Apple Integrates IBM’s Watson Services into iOS for Images, Models, and Machine Learning

Apple's iOS-Watson Flowchart

Apple announced Tuesday direct integration of IBM’s Watson Services in iOS’s Core ML. This allows enterprise developers to tap into Watson’s advanced machine learning technology, including the ability to tag and classify images, create new models, and train models with continuous learning. From Apple’s website:

With Watson Services for Core ML, it’s easy to build apps that access powerful Watson capabilities right from iPhone and iPad, so you can provide dynamic, intelligent insights that improve over time. And with the IBM Cloud Developer Console for Apple, you can quickly tap into Watson Services for Core ML and other services on IBM Cloud.

Apple's iOS-Watson Flowchart
Apple’s iOS-Watson Flowchart

Apple & IBM

While IBM was the “it’s good to have an enemy” during Steve Jobs’s first tenure at Apple during the Apple ][ and original Macintosh days, the two companies have been working closely together in the enterprise space for years. The two companies have jointly developed many apps for enterprise, and IBM has developed extensive iOS integration with its enterprise services.


Watson started off life as the modern incarnation of Big Iron, and it rose to fame as a champion Jeopardy player in 2011. At its heart, however, Watson is advanced machine learning, and IBM has taken Watson into medicine, into space, and now into iOS. All of which makes having Watson available to developers within Core ML is a good boost for both Apple and IBM.

One thought on “Apple Integrates IBM’s Watson Services into iOS for Images, Models, and Machine Learning

  • Opens up discussion for personal data sharing under ML at Apple. Best case, do we end up having to OK data sharing with every service Apple incorporates into ML? This is worse than keeping up with the now defunct Facebook and its privacy minefield.

    I’m happy more ML is available to developers if they need it. I’m even more concerned about privacy and sharing and how aware we will be made about – the issues – and if we are able to opt out.

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