This R Extension gives Data Scientists Access to IBM Watson

There is a lot of cool and fancy tools that Data Scientists have at their disposal, but not all of them are equally accessible to them. Columbus Collaboratory, an Analytics Firm, wants to put the IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence within a closer reach with a new open source R extension called CognizeR.

R is a beautiful open source language that has taken a hold by Data Scientists. It is mainly used for statistical and analytic applications. In the past, data scientists would have to edit R to tap into Watson’s capabilities. They would have to use Java or Python that calls to Waton’s API.

Now, CognizeR lets them tap into Watson’s so-called cognitive artificial-intelligence services without leaving their native development environment.

Rob High, CTO for Watson, wrote in a blog post:

Data scientists can now seamlessly tap into our cognitive services to unlock data that lives in unstructured forms like chats, emails, social media, images, and documents.

Watson’s services for language translation, personality insights, tone analysis, speech-to-text conversion, and visual recognition are among the first to become available through CognizeR.

The new tool is now available for download from Columbus Collaboratory’s GitHub repository.

David Schubmehl, a Research Director with IDC said:

What’s really interesting is that people will now be able to take their preexisting R models and embed them in Watson. This will give data scientists a leg up, since they don’t have to restart what they’ve been working on.

One of my favorite things about this is the new extension will open Watson up to data scientists who have been working with predictive analytics models.

David also said:

A category of folks that previously haven’t been able to work with it as easily as other tools on their plate.

Given that R is one of the most popular languages for data science today, including machine-learning applications, this fills a prior gap in which many data scientists couldn’t directly use their preferred analytics tools with Watson.


Categories: Programming, Science

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