The Henry Ford Acquires Cognitive Dress Created by IBM and Marchesa


The Henry Ford in Dearborn today announced the acquisition of a cognitive dress, a collaborative effort between IBM and fashion designer Marchesa. While Marchesa designed the silhouette and handcrafted the dress, the design team used a mix of IBM research tools and its Watson platform to analyze the Marchesa brand and provide suggestions on the material and color palette during the design process.

The dress was worn by model Karolina Kurkova for the 2016 Metropolitan Gala, where LED lights embroidered into flowers on the dress changed colors in real-time based on social media conversations related to the dress’ hashtag.

“IBM and Marchesa’s cognitive dress is an excellent representation of innovation at work today, from the collaboration behind the dress to the technology involved to make it possible,” says Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. “We are delighted to bring this into our collection and give our guests the opportunity to be inspired by the innovators changing our world today.”

Watson is a cognitive computing system with understanding capabilities similar to humans though senses, learning, and experience. Available as a portfolio of services on an open developer platform, Watson can quickly analyze large amounts of structured and unstructured data to reveal insights and patterns that were previously unknown. The same technologies used to create the dress are also currently being used in other fields, including healthcare, engineering, finance, retail, and education.

The dress will be on display starting on April 13 through Labor Day inside Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

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