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GM OnStar Go to use IBM's Watson learning, conversation tech

by Justin King

Watson APIs will help power third-party apps from ExxonMobil, Mastercard, and iHeartRadio, among others.

General Motors has announced plans to create OnStar Go, a "cognitive mobility platform" powered by IBM's Watson technology.

Watson APIs include machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in drivers' decisions and habits. The information will be used by brands and third-party services to deliver improved personalization and targeting.

"Companies in retail, fuel, hospitality, media and entertainment, restaurants and travel and transportation and more can use OnStar Go to build individualized mobile, in-vehicle experiences for a growing population of connected drivers that opt-in," GM says.

The company explains how Watson Personality Insights and Conversation APIs can remind a father to pick up diapers and formula from the pharmacy on his way home from work. Watson Tradeoff Analytics can improve dining recommendations, while Retrieve and Rank alerts drivers that their order is ready for pickup at a nearby retail store and an employee will load the goods into the vehicle.

ExxonMobil plans to use Watson tech to direct drivers to its own network of gas stations, make vehicle-specific recommendations for fuel and lubricants, and even authorize fuel payment from inside the vehicle.

GM expects OnStar Go to begin rolling out early in 2017, expanding to several million vehicles by the end of the year.

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