Columbus Collaboratory Announces “CognizeR,” an Open Source R Extension that Accelerates Data Scientists’ Access to IBM Watson

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Columbus_Collaboratory_logoColumbus Collaboratory, an advanced analytics and cybersecurity company, today announced the release of CognizeR, an open-source R extension that can enhance and simplify how more than two million data scientists using R can access and build with IBM Watson. Now, data scientists can bypass having to code the calls to the cognitive APIs in another language, such as Java or Python, and tap directly into Watson APIs without leaving their own native development environment.

Our goal was to connect data scientists everywhere with cognitive computing in a software environment they already know and love: R,” said Ty Henkaline, chief analytics innovator, Columbus Collaboratory. “CognizeR now shortens the journey toward building real cognitive solutions by providing quick and easy access to Watson services. Releasing this code to the open-source community advances our mission of delivering accelerated business value to our member companies and beyond.”

With the release of CognizeR, Columbus Collaboratory is focused on advancing the adoption of cognitive computing within its founding companies, as well as within the data scientist community worldwide. CognizeR offers easier access to a variety of Watson’s artificial intelligence services that can enhance the performance of predictive models developed in R, an open-source language widely used by data scientists for statistical and analytics applications.

By teaming up with Columbus Collaboratory, we are continuing our commitment to helping more people build and innovate with IBM’s cognitive offerings,” said Shivakumar Vaithyanathan, IBM Fellow and Director, Watson Content Services. “CognizeR enables data scientists to seamlessly tap into Watson’s services, offering them an efficient and simple path to create cognitive solutions within their own, native development environment. As we collect feedback, we’ll be able to continually improve the experience by adding the cognitive services that data scientists want and need the most.”

Today’s world is immersed in a deluge of data. According to IDC, an estimated 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human in the world by 2020 — however, less than one percent is analyzed and used for insights. This data lives in unstructured forms like chats, emails, social media, images and documents. CognizeR allows data scientists to easily tap into Watson services to unlock this data and find new insights that can improve their predictive models for numerous industry applications — from finance to insurance to economics. Watson services available through CognizeR include Watson Language Translation, Personality Insights, Tone Analyzer, Speech to Text, Text to Speech and Visual Recognition. As data scientists begin to build with Watson, IBM will collect their feedback to help inform additional cognitive services that will be made available.

CognizeR is available for download at Columbus Collaboratory’s GitHub repository (

The release of CognizeR – and our business model as a whole – demonstrates the tremendous benefits that can be achieved through cross-company collaboration and innovation,” said Matt Wald, president and chief executive officer, Columbus Collaboratory. “The unique partnership with our diverse set of member companies has enabled us to quickly discover the tremendous value cognitive computing can generate across industries. We are eager to get these services in the hands of the broader data science community.”


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