Inside IBM’s billion-dollar bet on Watson

Venture Beat | July 18, 2014

By Richard Byrne Reilly

Watson now has the weight of IBM on its shoulders.

Big Blue, the largest technology company on the planet, with 400,000 employees, is betting big on Watson, a cognitive supercomputer with artificial intelligence capabilities that learns from, and teaches, its human subjects.

Watson vaulted to fame by beating the tar out of his human opponents on Jeopardy, a show watched by millions, three years ago.

Now, under the tutelage of IBM’s Watson Group and flush with $1 billion in spending money from IBM, Watson is getting set to plant its flag in Manhattan’s East Village. IBM is throwing open the doors in September to 51 Astor Place, Watson’s new $100 million glass-walled office, for developers, designers, and data scientists.

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