IBM and Mubadala to bring Watson to MENA region
IBM's artificial intelligence system to be available exclusively through Injazat
IBM has signed a deal with the Abu Dhabi-government owned investment company Mubadala, to bring its Watson artificial intelligence engine to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Under the agreement, IBM and Mubadala will form a joint venture, through Mubadala's wholly owned information technology services subsidiary, Injazat, which will be the exclusive provider of Watson technology in the region.
The new joint venture will also create a broad regional ecosystem of partners, entrepreneurs, start-ups and app developers who will apply Watson in innovative ways throughout MENA. Target sectors will include healthcare, retail, education, banking and finance organisations.
IBM's Watson is an artificial intelligence system which is capable of answering questions posed in natural language. The system is able to analyse large volumes of unstructured data, respond to complex questions with evidence-based answers, and discover new actionable patterns and insights.
"This new joint venture with IBM will put both the UAE and broader MENA region on the leading edge for adoption of this breakthrough technology," said Homaid Al Shemmari, CEO of Aerospace & Engineering Services at Mubadala. "We are confident that together we can continue to accelerate the region's knowledge-based economy by empowering businesses to capitalize on new opportunities with this world-class technology."
"This collaboration is another important demonstration of IBM's commitment to bringing Watson to all corners of the world and accelerating adoption of cognitive computing as the new technology standard for innovation," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson. "Mubadala's strong relationships throughout the MENA region will enable local organisations and entrepreneurs access to Watson to transform their work."
One of the first areas of adoption for Watson for the new partnership will be healthcare. Mubadala owns the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, and the technology is already in use at this facility.
"Our collaborations with IBM to apply Watson in healthcare are helping Cleveland Clinic deliver on our mission of providing state-of-the-art education to our medical students," said Dr Delos Cosgrove, CEO and President, Cleveland Clinic. "As a partner to both IBM and Mubadala, I am pleased to see these two market leaders join together in this important region and believe that their work together will help make it possible for a broader group of medical professionals to unearth the information they need to provide patient-centered care."
Ibrahim Mohamed Lari, CEO of Injazat commented: "There is an increasing need of businesses across sectors to strengthen their analytics and cloud technology. This joint venture signifies a strategic shift that will allow the delivery of a new class of Watson-specific capabilities that will help professionals in this region discover insights from massive amounts of big data."