Cognitive Capabilities: Intro to PubNub and IBM Watson APIs

2 min read Michael Carroll on Jul 29, 2019

Functions allows you to run code on your data moving through the PubNub network. This could be transforming a message’s content, triggering an action based on a message, or filtering messages that meet certain criteria. And it all happens in the network, so there’s no need to spin up your own servers to run the business logic.

This opens the doors for integrating IBM Watson extensive list of APIs directly into your application. Watson specializes in cognitive capabilities, enabling you to build smarter applications that combine the speed and messaging of PubNub, and the brains of Watson.

functions watson

So why Watson and PubNub? Why not just build these systems yourself?

Building and training smart services is incredibly difficult. Distilling meaning of text inputs, responding to those text inputs in a humanlike way, and analyze massive sets of data and intelligently making decisions on it takes a giant engineering team and a load of resources. Lucky for you, Watson gives you these capabilities through their suite of APIs. And even better, Functions makes it incredibly easy to integrate the power of Watson into your real-time applications.

And just a heads up, Functions was once known as PubNub BLOCKS. If you see any mention of ‘Watson BLOCK’ or ‘BLOCKS Catalog’, that’s what we’re talking about here.

Watson and PubNub Example Use Cases

Let’s explore a couple example use cases for Watson and PubNub, that include full demos and tutorials. You can see our full tutorials on the navigation on the left or the list below.

  • Assistant (tutorial): A smart API that can process language inputs and act on them, power a chatbot that listens for verbal commands and triggers an action in a smarthome, like turning on a light or locking a door.
  • Discovery (tutorial): Create an application that intelligently searches and analyzes a dataset for patterns and findings based on a query. For example, an FAQ bot that accepts questions from users and finds and delivers relevant answers.
  • Natural Language Understanding (tutorial): One of the most powerful and widely applied Watson APIs for Functions, Natural Language Understanding uncovers insights of streams of data, allowing you to gauge sentiment and emotion, understand different languages, and categorize data based on concepts and relations. Say you have a system monitoring social media mentions, this would allow you to gauge the sentiment of everyone talking about your brand.
  • Speech-to-Text and Text-to-Speech (tutorial): Convert speech into actionable text, and make your apps talk. From chatbots, to home automation systems, these APIs bring your apps to life.
  • Language Translator (tutorial)With 11 supported languages, translate chat messages between users in real time.

With that, get building! Check out all the tutorials on the left side navigation. We’re always adding new tutorials and expanding our Watson library, so check back!