IBM launches Watson Data Kits to help travel and food service businesses harness big data

IBM Corp. wants to help businesses across the spectrum reap the benefits of digital transformation, and it’s supporting the transportation and food service industries with its latest release.

Announced Tuesday, Watson Data Kits are designed to help business owners in the travel and food service industries make faster, more informed decisions by providing them with artificial intelligence (AI)-powered access to industry-specific data, including 700,000 restaurant menus and 300,000 travel points of interest.

The kits are expected to be released in the second quarter of 2018, and an IBM representative told that both kits would be available in Canada, with the travel kit including 7000 Canadian points of interest.

“Big data is fueling the cognitive era. However, businesses need the right data to truly drive innovation,” IBM general manager of Watson media and content Kristen Lauria said in a March 20 statement. “IBM Watson Data Kits can help bridge that gap.”

In addition to helping travel and food service businesses that might not be harnessing AI, the kits are aimed at helping the researchers employed by the ones who do: noting that roughly 79 per cent of their time is currently spent collecting, organizing and mining data to identify the most useful nuggets of information, IBM hopes the kits will help data scientists speed up their work as well.

Developed with assistance from online travel advisor Triposo, the travel data kit is designed to provide airlines, hotel brands, online travel agencies, and others with data for 300,000 points of interest, divided across 10,000 cities and 100 categories, which they can use to create a more engaging experience. A hospitality company, for example, could use the kit to power a mobile chatbot that recommends destinations or attractions based on a customer’s preferences.

The food data kit, meanwhile, catalogues 700,000 menus in 21,000 U.S. cities, allowing developers to build apps that invite users to search restaurants by menu item, cuisine type, location, and price. It even accounts for dietary restrictions such as vegan and gluten-free options.

You can learn more about the kits here.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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