3 Ways IBM Watson Developer Apps Can Be Used in Business
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

If you haven’t heard of Watson yet you must be living in a cave. Here’s the scoop: Watson is a cognitive computing system that is not programmed but learns just like you and I. In other words, think baby Skynet from Terminator lore. But Watson’s artificial intelligence is nothing to be afraid of–so they say. There are actually tons of ways Watson can be used for business scenarios.

[RELATED: Facebook, Tesla CEOs Invest in Artificial Intelligence]

For example, the IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through blogs, tweets, forum posts, and more. The Personality Insight app then infers personality and social characteristics, including the Big Five personality characteristics, Needs, and Values from text. These insights help businesses to understand their clients’ preferences and improve customer satisfaction by anticipating customer needs and recommending future actions. Businesses can use these insights to improve client acquisition, retention, and engagement, and to strengthen relations with their clients. The following is a brief description of the three kinds of personality insights that are provided by this service

Personality characteristics: The service can build a portrait of an individual’s personality characteristics and how they engage with the world across five primary  dimensions: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (also known as Emotional Range).

Needs: The service can infer certain aspects of a product that will resonate with an individual across twelve needs: Excitement, Harmony, Curiosity, Ideal, Closeness, Self-expression, Liberty, Love, Practicality, Stability, Challenge, and Structure.

Values: The service can identify values that describe motivating factors which influence a person’s decision-making across five dimensions: Self-transcendence/Helping others, Conservation/Tradition, Hedonism/Taking pleasure in life, Self-enhancement/Achieving success, and Open to change/Excitement.

Personality Insights is also used in the applications Speak Up, NYC School Finder, and Your Celebrity Match, which can be found on the Watson Developer Cloud App Gallery.

Another Watson app, the Tone Analyzer, can be great for writing emails and texts for business. It also uses linguistic analysis to detect emotional tones, social propensities, and writing styles in written communication. Then it offers suggestions to help the writer improve their intended language tones.

Finally, the Tradeoff Analytics service helps people optimize their decisions while striking a balance between multiple, often conflicting, objectives. The service can be used to help make complex decisions like what mortgage to take or which laptop to purchase.

Try the Personality Insights, Tradeoff Analytics and Tone Analyzer demos out for yourself and tell us what you think.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.


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