Getting to know and playfully experiencing Watson, your colleague

Through the interaction with the Internet of Things, intelligent devices and digital assistants like Siri, Alexa or Cortana, we now have more or less intelligent personal assistants knocking at the front doors of private households and companies alike. The topic of artificial intelligence is obviously the subject of controversial debate. After the jobs in production, will robots and personal assistant systems now cost us our workplace in the office as well? Are we about to experience the next decisive revolution in the labour market?

It is important that we tackle the topic of artificial intelligence and cognitive systems – as we here at IBM say – in an objective and, by all means, controversial manner. This will be an important topic at the IBM HR Festival on 9th May, which takes place during the re:publica. Amongst other things, we will be discussing the influence that digitalisation is having on, and in, companies and which role the HR department and the CHRO should play in this digital transformation.

At the same time, we will also be demonstrating and discussing how the numerous functions and interfaces of IBM Watson can support HR work. For example, the Career Coach is able to help with personal career planning based on the analysis of an employee’s previous jobs and skill set. IBM Watson Talent, on the other hand, can support HR in the targeted development of the best talents and their placement in the right jobs.

We will, of course, also be discussing the topics of data privacy and protection at the re:publica. IBM has resolutely committed itself to transparency and trust in the cognitive era. The data and analyses generated with the help of the many Watson APIs belong solely to the respective user company and are not implemented into the knowledge graphs of the respective provider – as is sometimes the case with other providers.

Together with Design Offices and other partners such as KPMG, XU, the Bertelsmann Foundation or aperto, we will be staging the IBM Watson Work Lounge in Hall 8, where we’ll be making a point of demonstrating the playful aspects of artificial intelligence: the Cognitive Dress, which was designed by a Berlin fashion designer and which we will be showing live, analyses the mood and tone of tweets and colours the dress accordingly. Anyone interested can have their Twitter profile compared to celebrities’ accounts – mine apparently resembles Michael Dell’s. Or you can check out DJ Watson as it takes various songs and pieces of music and morphs them into different music styles. Producers like Alexa Da Kid have already successfully experimented in this direction with IBM Watson.

All of these examples are aimed to encourage developers, as well as university and school students, to consider and reflect on the topic of artificial intelligence, IBM Watson and the many APIs, to play with them and to acquire further experience. Maybe there’s someone out there who feels like bringing the TJ Bot to life in 15 minutes with the help of IBM Watson? We will only be able to shape the future in a conscious and well-founded manner if we are well versed on the topic of artificial intelligence.


image credit: Holger Münch on behalf of IBM