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Now AI will understand language of business

IBM has announced the first commercial availability of key technologies from Project Debate, which enable businesses to begin mining the most challenging aspects of human language

IBM, a leader in artificial intelligence for business, is announcing several new IBM Watson technologies designed to help organisations begin identifying, understanding and analysing some of the most challenging aspects of the English language with greater clarity, for greater insights.

The new technologies represent the first commercialisation of key Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities to come from IBM Research’s Project Debater, the only AI system capable of debating humans on complex topics.

For example, a new advanced sentiment analysis feature is defined to identify and analyse idioms and colloquialisms for the first time. Phrases, like ‘hardly helpful,’ or ‘hot under the collar,’ have been challenging for AI systems because they are difficult for algorithms to spot. With advanced sentiment analysis, businesses can begin analysing such language data with Watson APIs for a more holistic understanding of their operation. Further, IBM is bringing technology from IBM Research for understanding business documents, such as PDF’s and contracts, to also add to their AI models.

“Language is a tool for expressing thought and opinion, as much as it is a tool for information,” says Rob Thomas, General Manager, IBM Data and AI. “This is why we’re harvesting technology from Project Debater and integrating it into Watson – to enable businesses to capture, analyse, and understand more from human language and start to transform how they utilize intellectual capital that’s codified in data.”

Today IBM is announcing that it plans to integrate Project Debater technologies into Watson throughout the year, with a focus advancing clients’ ability to exploit natural language.

IBM, has long been a leader in NLP, developing technologies that enable computer systems to learn, analyse and understand human language – including sentiment, dialects, intonations, and more – with increasing accuracy and speed. IBM has brought its NLP technology, much of which was born in IBM Research, to market via Watson. Products such as, Watson Discovery for document understanding, IBM Watson Assistant for virtual agents, and Watson Natural Language Understanding for advanced sentiment analysis, are all infused with NLP.

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