A year ago, SoftBank teamed up with IBM to bring its supercomputer Watson to Japan. Now Watson has learned enough Japanese for developers to take advantage of its new skills.
The two companies launched six Japanese APIs today. In addition to speech-to-text and text-to-speech services, they include:
Natural language classifier: to create apps that can decipher intent and meaning when questions are asked in different ways
Dialog: tailors app interactions to a users’ speaking style
Retrieve and Rank: uses machine learning look at “signals” in data to improve information retrieval
Watson’s most high-profile achievement since IBM and SoftBank announced their partnership is probably making Pepper, SoftBank’s humanoid robot, act more human. The new APIs will allow other developers to tap into Watson’s powers for their own applications and potentially help IBM make more in-roads into the Japanese market.