In May of 2023, IBM launched Watsonx as the corporation’s cloud data and generative AI platform. IBM has long been one of the main American researchers into AI, having created the Watson supercomputer in 2010. Watsonx is also the name of their generative AI tool, amid an upswell of generative AI interest in recent years. Now, as the platform’s scope expands even further, the Watsonx tool has grown to support the Telecom industry.
The Three Faces Of Watsonx
At present, the Watsonx platform has three distinct applications. They are modular but complementary, providing a one-stop shop or an all-in-one solution depending on the client. The first, Watson.ai, allows access to powerful LLMs for natural language processing and tuning. Using that, businesses can train AI for content creation or data analysis.
Next is Watsonx.data, a scalability solution to help growing businesses store large data volumes via the cloud. The safe, single-entry point storage of large data volumes is vital to many online businesses. Currently, many of the largest customer-facing websites online rely on AWS data centers. Many other sectors still opt for their own data centers, especially where finances and personal data coincide. This isn’t exclusive to banking or government sites, but also iGaming websites that host slots and games in the hundreds, where each game and its player needs to be secured. To do that, the largest providers host their own data centers to retain full control. Maintaining a data center isn’t feasible for most smaller companies, however, which will still need to manage massive data loads. Watsonx.data aims to do what AWS does, and then some.
Lastly, Watsonx.governance manages and curtails the AI as per industry standards and the anticipated, ever-evolving landscape of AI regulation. Across all three of Watsonx’s use cases, it’s taking on industry giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft who already have a stranglehold over much of the digital infrastructure of today. By offering a modular service that can rival Google’s Bard, Microsoft’s Azure, and Amazon’s Bedrock, IBM is seeking to leverage its unique familiarity with AI to outcompete them. It also shows that Watsonx was very ambitious from the start, so its continued expansion isn’t much of a surprise.
As one of the largest businesses in the world, IBM is known for doing a little bit of everything so long as there are machines involved. One of these side gigs is telecommunications infrastructure, more generally Communications Service Providers (CSPs) since traditional telephone companies pivoted to internet-enabling services following the smartphone revolution. When many of these businesses need help with infrastructure management and ever-growing data demands, IBM offers them a B2B solution.
After unveiling Watsonx to the world, IBM has doubled down on their generative AI platform by offering it to their telecommunication customers too. At the Mobile World Congress 2023’s fall meeting in Las Vegas, IBM GM of Global Telco Stephen Rose was present to speak about the platform and its potential impact on telecom networks.
Telecom Benefits Of Generative AI
While Watsonx’s contribution to the telecom industry remains to be seen, there are predictable outcomes from contact with new generative AI systems. The first would be personalization, which has become something of a watchword for generative AI enthusiasts. Due to the trainability of AI models, businesses and consumers alike can get AI to analyze data, recognize patterns, and even form preferences which, of course, would line up with user interests. The result is a very personalized experience, unique to you because it’s so dependent on what you have put into it.
That forms the main benefit – customer care. This has been explored in the e-commerce industry, where generative AI chatbots have become even more sophisticated. Generative AI excels in context, allowing for proactive, instant, yet tailored responses to customer queries. That could be a godsend to ISPs, who field thousands of calls every day for internet outages and other concerns that may be hard to pin down. Through Watsonx, IBM aims to provide this benefit, among others in data storage and analysis.