IBM Watson and C# – Part 1: Introduction

“The earliest estimate of the Singularity, when man will be able to transfer his consciousness into machines and achieve immortality.” – Dr Sheldon Cooper.

I do believe that The Big Bang Theory needs to create an episode involving cognitive computing – I think Sheldon could have a lot of fun with it.

I’m about to start building a home finance management system (yes, I know you can buy these), that uses IBM’s Watson platform to provide additional insights into our finances. As I’m always looking for new ideas to experiment with, I’m going to call Watson from a .NET C# application, rather than from an IBM Bluemix based application. At some point in the future I’ll probably create a Bluemix version as well, but for now my focus is on experimenting with the Watson API and this approach serves my purposes well and can hopefully provide useful information to other people attempting something similar. Whilst many applications that use these kinds of capabilities will be born on the cloud applications – possibly created and hosted on a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) platform – there will still be hybrid applications being extended or enriched with this additional cloud based capability.

At which point there are multiple approaches for consuming the service, including through a gateway hosted on your PaaS platform. For me, I’m simply going to extend a C# application to call the API directly. Given the SDK coverage doesn’t cover .NET, I’m going to create one as I progress further, which is simply the activity of creating a set of wrapper classes to encapsulate the REST API exposed by Watson.

~ Mike

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