03/27/2019
IBM as partner of the appliedAI Initiative

It happens: You are faced with a difficult investment decision on the spot. Then Daniel Kalt helps and you get rich. Or, you are up in the mountains on a snowy night. Suddenly you get a high fever, but the closest hospital is kilometers away. Then a chatbot checks on your symptoms and helps you find the right doctor. Or, unluckily one may be brought into the spotlight of fake news while trying to offer its fans exclusive fashion insight

In each of these scenarios, some sort of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been applied to solve (or to create!) a problem and make a difference. 


Artificial intelligence is disruptive and transformative.

While 10 to 15 years ago AI was mostly associated with movies, today organizations are increasingly looking at AI as a way to reach new clients, to grow and differentiate. According to IDC, the global market for cognitive and artificial intelligence systems will more than triple last year's spending to reach $77.6 billion in 2022. McKinsey Global Institute expects that two out of every three companies will have applied at least one type of AI technology by 2030. In DACH - Austria, Germany and Switzerland - a Bitkom survey found that while more than half of the surveyed companies believe AI would play a crucial role for Germany’s competitiveness, only 11 per cent of German companies say they are using AI, or are thinking about using AI technology.

Companies have to embrace AI in order to remain competitive and reach new markets

Taking the right, responsible and transparent approach to AI lies at the heart of successful digital and cognitive transformations. This is a collaborative journey in which companies need to seriously consider a wide range of factors, including: 

  • ensuring the right data strategy,  
  • relying on the right platform – the hybrid cloud, and 
  • selecting the most appropriate and secure IT infrastructure. 

These decisions are not easy - neither for big companies with legacy systems nor for the start-up that was just launched. They require a lot of knowledge, testing and experiments. That is why recently IBM Germany and UnternehmerTUM, one of Europe's leading centres for entrepreneurship and innovation, signed a strategic partnership as part of the appliedAI initiative to jointly accelerate the AI adoption in the industry as well as society.

Last year, UnternehmerTUM introduced the appliedAI initiative aimed to encourage the application for AI in Germany and in Europe. It conveys a broad understanding of the importance and potential of AI, helping companies build up expertise to enable easy access to technology. 

Leveraging ecosystem’s synergies

Today, appliedAI initiative connects more than 38 partners - companies, startups, entrepreneurs, developers, students, professors - into a unique ecosystem. Within this environment, all participants can work together to develop and test AI solutions that can potentially foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the entire region.

“IBM is uniquely positioned to add real value to the appliedAI initiative,” says Alexander Waldmann, Operational Director of the appliedAI initiative. “It provides to our members access to cutting edge IT infrastructure, workshops, development tools and industry expertise that enable the AI enterprise of the future”. 

IBM adds real value to the appliedAI ecosystem and helps companies accelerate the digitalization and AI adoption in a unique way. Here is why:

  • IBM IT infrastructure - servers, storage systems, software and services - is built for a hybrid, multi-cloud environment. It is analytics-ready, architected for AI and integrated into key open ecosystems. Hence, it serves as the best foundation for companies to develop and test AI-based solutions. 
  • IBM's POWER9 processor AC922, IBM's PowerAI and IBM's high-performance systems can manage data ingestion at scale and are fast to get insights from data. They are capable of building a knowledge graph with millions of scientific documents in only hours, interpreting different structured and unstructured data at a rate of thousands of documents per hour. 
  • Recently, IBM opened its Watson artificial intelligence service to all cloud platforms. Now IBM Watson AI services, including Watson Assistant and Watson OpenScale, run on any cloud and can connect between them.
  • IBM’s Watson Machine Learning is an on-premise solution, equipped with software and hardware that help data scientists and developers explore Machine and Deep learning scenarios to quickly deploy and integrate AI into their applications. With WMLA we can deploy AI, monitor and optimize models for accuracy very quickly and easily. It is an Enterprise Class System all in one – fully integrated with IBM Watson.
  • IBM storage solutions address every stage of the AI data pipeline - from ingest to insight. IBM’s Flash storage is optimized for best performance. IBM Cloud Object Storage is a highly scalable yet affordable cloud storage service, designed for high durability, resiliency and security. It is a data management platform that integrates AC922 systems in a global namespace with IBM's Spectrum Scale.