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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty Waves Cognitive Flag in Australia

Tuesday, 05 Jul 2016


Digital intelligence discussion draws 300 CIOs and business leaders.
IBM’s global CEO Ginni Rometty visited Australia this week to promote the company’s Watson cognitive platform to top business and IT leaders.

Rometty was joined on stage by technology executives from the likes of Westpac, NAB, Woodside Energy, Myer and the Department of Human Services at the Thinkforum event in Sydney to discuss the potential role for cognitive and machine learning technologies in business.

About 300 of IBM’s clients were also in attendance.

The forum – and Rometty’s visit – represents the latest attempt by IBM to sell business on its Watson platform, a commercial take on technology that famously beat two human champions of the US TV game show Jeopardy in 2011.

Watson has some big names on board in Australia already. These include liquefied natural gas company Woodside Energy, whose CIO Sara Braund told the ACS Reimagination conference last year that Woodside uses Watson to “digest our lessons learned from previous projects”.

Woodside staff can ask natural language questions of Watson to tap those learnings to apply in their own projects. It is also expanding its use of Watson to help prevent plant disasters.

In addition, the likes of ANZDefence and Deakin University have also emerged as key early backers of IBM’s Watson.

Two new names emerged at Thinkforum – audit firm KPMG and Melanoma Institute Australia.

KPMG already has a strategic alliance for its US and UK operations that it is using to power a transformation of its professional services capabilities with Watson.

The company this week explicitly brought Australia into that alliance.

KPMG said it intended to bring cognitive technology to its “audit and assurance services”.

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