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Watson AI key component to IBM Korea data centre

Fri 26 Aug 2016

IBM has announced the opening of its new cloud computing center in Pangyo, South Korea. The data center, a collaboration between IBM and SK Holdings C&C, will emphasize IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence system to help foster the use of cognitive and AI technologies in the Asia Pacific region.

The new Pangyo center is IBM’s ninth in the Asia Pacific region, and the 47th data center worldwide for IBM. Based on IBM’s standard pod design, the data center will house thousands of servers and offer a full range of cloud infrastructure services, supporting cloud adoption and growing customer demand for cloud solutions across South Korea. Clients will benefit from faster time to market, support for public and hybrid cloud, and access to IBM’s global network of data centers to help drive international expansion opportunities.

“A key part of our cloud strategy is to fuel new ecosystems to spur innovation and collaborate with companies who understand the local market.” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Cloud.  “That’s why we chose to partner with SK Holdings C&C in Korea. Together, we are able to bring the local expertise, platform and data services that gives Korean customers the ability to compete on a global scale.”

A significant investment has been made by IBM to bring Watson AI to South Korea, mainly in the form of teaching Watson to understand the Korean language. Korean is considered one of the most challenging languages for native English speakers to learn; teaching Watson to understand Korean took nearly five years of research and development by scientists at IBM.

The new data center builds on IBM’s existing partnership with SK Holdings C&C, with over 20 companies already customers of the combined companies’ cloud service offerings. Making Watson available to South Korean users is an extension of its commitment to advance the use of cognitive computing throughout the country.

“This alliance highlights SK’s dedication to growing our artificial intelligence-based data services business, strengthening our AI leadership position, as well as spurring innovation and AI adoption across Korea,” said Park Jung-ho, CEO, SK Holdings C&C.

David Kenny, the GM for IBM Watson said, “Watson remains at the forefront of cognitive computing: advanced systems that learn at scale, understand with meaning, reason with purpose and interact with humans in natural ways. The South Korean marketplace is moving quickly to embrace the disruptive opportunities from next generation technology. Our strategic alliance with SK Holdings C&C will put cognitive services in the hands of more businesses and developers, allowing them to apply Watson within their organizations to help transform entire industries and professions.”

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