IBM kicks off its Think conference with the launch of a new multicloud generative AI platform.

Jeffrey Schwartz

May 9, 2023

3 Min Read
IBM execs talk IBM WatsonX at Think 2023

IBM THINK — IBM is jumping into the generative AI pool with IBM WatsonX, a new multicloud portfolio that promises to let organizations embed artificial intelligence into their enterprise applications. Big Blue introduced WatsonX on Tuesday at its IBM Think conference in Orlando.

WatsonX is a platform that IBM has created to enable organizations to build, deploy and manage generative AI at scale. Arvind Krishna, IBM’s chairman and CEO, revealed WatsonX during the Think conference opening keynote. According to Krishna, the platform has been under development for over three years.

“This is a groundbreaking platform for data and AI that will be inclusive of machine learning, deep learning, and foundation models and allow you all to take advantage of what generative AI can do for your businesses,” Krishna said.

Want to know which companies are offering cutting-edge products and services? Here’s our latest roundup.

Senior VP and research director Dario Gil noted that IBM WatsonX is built on Red Hat OpenShift. It’s a platform the company designed to manage the entire life cycle of foundation models and generative AI, and traditional machine learning techniques.

“As a consequence, we are going to be able to greatly accelerate the speed with which people can deploy AI,” Gil said during a media briefing.

Rob Thomas (pictured above with Gil), senior VP of IBM Software and the company’s chief commercial officer, added that IBM is already working with some who are testing a preview release of the platform.

“Some will be able to purchase it as soon as this quarter, and we will have general availability around the world in the third quarter,” Thomas said.

3 Core Offerings for IBM WatsonX

The initial platform will consist of three core offerings:, a studio with a user interface to train, test, tune and deploy traditional machine learning and generative AI models;, a data store on a lakehouse architecture that IBM said is optimized for governed data and AI workloads; and WatsonX.governance, which IBM describes as an automated data and model life cycle offering to create policies and ensuring accountability.

Thomas noted that IBM WatsonX will be attractive to partners seeking to help deploy generative AI solutions.

“There’s a big role for managed services providers and SIs,” Thomas said. “There’s also a big change transformation piece, which is, ultimately, if you’re using foundation models, you’re probably going to change a business process, eliminate a business process, automate something that requires a lot of assistance, typically from an integrator, or a consulting type partner, to go do that type of work.”

Unlike generative AI platforms such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the IBM WatsonX platform is not targeting consumer applications.

“We are attacking use cases that are predominant in the B2B world, customer service, digital labor, cybersecurity and IT automation,” Thomas said. “I don’t really see anybody else in the market right now that’s trying to go after those use cases with foundation models and generative AI.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.


Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like