IBM has launched Watson Assistant, a new service aimed at companies looking to build voice-activated virtual assistants for their own products. This information came to us from The Verge in their article, “IBM’s Watson Assistant lets any company build Alexa-like voice interfaces.”

Integrating voice-activated virtual assistants in environments like customized hotel rooms and even cars is taking the voice assistants into completely new arenas.

There are obvious problems to this scenario. The first is practicality. How useful will these integrations really be? The history of other virtual assistants knows how inconsistent these products can be, so why would this situation be any better? These organizations have less (to little) expertise and just adding voice controls to say they can is not a guarantee of improvement.

IBM recognizes this learning curve and trusts that history will repeat itself and figure out what works best. “The key is Watson understands you — remembering who you are, your context and your needs,” says IBM’s vice president of Watson IoT, Bret Greenstein.

Melody K. Smith

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