GE Digital acquires two AI startups in a move to combat IBM Watson

Image Source: GE Jeff Immelt who was recently in India spoke about the industrial internet trend

This one had been in the offing for some time. Legacy company General Electric (GE) recently acquired two major startups – California based and Vancouver based Bit Stew Systems to bolster their AI capability. While the former specializes in machine learning, the latter is focused on data analytics. The acquisition bid was largely prompted to add more teeth to GE Digital’s Predix platform widely used in industrial internet applications such as power plants and aircraft engines to analytical software. Touted as the first-of-its-kind industrial IoT platform, Predix combines machine, intelligence and people.

Industry watchers pegged the latest move is directly aimed at IBM Watson. From elementary to complex, IBM Watson’s cognitive computing has been staking new frontiers in the field of AI.

GE CEO Jeffrey R Immelt who was recently in India spoke about the industrial internet trend, spearheaded by GE and how analytics is driving the company’s growth. Listed as the world’s most powerful CEO, Immelt mentioned that GE would build on its strong foundation – the industrial internet and how they plan to build their analytical capabilities around the products via software.

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It was this chance for technical supremacy that led to the two high profile acquisitions.

Bit Stew, which is backed by GE’S venture capital has a data intelligence platform that applies machine learning and AI capabilities to automate the process of data modelling, mapping and ingestion.

Commenting on the acquisition, Harel Kodash, Vice President, Predix and Chief Technology Officer at GE Digital said, “Bit Stew will help make Predix, GE Digital’s operating system connecting devices on the Industrial Internet, faster and more effective in creating powerful business outcomes for our customers.”

He further added that the integration of technologies will provide Predix with a better capability to integrate data while it is in motion from the edge to the cloud. “This combined capability will help us further accelerate our industrial offerings, and provide our customers with a contextual understanding of their assets and operations,” he shared. The result? GE Digital’s Predix platform will efficiently organize large amounts of data at the source, enabling rapid realization of Industrial Internet value.

Richa Bhatia
Richa Bhatia is a seasoned journalist with six-years experience in reportage and news coverage and has had stints at Times of India and The Indian Express. She is an avid reader, mum to a feisty two-year-old and loves writing about the next-gen technology that is shaping our world.

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