IBM Watson Group’s global headquarters, at 51 Astor Place in New York City’s Silicon Alley, is open for business. The Watson headquarters will serve as a home base for more than 600 IBM Watson employees, just part of the more than 2,000 IBMers dedicated to Watson worldwide. In addition to a sizeable employee presence, IBM is opening its doors to area developers and entrepreneurs, hosting industry workshops, seminars and networking opportunities to build enthusiasm and awareness among the New York City start up community.
For entrepreneurs and start ups, the Watson Group’s Silicon Alley headquarters will provide technology, tools and talent to create and launch new products and businesses based on Watson’s cloud-delivered cognitive intelligence. IBM will lead its cognitive computing innovation from the new global headquarters, collaborating with its five new Watson client experience centers around the world.
An interactive client experience lab will serve as a place for IBM clients to experience Watson and learn how they can help transform their businesses. In addition, the headquarters will host a design lab for continuously enhancing the user experience for cognitive applications and services used by IBM clients and partners. Workshops and seminars on topics such as development skills, as well as networking opportunities, will allow the community to experience firsthand how to bring new innovations to market. These events will also build upon IBM’s academic partnerships to prepare university students for careers in cognitive computing, Big Data and analytics. This includes Watson-inspired business and technical challenges, new curricula, faculty grants and internships.
The New York tech industry continues to add jobs at a rapid pace, generating four times more jobs than any other industry from 2009-2013. IBM is committed to building on that momentum by partnering with local colleges and universities to equip students with the skills they’ll need to blaze their own trails in the cognitive computing marketplace. This fall, students at New York University are among the first nationally to take advantage of a cognitive computing curriculum, while City University of New York (CUNY) students are participating in a semester-long Watson Case Competition, working to develop new applications based on Watson technology.
As clients adopt Watson globally, the need to have skills focused on cognitive computing to meet local client and partner needs is critical. IBM is announcing the opening of the first five Watson Client Experience Centers, co-located with IBM Research and Design teams, to provide the support and skills needed to fully adopt the Watson cognitive platform. The initial new centers will be located in Dublin, London, Melbourne, Sao Paulo and Singapore.