IBM and Fluid to create a Watson-powered personal shopping app

Imagine having IBM’s artificially intelligent robot, Watson, help you decide on just what pair of heels to buy. It’s not really such a crazy thought. IBM’s newly-developed Watson Group has just invested in digital commerce company Fluid to speed up the development of a mobile application that will apply the cognitive power of artificial intelligence to e-commerce. In addition to the cash infusion, the Fluid team will gain access to the IBM Watson development platform in the cloud.  

IBM said Tuesday that its Watson unit has invested in Fluid, a digital commerce firm, to develop personalized shopping applications using Big Blue’s cognitive computing tools. When IBM formed the Watson group earlier this year it set aside $100 million to invest directly in ecosystem partners. The company recently announced an investment in Welltok to develop healthcare applications for Watson. For IBM, success of the Watson ecosystem is critical. The company is losing the patience of Wall Street for lack of growth and earnings quality and ditching slow growth businesses for ones with better prospects like big data and analytics, commerce, mobile, and cloud. The issue is that these transitions take time.

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