Watson – It’s finally here – where 1 comes after 7,6,5,4,3,2

Recently I have been waiting for a series of 7 IBM Redbooks regarding the Watson ecosystem. Ironically the books appeared to be released and updated in reverse order with the first introductory volume missing – UNTIL NOW! If you are not familiar with IBM Redbooks – these have been around for a very long time – I think since the 1980’s or 90’s  when I remember seeing a publication snappily titled “Printing for fun and profit under AIX” – a later copy I found here – the purpose of the books was to get IBM subject matter experts together to produce a focused publication for use internally and for external customers. Originally we used to borrow these printed books from IBM Belfast but they have been in pdf format for many years and I haven’t seen a physical one for ever.

So back to the 7 volumes of interest

In their own words

The Building Cognitive Applications with IBM Watson Services series is a seven-volume
collection that introduces IBM® Watson cognitive computing services. The series includes an
overview of specific IBM Watson® services with their associated architectures and simple
code examples. Each volume describes how you can use and implement these services in
your applications through practical use cases.


The series includes the following volumes:

Volume 1 Getting Started, SG24-8387
Volume 2 Conversation, SG24-8394
Volume 3 Visual Recognition, SG24-8393
Volume 4 Natural Language Classifier, SG24-8391
Volume 5 Language Translator, SG24-8392
Volume 6 Speech to Text and Text to Speech, SG24-8388
Volume 7 Natural Language Understanding, SG24-8398


Whether you are a beginner or an experienced developer, this collection provides the
information you need to start your research on Watson services. If your goal is to become
more familiar with Watson in relation to your current environment, or if you are evaluating
cognitive computing, this collection can serve as a powerful learning tool.

Volume 1, introduces cognitive computing, its motivating
factors, history, and basic concepts. This volume describes the industry landscape for
cognitive computing and introduces Watson, the cognitive computing offering from IBM. It
also describes the nature of the question-answering (QA) challenge that is represented by the
Jeopardy! quiz game and It provides a high-level overview of the QA system architecture
(DeepQA), developed for Watson to play the game. This volume charts the evolution of the
Watson Developer Cloud, from the initial DeepQA implementation. This book also introduces
the concept of domain adaptation and the processes that must be followed to adapt the
various Watson services to specific domains.


Where to start ? From the beginning of course ! Volume 1 is here