IBM acquires Watson-based personal shopping chatbot from Fluid

2 Nov 201631 Shares

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IBM intends to apply the AI-based personal shopping technology across a variety of industries, as well as retail. Image: Andrey Arkusha/Shutterstock

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IBM has acquired XPS, a Watson-based AI chatbot for personal shopping, from software firm Fluid.

Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) uses natural language technology to interact with customers while they shop.

IBM invested in Fluid in 2014, as part of a $100m fund it established to contribute to Watson-based businesses and applications.

‘In addition to retail, we believe, XPS can be leveraged and applied to the digital properties for brands across a variety of industries’
– PAUL PAPAS

Watson is IBM’s signature artificial intelligence (AI) platform and the cornerstone of the company’s future in AI-based business processes and services.

IT and AI are elementary, my dear Watson

The XPS solution and several key members of the XPS team will become part of IBM iX (Interactive Experience).

“We look to incorporate the XPS platform into the customer engagement and commerce solutions that we create for our retail clients,” said Paul Papas, global leader at IBM iX.

“By adding XPS into digital experiences, IBM iX aims to make online discovery simpler, smarter and more personalised for consumers.

“In addition to retail, we believe, XPS can be leveraged and applied to the digital properties for brands across a variety of industries.”

This is the latest of several IBM iX acquisitions in 2016 and segues neatly into IBM’s design approach to future business platforms.

IBM iX’s team of specialists work side by side with clients across more than 30 global IBM studios to invent and co-create innovations.

Two key XPS accounts – The North Face and 1-800-Flowers – will become IBM clients.

Through the power of Watson, XPS will assist shoppers across digital channels, creating a more engaging, personalised and relevant online shopping experience.

Delivered as a service over the internet, XPS provides tailored recommendations on a business’s site, across online and mobile experiences, and can be incorporated into social channels.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com