IBM mixes AI and IoT in bespoke apps for farming, manufacturing, logistics
IBM has released a range of new Watson artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and services tailored for the agriculture, manufacturing, supply chain, building management, and automotive industries.
“Tailoring general AI for specific industries and professions is a critical way to enable everyone to reach new potential in their daily jobs,” commented David Kenny, senior vice president for cognitive solutions at IBM.
Among its new vertically-oriented AI solutions, IBM’s ‘decision platform for agriculture’ gathers data from multiple sources in a single viewing plane, available in an app. Growers can use the data to make better decisions and develop new techniques to improve their crop yields, reduce water and energy wastage, and even monitor pests and disease.
The platform pulls in data from a variety of connected equipment, including environmental and agricultural sensors, and heavy farm machinery such as tractors and irrigators. It enables farmers to cross this data with further information sources, such as satellite imagery.
At the same time, IBM has released “specially-crafted” AI toolset for the manufacturing sector, which introduces visual and acoustic inspection capabilities to reduce human resources required for product inspections. IBM noted the challenges within the sector – including workforce attrition, skills-gaps and higher material costs – are exacerbated by defects and downtime in the production process.
“By combining IoT and AI, manufacturers can stabilise production costs by pinpointing and predicting areas of loss such as energy waste, equipment failures, and product quality issues,” it said.
Related, IBM has combined industrial IoT and AI in its new ‘buildings insights’ suite, which allows site managers to make sense of the rising volumes of data properties generate to bring new dynamism and control to facilities management and reduce energy consumption and costs.
As per the agricultural solution, buildings managers can layer in external data, as well, related to such things as weather and historical performance to improve insights.
Similarly, its ‘supply chain insights’ tool allows logistics companies, often handling disparate data flows, to incorporate weather data, traffic reports, and regulatory reports to provide a fuller picture of global supply issues.
Besides, the new Watson ‘requirements and management’ solution for the automotive sector introduces AI to the “front-line of product development”, the company said. Watson can assess the quality of requirements and provide guidance on quality.
IBM has also released bespoke solutions for the customer services, human resources, marketing and advertising sectors, alongside consultancy services around aspects of strategy, implementation, and security for digital transformation.
Kenny commented: “As data flows continue to increase, people are overwhelmed by the amount of information we have to act on every day, but luckily the information explosion coincides with another key technological advance: artificial intelligence. AI is the tool professionals need to take advantage of the data that’s now at our fingertips.