The New York Post is reporting that New York City will work with IBM and Microsoft to replace its Oracle-supported 311 service with a solution powered by Watson. The 311 service provides NYC citizens with access to information about city service schedule and enables logging complaints and checking on status.
The contract value is estimated at $24 million. The original system cost $25 million to build in 2003 according to the Post article which also commented, “Watson will provide more user-friendly and practical responses to 311 questions than the existing system, its advocates say. The new system is also expected to do a better job understanding and responding to data.”
Well, we hope an AI/cognitive computing system can do a better job responding to queries than a keyword driven system. This appears to be another big win for the IBM Watson team. The company has invested billions of dollars on the Watson project and it has gained significant market momentum over the past six months with announcements in healthcare, automotive, insurance and several other industries.