Getting to know and playfully experiencing Watson, your colleague


Stefan Pfeiffer

Through the interaction with the Internet of Things, intelligent devices and digital assistants like Siri, Alexa or Cortana, we now have more or less intelligent personal assistants knocking at the front doors of private households and companies alike. The topic of artificial intelligence is obviously the subject of controversial debate. After the jobs in production, will robots and personal assistant systems now cost us our workplace in the office as well? Are we about to experience the next decisive revolution in the labour market?

It is important that we tackle the topic of artificial intelligence and cognitive systems – as we here at IBM say – in an objective and, by all means, controversial manner. This will be an important topic at the IBM HR Festival on 9th May, which takes place during the re:publica. Amongst other things, we will be discussing the influence that digitalisation is having on, and in, companies and which role the HR department and the CHRO should play in this digital transformation.

At the same time, we will also be demonstrating and discussing how the numerous functions and interfaces of IBM Watson can support HR work. For example, the Career Coach is able to help with personal career planning based on the analysis of an employee’s previous jobs and skill set. IBM Watson Talent, on the other hand, can support HR in the targeted development of the best talents and their placement in the right jobs.

We will, of course, also be discussing the topics of data privacy and protection at the re:publica. IBM has resolutely committed itself to transparency and trust in the cognitive era. The data and analyses generated with the help of the many Watson APIs belong solely to the respective user company and are not implemented into the knowledge graphs of the respective provider – as is sometimes the case with other providers.

Together with Design Offices and other partners such as KPMG, XU, the Bertelsmann Foundation or aperto, we will be staging the IBM Watson Work Lounge in Hall 8, where we’ll be making a point of demonstrating the playful aspects of artificial intelligence: the Cognitive Dress, which was designed by a Berlin fashion designer and which we will be showing live, analyses the mood and tone of tweets and colours the dress accordingly. Anyone interested can have their Twitter profile compared to celebrities’ accounts – mine apparently resembles Michael Dell’s. Or you can check out DJ Watson as it takes various songs and pieces of music and morphs them into different music styles. Producers like Alexa Da Kid have already successfully experimented in this direction with IBM Watson.

All of these examples are aimed to encourage developers, as well as university and school students, to consider and reflect on the topic of artificial intelligence, IBM Watson and the many APIs, to play with them and to acquire further experience. Maybe there’s someone out there who feels like bringing the TJ Bot to life in 15 minutes with the help of IBM Watson? We will only be able to shape the future in a conscious and well-founded manner if we are well versed on the topic of artificial intelligence.


image credit: Holger Münch on behalf of IBM


New Ways to Work @re:publica at IBM Watson Work Lounge

Changes are about to come: our traditional work environment is influenced by challenges of digital transformation and the usage of intelligent robots. Working wherever and whenever you desire, chatbots, artificial intelligence and data security, Internet of Things and new production concepts within “Industrie 4.0”, the need for better education and the acute question of equality – there is an abundance  of issues.

Let´s have a look at young professionals of the Generation Y and Z . They particularly do not want to work in rigid office structures. The solution are tailor-made offices and agile work places, which could leverage creativity and enable flexibility throughout the work day.


Watson Work Lounge

IBM will focus on these challenges at this year’s re:publica with the “Watson Work Lounge” in hall 8. A diverse program around the topic “New work” is presented on all three days. IBM teamed up with the partner Design Offices for example. Check out our  ideas under  the slogan “Cognitive Ways to Work”. With its visionary concept and a trendsetting architecture, Design Offices represents not only the most important platform for “New Work” but is also creating new working environments throughout Germany. In Berlin state-of-the-art working environments meet cognitive and tailor-made IBM technologies such as Watson Work and Watson Talent; experience the new digital way to work. Additional partners are KPMG, XU Exponential University of Applied Sciences, Bertelsmann Stiftung and DGFP. 

Another IBM highlight is the HR Festival 2017 on May 9: Various speakers from different industries will discuss the challenges of the working world and examine new aspects. The future of work from the perspective of Generation Y will be discussed by Dr. Stefanie Burkhart together with Michael O. Schmutzer, Founder and CEO of Design Offices. Bertelsmann Stiftung will offer a workshop on the topic “Family friendliness: from fuss to digital theme”. Additional speakers are Katharina Heuer, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Personalführung e.V. (DGFP), Harald Schirmer, Continental, Verena Amonat, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Sascha Pallenberg, Daimler AG, Armin Trost, professor for HR Management at Business School of the University Furtwangen and many more. The best thing yet: Your re:publica ticket simultaneously functions as your ticket for the HR festival.

On May 8th and 10th exciting workshops will take place at the Watson Work Lounge:

  • New methods of Design Thinking (May 8 and 10)
  • Watson in HR – new methodical and technical possibilities for HR professionals (May 8 and 10)
  • “What does an agile organization look like?” with Miriam Specht, Yellow Frog (May 8)
  • Attentiveness in the digital age, K. Helena Ernst & Anja Schlenk, Bertelsmann Stiftung (May 10)

Furthermore, Gunnar Sohn will interview interesting conversation partners in his small “TV studio” on all three days. Come and check it out!

Last but not least, there is a special eye catcher at the IBM booth: the cognitive dress – an example for the capabilities of IBM Watson. The dress is covered with countless LED lights, which light up in different colors. Nice to look at, but what has Watson got to do with it? It’s simple: the dress reflects the sentiment of tweets in specific colors. Watson analyses tweets under a certain hashtag, determines the mood and translates it into the colors of the LED lights. IBM developed this cognitive dress in cooperation with the Berlin Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft.

More information:

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