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  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

IBM bases its hybrid cloud strategy on a use of generative AI

IBM made a significant announcement on Tuesday, unveiling its new platform called Watsonx, which incorporates generative AI. This platform will not only provide trainable foundation models but also include AI-optimized data storage capabilities and a governance toolkit. It is set to be available in July, IBM will grant customers access to open-source libraries, models, and datasets developed by Hugging Face, the same machine learning and natural language processing company that partnered with AWS in February.

IBM's latest upgrade to Watson introduces models specifically trained to generate code for developers using a natural language interface. Furthermore, it will offer industry-specific LLMs (Large Language Models) that can be customised with user data. Another notable addition is the geospatial model built on climate and remote sensing data.

These new AI capabilities are part of IBM's broader hybrid cloud strategy, which aims to assist organisations in integrating multicloud and on-premises ecosystems. Despite facing tough competition from hyperscalers like AWS, Microsoft, and Google Cloud, IBM remains committed to enterprise hybrid cloud solutions as its pathway to relevance in the market. Currently, IBM holds a mere 3% share of the global cloud market, while the hyperscalers dominate with nearly two-thirds of the market.

IBM, a technology company with a 100-year history, established its reputation with mainframe systems and pioneered natural language processing with its Watson system, which famously triumphed on the game show "Jeopardy!" in 2011. With the introduction of Watsonx and its new AI capabilities, IBM aims to enhance its offerings and expand its reach in the cloud market.

The company plans to deploy the new capabilities of Watsonx before the end of the year, according to the announcement. The governance toolkit within Watsonx will incorporate mechanisms to ensure customer privacy and detect model bias, demonstrating IBM's commitment to responsible and ethical AI practices.

To support the enhanced capabilities, IBM will install new graphics processing units (GPUs) in its cloud servers, optimising its infrastructure for model training. This move aligns with similar adjustments made by larger cloud service providers (CSPs) to accommodate the growing demand for AI workloads.

In addition to the new AI capabilities, IBM will introduce an AI-informed cloud carbon calculator. This tool is designed to monitor emissions across hybrid multicloud architectures, supporting enterprise sustainability initiatives. By providing insights into carbon emissions, organisations can make informed decisions and take steps to reduce their environmental impact.

With Watsonx and its generative AI capabilities, IBM aims to empower developers and enterprises with powerful tools for code generation, industry-specific applications, and geospatial analysis. By leveraging hybrid cloud solutions and investing in AI advancements, IBM seeks to strengthen its position in the market and provide valuable resources to its customers.


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