IBM Think Arvind Krishna

Event Report: IBM Think Accelerates Accessible Gen AI For Clients

IBM's Focus On AI Built From Data And Cloud Competencies

Four and a half years after Arvind Krishna was elected as IBM's Chief Executive Officer, today's IBM is a much different organization. A tight focus on data and cloud has helped IBM think through what clients need to not only be AI ready, but also AI first.  With over 30,000 attendees at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center gathered at IBM's biggest event, the mood was energetic and excited about the possibilities for the Age of AI.

Among the myriad of announcements, four key messages came through loud and clear:

1. Expect More AI Powered Automation

Much conversation was made about IBM Concert (GA in June 2024). This central nervous system of one's enterprise technology and operations uses AI from Watson X to identify, predict, and suggest fixes for problems.  Cosntellation expects more bite-sized solutions for clients over time

2. Start Generative AI Projects With Granite Models

IBM's family of Granite Models will continue to grow over time.  These open-source Granite models
are available under Apache 2.0 licenses via Hugging Face and GitHub.  Customers gain a 3B to 34B parameter models.  Constellation expects customers to apply use cases for code generation, complex applications modernization projects, code documentation acceleration, repository maintenance, and bug fixes at scale.
Customers can use these Granite models as a launch point.

In addition, customers can overcome the challenge of multiple forks of a single open-source model, Using a new methodology called LAB (Large-Scale Alignment for ChatBots), these LLMs can be pretrained on large sets of unstructured text, enabling these ChatBots to learn many new tasks more quickly once they see labeled instructions during the alignment stage.  InstructLab—an open-source project by IBM Research and Red Hat uses the LAB technique to advance language model development.

3. Use IBM watsonX assistants

Constellation sees a progression from augmentation, acceleration, automation, agents, and advisors over time.  WatsonX assistants are the first step to that journey.  A few announced at IBM Think include:


  • IBM watsonx Assistant for Z to transform how users interact with the system to quickly transfer knowledge and expertise. (GA June 2024)
  • IBM watsonX Code Assistant for Z Service expansion with code explanation to help clients understand and document applications through natural language. (GA June 2024)
  • IBM watsonX Code Assistant for Enterprise Java Applications.(GA October 2024)

4. Partner With Everyone That Matters

IBM announced a slew of partnerships that will help IBM customers ease into and future proof their Generative AI investments.  IBM is bringing third-party models onto IBM watsonx, and offering IBM Consulting expertise for enterprise business transformation as the enabler for clients .A few announcements of note include:

  • AWS - IBM watsonx.governance and Amazon SageMaker
  • Microsoft – IBM watsonX on MIcrosoft Azure
  • Adobe - comes to Adobe Experience Platform
  • Meta - Meta Llama 3 now accessible on IBM watsonx,
  • Mistral - Availabity on IBM watsonx
  • Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) - the largest Arabic LLM now on IBM watsonx

These partnerships are important and allow end-user customers to adopt and scale AI solutions
that are specific to their business needs.

The Bottom Line: Accessible Generative AI Projects Are Coming To Customers Via IBM

While Generative AI is the number one priority inside board rooms, building a foundation for successful projects is not a skill many organizations can master.  IBM recognizes this opportunity and has amassed a strategy to improve accessibility to generative AI projects.  This progression from augmenting to advisors is coming soon to customers.

IBM has learned the lessons from their previous IBM Watson offerings and has been honing in on AI middleware, strategic partnerships, and AI and cloud prowess.  By helping customers get their data house in order, customers will have a shot at making generative AI work for them.

Your POV

Are you an IBM client? Is IBM on your short list of vendors to deliver on Generative AI for your organization?

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