Sunday, September 14, 2014

Changed license on my Haskell NLP code and comments on IBM Watson AI system

When I added licensing information on the github repository for my Haskell NLP experiments I specified the AGPL v3 license. I just changed it to GPL v3 so now it can be used as a web service without affecting the rest of any system that you use it for. I also did some code cleanup this morning. In addition to the natural language processing code, this repository also contains some example SPARQL client code and my Open Calais client library that you might find useful.

Some news about IBM Watson: their developer web site now has more documentation and example code available without needing to register to become an IBM Watson Partner.

I am helping a long term customer use IBM Watson as a web service over the next several months so I registered as a partner and have been enjoying reading all of the documentation on training an instance for a specific application, the REST APIs, etc. Good stuff, and I think IBM may grow a huge business around Watson.

4 comments:

Christian Jauvin said...

Hi Mark,

I'd very interested to know more about the current state of the Watson ecosystem, and what you intend to do with it (if you can share).

Mark Watson, author and consultant said...

Hello Christian,

I can't discuss what my customer is doing, but questions are fine about any general information about IBM Watson that can be answered with their public documentation.

Christian Jauvin said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the answer. I understand that you can't discuss specific aspects of the work you're doing with your client, but I was more interested in your general views about what is possible with IBM Watson (currently or eventually), how you think it is going to evolve, what it means for AI/NLP work in general (and especially for freelancers maybe), etc. The last time I looked (at the doc), it actually gave me the impression that it was a lot of fluff talk and vague promises, but not much substance (for the moment).

Mark Watson, author and consultant said...

Hello Christian,

I think that Watson is a very big deal for IBM, not fluff. I also think there is a place at the table for individuals: they want people to curate data and build on the Watson system. I know of no reason why as an individual you could not use Watson, but you might have to wait a while. This is non-authoritative: I think IBM is working on the 'Watson in the cloud' issues, and generally supporting a large number of users. I expect that the platform will continue evolving for many years - Watson is not the kind of product that is "done."

For general AI/NLP work, there are a lot of good resources: NLTK, Stanford NLP library, OpenNLP, etc. I find myself doing NLP hacking on my own stuff when open source solutions don't really do what I need/want.