GMV a finalist in the IBM Watson Build Challenge

The cognitive computing market is booming. According to IDC, by 2018, half of all consumers will interact with services based on cognitive computing on a regular basis. IBM is investing heavily in solutions of this type. It has now developed a sophisticated system, Watson, with an advanced data-processing capacity, including unstructured data, showing machines’ capacity to make intelligent decisions based on real-time analysis of huge swathes of data in all types of environments.

As part of this ongoing quest IBM has set up the “IBM Watson Build Challenge”, an international competition in which the New York company challenges participants to create their apps with the aid of the IBM Bluemix platform and IBM Watson’s cognitive capacity.

GMV’s Big Data and Business Analytics team, always on the lookout of for fresh challenges and new opportunities, took up the challenge and designed HelpBot, an assistant capable of prioritizing emergency calls and giving the user a practically instant response with the help of IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence computing system.

In the first phase of the competition IBM received hundreds of submissions from its commercial partners from all around the world. These were then whittled down to a shortlist of the most innovative Watson-based solutions to feature in the final round.

GMV’s brainchild made its way through all the knock-out rounds to the final, in which IBM offered its tools and the support of its cognitive specialists for development of the HelpBot prototype.

GMV’s idea

HelpBot is a chatbot app based on the IBM Watson solution. Its remit is to improve communications between emergency-service-managing authorities and the victims of extreme situations like quakes, floods, terrorism, wildfires, etc. These victims will be able to receive instructions from a chatbot about how they should proceed to protect themselves, according to the particular situation they are involved in. The machine will be capable of recognizing the user’s voice in a high-stress situation and will be forwarded to be dealt with by a real person. This tool allows emergency services to boost their emergency-response capacity with a 7x24 service.

Architecture of HelpBot, the GMV-developed chatbot

The Watson Summit 2017 was held in November with a turnout of over 2000 trade professionals. This innovation event invites reflection on technology and the contribution it can make to society. This year’s agenda included the Developers Innovation Summit . Inmaculada Perea Fernández, Data Scientist at GMV Secure e-Solutions, together with the rest of the Spanish finalists of the Watson Build Challenge, took part in this summit to explain the respective prototypes developed by their organizations and the advantages offered by Watson.

“In a Quito hackathon we attended last year we discovered that it is very difficult to dimension properly a telephone emergency-attention team because, as well as the victims, many other people call up to ask for information, offer help or ask about their family members, etc. We believe that our idea helps to optimize any emergency-service team’s resources so that it can focus on the victims without disregarding the rest of its duties” argued Perea Fernández, explaining the seminal idea from which HelpBot grew.

 VIDEO: Debate with the finalists of the Watson Build Challenge 

GMV develops HelpBot, a chatbot app based on the IBM Watson solution