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IBM to Open Up Jeopardy Winner Watson's 'Brain' for Everyone Big Blue aims to spur innovation in the cognitive intelligence space by making the software publicly available for developers.

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

IBM is opening up the "brain" of supercomputer Watson by making the software technology behind it available to anyone who has the interest.

For entrepreneurs looking to develop programs on top of the Watson infrastructure, this is your green light.

IBM's goal is to enable innovation to happen more quickly than it would if Big Blue kept the software technology private. "With this move, IBM is taking a bold step to advance the new era of cognitive computing," said Michael Rhodin, senior vice president at IBM Software Solutions Group, in a statement.

Related: Intel's Futurist: We'll Soon Be Living In Computers

The application programming interface, or API, for Watson -- who famously triumphed on the game-show Jeopardy! in 2011 -- will be made available in what will be called the IBM Watson Developers Cloud.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM expects to partner with businesses of all sizes, from startups to larger enterprises. Watson's power is its ability to process extensive amounts of information intelligently, a red-hot industry called "big data.'

"This could bring about a paradigm shift not only in how people interact with computers, but in how we live our lives," said Mohamad Makhzoumi, partner at New Enterprise Associates and board member at Welltok, one of the first companies to work with the Watson software, in a statement.

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For those businesses and individuals interested in building an application on top of the Watson software, IBM will make upwards of 500 of its own experts available.

Early business partners with IBM are developing applications that will build on the Watson cognitive software to make digital personal shoppers smarter, to make the medical device purchasing process more streamlined and a health management application that rewards positive behaviors.

Related: Voice Recognition and No Wallet: PayPal's Vision of the Future

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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