International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) acquires A.I. startup Cognea

Posted May 19, 2014

The Watson group of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has announced that it has acquired artificial intelligence company Cognea. Cognea has developed a cognitive computing and conversational artificial intelligence platform. Cognea offers virtual assistants that relate to people through personalities. Some of Cognea’s customers include NASA, HP, and Start Farm.

“The Cognea acquisition represents an extension of our effort to rapidly expand the Watson ecosystem. We have committed to investing $100 million in venture capital in startups that are building apps and services on top of the Watson Platform. We have already announced two investments, in Welltok, a maker of online healthcare management communities; and Fluid, which is building a cognitive shopping assistant. Many more will come,” said IBM in a blog post.

Watson is a Q&A supercomputer that was built by IBM and beat some of the champions on Jeopardy. IBM launched the Watson group in January, which further develops, commercializes, and expands Watson. IBM decided to invest $1 billion in the Watson Group to use it for R&D and investments. Cognea’s technology will be rolled into Watson, which would allow the system to have more real conversations with users. The conversational services will be available to business partners, entrepreneurs, universities and enterprises.