Well, the big announcement came from IBM, and it wasn't at all surprising. It also leaves questions unanswered. The NYT headline reads, "IBM Is Betting That Watson Can Earn Its Keep."
The Watson Business group will have three relevant features that speak to the weakness of the initial concept.
- Locating it in the East Village far from Armonk speaks to the need to develop a different kind of culture from Big Blue. It is also allows the company to draw from a wider base outside of New York City, since it is easier to get to the Village than it is to Armonk. Princeton and the little tech belt in New Jersey come to mind.
- Experts in industries will be part of the development team. This would presumably address problems the Watson project has had with clients, including WellPoint.
- The group will have a small venture fund, which clearly says that the basic computing platform needs innovation around its analytical core which can't be done quickly through IBM.