IBM anticipates it will generate a substantial new stream of revenue by having Watson advise Wall Street firms. Citibank is the first financial services client for the super computer.
Citi said it would evaluate ways that IBM Watson technologies can help “analyze customer needs and process vast amounts of up-to-the-minute financial, economic, product and client data.”
Whether that means less of a personal touch with customers is yet to be seen. Citibank said customers have come to expect an integrated banking experience delivered by “phone, ATM, live-chat, online or in person in a branch.”
“We are working to rethink and redesign the various ways in which our customers and clients interact with money,” said Don Callahan, Citi’s chief administrative officer and chief operations & technology officer. “We will collaborate with IBM to explore how we can use the Watson technology to provide our customers with new, secure services designed around their increasingly digital and mobile lives.”
A team of scientists created Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, to create a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in “natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence,” IBM said.
“By accurately extracting facts and quickly understanding relationships in large volumes of data, the technology can help accelerate and improve decision-making across a variety of industries,” IBM said.
IBM conducted a series of matches to help prepare Watson for the Jeopardy! challenge. These sessions began with the system facing average players and evolved into a 55-match series against the quiz show’s top champions.
Big Blue done it, closing at $200.66 and etching a new all-time high for a venerable stock and long-time pillar of a region that has turned out some of the world’s greatest financial bloggers: upstate New York. What better way to celebrate than with a list of vaguely relevant factoids you can use to wow your friends? Without further ado:
IBM 10 Facts To Know
In 1914, Tom Watson Sr. took charge of Endicott, N.Y.’s Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co., which ultimately became IBM.
1935 — IBM wins Social Security contract, one of several big New Deal contracts that shield it from the Depression. Watson is found to be highest-paid executive in the U.S.
1939 — IBM salesmen who meet their quota make the “Hundred Percent Club,” sing this song:
“We’re proud to be all IBM Star Salesmen
The records prove conclusively our quotas we have made,
We all enjoy that grand and glorious feeling
Expressed in Mr. Watson’s smile — Oh boys! It’s truly great.”
1979 — IBM net declines for the first time since 1951 due to shift from selling to leasing computers and inflationary cost hikes
April 1993 — Louis V. Gerstner, who previously headed RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. arrives to run IBM.
October 1993 — IBM reports a fourth straight quarterly operating loss — $48 million — as its vast mainframe-computer business continued to slip. The results brought IBM’s net loss for the year so far to $8.37 billion, one of the biggest deficits in business history.
Q1 2001 — Services and parts became the majority of its sales for the first time — IBM reported an earnings gain of nearly 16%. The strong results easily exceeded Microsoft’s earnings gain and came as profits at rivals Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Sun Microsystems Inc.
March 2002 — International Business Machines Corp president, Samuel J.Palmisano, succeeds Louis Gerstner as chief executive.
Nov. 2011 — Billionaire investor Warren Buffett plowed $10.7 billion into the shares of International Business Machines Corp., making a massive bet on a technology services company after years of eschewing technology stocks.
Jan. 1, 2012 — Virginia M. Rometty becomes the 100-year-old company’s first female CEO, succeeding Mr. Palmisano, who turned 60 in July.