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7 universities partner with IBM on cognitive computing courses

IBM Watson

By Joshua Bolkan

Seven universities in the United States have partnered with IBM to launch cognitive computing courses featuring cloud access to the company’s Watson computer.

“Cognitive computing systems,” such as Watson, “learn and interact naturally with people to extend what either humans or machine could do on their own,” according to information on IBM’s site. “They help human experts make better decisions by penetrating the complexity of big data.”

Universities offering the courses, set to launch in the fall, include Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Ohio State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of California at Berkeley, University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin.

“Co-designed by the Watson Group and leading academic experts in fields such as artificial intelligence and computer science,” according to a news release, “the courses will empower students with the technical knowledge and hands-on learning required to develop new cognitive computing applications fueled by Watson’s intelligence.”

Classes will first learn about Watson and technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing. Each class will choose an industry, then provide data via the Watson Developer Cloud to train the computer. Eventually, classes will break into groups to develop apps and business plans for the industry selected earlier.

Sections of the course will include Building Ideas for Cognitive Innovation, Fueling Watson’s Knowledge with Data, Creating Cognitive Apps in the Cloud and Developing Entrepreneurial Know-How.

To help ensure the success of the classes, IBM will provide support form experts, guest lectures from company executives and thought leaders and Watson technical mentors. The company will also launch the Watson Faculty Advisory Board, comprising representatives from IBM and the seven participating universities.

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