Fiatech, IBM team on ‘cognitive companions'

'Thought leaders’ workshop to investigate Watson’s use in capital facilities/construction.

IBM Watson, Black & Veatch and Fiatech are to hold a workshop for ‘thought leaders’ in capital facilities and construction on the potential applications of cognitive computing. The workshop sets out to identify problems and prioritize how these should be addressed.

IBM envisages a use case for ‘cognitive companions’ in construction and operations, analogous to a Watson-based app that its IBM Research India unit has developed to accompany visitors to art galleries and museum. The Android app, ‘Usher,’ supplies information about nearby artwork in a museum and answers visitor’s questions. The app analyzes accelerometer data from the phone to tell if the user is walking or standing still, and to figure out where they are looking. The app can then tell the visitor ‘On your left is van Gogh’s Sunflowers.’

In an offshore context the technology could be used to guide workers around a facility, monitor worker health and provide access to offline resources and Watson’s intelligence. A paper on Usher was presented at the 20th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces in New York earlier this year.

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