“If it’s digital, it’ll be cognitive”, explained IBM CEO Ginni Rometty in a wide-ranging discussion at the annual Code Conference in Calfornia this week.
“In five years, there’s no doubt in my mind that cognitive AI will impact every decision made,” she said.
Rometty was explaining just how pervasive IBM’s brand of cognitive computing will be in the next five years and beyond. Their presence currently takes the form of Watson and its cloud-based cognitive computing engine, which is now involved in everything from cancer research to teaching robots how to speak Japanese.
The company, which has seen its share of change in the last 30 years has invested billions of dollars in cognitive computing. Rometty wouldn’t put an exact dollar amount on the Watson spend, but did say that it’s a significant part of their $18 billion analytics business.
The investment may be working – Rometty said that 60 percent to 70 percent of all customers coming into their cloud services taps into Watson.
As IBM transitions from a purely enterprise company, and even from a traditional business-to-business model, Rometty says they, along with others, are increasingly becoming consumer focused. It’s one of the reasons IBM snapped up the Weather Company (Weather.com and its data) last year.
When pressed on whether or not AI will start taking healthcare jobs, Rometty, admitted that there will certainly be some kind of job impact. “You aren’t going to stop it…the trend is going keep moving,” she said, noting that she thinks repetitive task jobs will take a hit, but new jobs in areas like data will emerge.
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