IBM to invest over $1B to set up new Watson business unit

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Jan 09, 2014 04:23 AM EST

New York-based International Business Machines Corp. said it will invest more than $1 billion to establish a new business unit for Watson. The tech giant hopes to get more revenue from the supercomputer system famous for winning 74 games in a row on the TV quiz show "Jeopardy!".

According to Reuters, IBM said the IBM Watson Group will be headed by Michael Rhodin. Rhodin was previously senior vice president of IBM's software solutions. IBM Watson Group will have about 2,000 employees and will be based in New York City.

IBM said the investment includes a $100 million equity fund to boost innovation at its Watson Developers Cloud. IBM opened up the online app resources marketplace to external app developers last year, the report said.

Watson is an artificial intelligence super computer system named after legendary IBM president Thomas Watson. Using natural language capabilities and analytics, Watson processes information akin to how people think, allowing it to quickly analyze and interpret large amounts of data, Reuters said. 

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