AI and cognitive computing

IBM Research builds applications that enable humans to collaborate with powerful AI technologies to discover, analyze and tackle the world’s greatest challenges.


Explore featured research

The Future of AI

Humans are on the cusp of augmenting their lives in extraordinary ways with AI. At IBM Research Labs around the globe, we envision and develop next-generation systems that work side-by side with humans, accelerating our ability to create, learn, make decisions and think. We also architect the future of Watson, which has evolved from an IBM Research project to the world’s first and most-advanced AI platform. Whether exploring new technical capabilities, collaborating on ethical practices or applying Watson technology to cancer research, financial decision-making, oil exploration or educational toys, IBM Research is shaping the future of AI.

Featured research

cognitive dress

Cognitive creativity

Cognitive movie trailer

65 percent of movie-goers watch trailers on YouTube to help them pick a movie. 20th Century Fox turned to IBM Research to help make a new trailer for its film, "Morgan." Using experimental Watson APIs, the team analyzed visuals, audio and composition from 100 horror movie trailers to select the best moments for the first A.I.-generated movie trailer.

Cognitive environment lab project

Embodied cognition

Inspired by the IBM Cognitive Environments Lab

IBM Research scientist and designer Maryam Ashoori demonstrates how a cognitive room can inspire us -- and even improve our mood. The IBM Research Cognitive Environments Lab can hear, talk to and see its occupants. And occupants can communicate back to the room to conduct research and make strategic decisions.

Cognitive compiting synapse project

Cognitive platform

Chip design inspired by the human brain

IBM researchers -- led by Dharmendra S. Modha, R&D Magazine’s 2016 Scientist of the Year -- developed a chip with the potential to integrate brain-like capability into mobile devices. This revolutionary new design is the culmination of over a decade of research by IBM. It can be used in many fields including public safety, vision assistance for the blind, home health monitoring and transportation.

Cognitive computing genome project

Decision support and planning

New era of genomic medicine

The New York Genome Center (NYGC) and IBM announced the creation of a national cancer tumor repository that will use Watson to better match individual patients with treatment. IBM and NYGC feed genetic sequencing and clinical data into a Watson prototype designed specifically for genomic research to help identify a patient's mutation and the existing drugs best suited to treat it, scaling personalized medicine.

Key research areas

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High Performance Computing

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Human-Computer Interaction

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Learning and Reasoning

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Cognitive IoT

Development of AI

IBM Research is the driving force behind AI's most significant components -- from data mining and pattern recognition, to large-scale machine learning, deep learning, machine vision, natural language processing and more. Our work is distinguished by our development of next-generation systems and infrastructure required for intense, complex cognitive workloads.

People working collaboratively with [cognitive] learning systems is the future of expertise.

Dario Gil, Vice President, Science and Solutions at IBM Research

The origin of IBM Watson

In February 2011, the world was introduced to IBM Watson, the cognitive computing system built by IBM Research that defeated Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. See how Watson won Jeopardy! and what it meant for the future of cognitive systems.

Learn more about Watson

Research partners

Cognitive Horizon Network synapse

Cognitive Horizons Network

IBM's Cognitive Horizons Network is a consortium of the world’s leading universities committed to working with IBM to fulfill the promise of cognitive computing. Members dedicate hundreds of scientists to a series of advanced research projects and experiments designed to accelerate the application of artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and related technologies to some of the world’s most enduring challenges, ranging from disease and the environment to transportation and education.