Another boost for machine learning as IBM goes open source

IBM has announced that it will be making its System ML software open-source. This proprietary software deals with machine-learning technology and will be available to share and modify through the Apache Software Foundation.

IBM is the third company this year to distribute its machine-learning technology via an open-source license following the release of parts of Facebook's Torch Software and parts of Google's TensorFlow System.

System ML has gained a preliminary acceptance by Apache which could be the first step towards widespread adoption of the software. The software was developed over a decade ago at IBM's Almaden research lab. System ML could be quite useful in making it much easier for developers to create customised learning software.

The current version of the software is designed to work alongside another Apache project called Spark. This project is able to process large quantities of data retrieved from smartphones, fitness trackers and other devices that provide a continuous stream of information. However, developers are already considering a multitude of other ways they could implement System ML in other applications from banking to streaming media content online.

The main reason IBM decided to make the source code of System ML available through the Apache Foundation was to gain a larger audience of programmers using the software. In this way, it may also be able to scout for new AI experts. IBM could even gain an advantage over its competitors who have been reluctant to open-source their software.

Image Credit: Sarah Holmlund / Shutterstock