IBM releases Watson Works to help cos adjust to the new normal amid Covid-19

IBM releases Watson Works to help cos adjust to the new normal amid Covid-19
Photo Credit: Reuters
19 Jun, 2020

New York based technology giant IBM has released Watson Works, a set of products that will help companies ensure the safe return of their employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Watson is IBM’s suite of enterprise-ready artificial intelligence (AI) services, applications, and tools. 

In the current situation, Watson Works helps employers to make informed decisions about workplace re-entry, facilities management, space allocation and other Covid-19 related requirements.

“We’ve designed Watson Works to help businesses navigate the workplace with the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis as effectively as possible,” Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications, Blockchain and Ecosystems, IBM said.

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In terms of managing facilities, Watson will help companies by using real-time data from the workplace through WiFi, cameras, Bluetooth beacons and mobile phones. This will help managers reallocate spaces, designate no-go zones as well as monitor crowding, social distancing and mask-wearing.

The AI-based engine will also help companies to make evidence-based decisions about when offices should be opened or closed and facilitate the collection and analysis of real-time data from multiple sources. Some of the data sources collected include local infection rates, shared employee symptoms, test results and household health risks.

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“As most of the global economies and businesses reopen, organisations are facing the complex challenge of returning people to workplaces in a way that prioritises the health, safety and productivity of employees,” Subram Natarajan, chief technology officer, IBM India said.

IBM said that Watson Works will also provide virtual agents and apps that use natural language processing capabilities of Watson to automatically queries and inform if the person should punch the attendance for the day.