NOVIPRO and E-SPACE offer a range of IBM solutions that can help put artificial intelligence to work for your organization. Here’s how IBM’s Watson Studio and PowerAI can help your business meet its goals.

In order to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI), your company needs to make sure it has the right resources for handling AI technology. For a structured approach on a solid foundation, IBM offers a range of proven solutions to start you off on the right foot.

IBM was an early forerunner in the development and application of AI solutions. Over 20 years ago, the victory of Deep Blue against world chess champion Garry Kasparov was a turning point in the perception of AI. For the first time, the whole planet understood that a computer could imitate, and even exceed, certain cognitive capacities that had been believed to be unique to the human brain.

Since then, IBM has continued to invest in AI and introduced solutions that allow customers to take advantage of this cutting-edge technology. IBM offers two categories of solutions that all businesses should consider before embarking on an AI transition:

  • Watson software for developing AI models
  • PowerAI server architecture

While these two types of solutions can be used independently, you get better results by using them together. This text provides an overview of the most important features of both solutions.

Develop and build AI models with Watson

Many business leaders are already familiar with the IBM Watson brand, which covers a broad palette of tools, platforms and cognitive solutions that are related to AI and accessible in the cloud.

The Watson suite includes many AI models and provides assistance for developing AI applications. It also offers point and play interfaces that let you launch algorithms rapidly without needing to know programming languages.

Generally speaking, Watson is an excellent entry point to the world of AI. It can be an ideal platform for first steps and developing proofs of concept. It is also capable of finding fast solutions to problems that aren’t too complex.

For example, Watson Visual Recognition can quickly and easily label images, file them and use them to train a system through machine learning. For a manufacturing business, Watson Visual Recognition could help automatically identify defective products on a production line.

Finally, cloud access makes Watson a flexible and easily accessible platform that many businesses find useful.

Click here for a short introductory video and some additional information about how you can develop and build AI models with IBM Watson Studio.

NOVIPRO’s AI experts can help you start using the Watson platform quickly and get it working for your business. No data scientist on your team? No problem. NOVIPRO on-demand expert service to help you to build and test your AI model.

Test, train and operate AI models with PowerAI

For large-scale projects, IBM offers PowerAI infrastructure solutions designed specially for AI. The platform includes several complementary components:

  • Mathematical libraries (OpenBLAS/MASS, ATLAS, ESSL, LAPACK, cuDNN, cuBLAS, cuSparse, etc.)
  • Machine learning algorithm libraries (Spark ML, Spark R, SciKit, Numpy, SystemML, Mahout, etc.)
  • Precompiled deep learning development frameworks (CAFFE, NVCaffe, IBMCaffe, PyTorch, TensorFlow, Theano, Chainer, etc.)
  • APIs
  • Pre-programmed AI models

These components make it much easier to develop applications in Python, a widely used programming language in AI. PowerAI can also connect to the Watson cloud services suite.

The PowerAI platform is an excellent option for deep learning initiatives. Already used by many businesses, it was designed to operate on servers using IBM POWER9 processors.

As such, the open source-based libraries available in PowerAI are optimized for POWER9.

AC922 Newell server configuration is best. It consists of:

  • Two POWER9 processors
  • Four to six NVIDIA V100 “Volta” graphic processors (GPU)—two or three V100 processors are associated with each POWER9 processor and can therefore do calculations in parallel
  • An ultra-high bandwidth NVlink connection between all the processors in each group made up of two or three V100 around a POWER9

This configuration has the double advantage of uniting the most powerful processors and maximizing their capacities and their processing speeds by using an ultra-fast interconnection. Numerous tests have shown that it offers performance two to five times faster than configurations based on x86 processors.

Click here for technical information and a video with more details about PowerAI.

NOVIPRO offers PowerAI infrastructure selection, installation and follow-up support.

For businesses that don’t want to invest in new equipment, our E-SPACE division offers cloud-based PowerAI infrastructure as part of its Software as a Service (SaaS) offer. This is a great solution for businesses that need to increase their power quickly and substantially to develop, test and train AI models.

E-SPACE can also host your PowerAI servers at its data centres. Server management is automatically included in our hosting offer. We also offer comprehensive managed services if you would rather host your PowerAI servers on your company premises.