy, you can’t know for sure exactly what the future holds. But to give us a sense for what to expect, James Governor of Redmonk and Marcus Boone of IBM Watson got together during a webinar and shared their predictions for what’s hot and what’s not for application development in 2017. Here are a few tidbits from their conversation, including why cognitive app development is poised to accelerate and the role Watson cognitive APIs will play.

The democratization of data science

During the webinar, Marcus Boone said, “Data science for developers has to go more mainstream.” Although the data scientist role is often listed as a top job, he points out that what the role actually is and the skills and definition required aren’t necessarily well-defined. Because data science is in demand, he feels that democratizing the access to cognitive and artificial intelligence capabilities is a trend that’s going to continue in 2017. He says it has “certainly been a big focus of ours at Watson–to make those capabilities available for developers so they can do some really great things within their applications.”

Empowering developers wherever they are

In addition to empowering developers with access to Watson cognitive APIs, Marcus goes on to say that IBM is working to make cognitive capabilities available in more areas where developers may need them. He says, “We’re really focused on exposing Watson to developers where developers are.” IBM is working to establish relationships like the ones already set up with Twilio and Slack. He says, “It’s really about making the services and capabilities from Watson available to developers in those environments and to make it easier to include the capabilities that we offer within their applications.”

Accessing “dark” data

Marcus and James discussed the fact that image recognition is often a key entry point for developers. Accessing information from the “dark” data within still images and video goes beyond simply recognizing landmarks or faces in a photo album. As a developer, Marcus says you can now “train your own models and go solve your own problems again tying in that developer space. We’ve got a partner, for example, that has trained image classifiers to assist in the management of drought conditions.” The company has access to a unique data set so they were able to train image classifiers to define the high water usage areas such as swimming pools to better address conservation issues.

Find out what the buzz is about

Maybe you’ve experimented with cognitive technology, but you’re not sure if or how it will work with app development at your company. Don’t let more time pass without unlocking the true potential in your unstructured text, speech and images. Get more examples of how businesses are taking advantage of cognitive technology and where application development is headed in the future by listening to the webinar.


Get the full story on Application Developer Predictions for 2017.


Senior Writer, IBM Watson

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