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Saul Haro, CEO, Macrolynk

Saul Haro, CEO, Macrolynk

By Saul Haro

Sometimes the missing pieces of a puzzle can be right in front of you.

That’s how it was for me and my colleagues a few years ago. We were working in the supply chain and import/export group of a major automotive parts manufacturer and tasked with making sure operations moved smoothly.

It goes without saying that the automotive industry is huge, with hundreds of suppliers contributing parts and services to a single vehicle. But for context, consider that Toyota estimates the average car consists of about 30,000 individual parts – parts that have to be ordered, procured, shipped, delivered, received, installed, and tested. In this light, it’s easy to understand just how important managing the supply chain process can be to a successful production process. Continue Reading »

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Mark Gildersleeve, President, Business Division, The Weather Company

Mark Gildersleeve, President, Business Division, The Weather Company

The Weather Company delivers, on average, 15 billion weather forecasts to consumers and businesses every day. That’s an increase of more than 25-fold in the past five years, says Mark Gildersleeve, president of the business division of The Weather Company, which also owns the Weather Channel. The Weather Company is partnering with IBM to deliver those forecasts in real-time for 2.2 billion locations across the globe – a feat that would have been unthinkable without the recent advancements in cloud, mobile and data analytics. The Smarter Planet caught up with Gildersleeve to talk about how these new tools and technologies have improved forecasting and changed his business.  Continue Reading »

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Arthur Ashe Stadium, Queens, N.Y.

By Noah Syken

It’s that time of year again: the US Open begins today in Queens, and tennis fans — and New York City — may be buzzing even more than in years past.

This year is Serena Williams’ year to write history. She’s going for a calendar year Grand Slam and her 22nd Grand Slam title, which would tie her with Steffi Graf for most wins in the Open era.

IBM, the long-time technology partner of the U.S. Tennis Association, and other Grand Slams, has been there to help fans watch and enjoy “Serena Slam,” in which Williams has won the past four Majors, starting with the 2014 US Open. Along with ESPN, another USTA partner, we’ll be part of action over the next two weeks, using our technology to enrich tennis fans’ knowledge and appreciation — no matter where they are in the world. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Guillermo Cecchi, IBM Reseach staff member working in Biometaphorical Computing

Dr. Guillermo Cecchi, IBM Reseach staff member working in Biometaphorical Computing

by Guillermo Cecchi

Patterns are everywhere. Benoit Mandelbrot found them in nature, and gave us fractals. And now computer systems and algorithms find them in data, like how Watson teases out relevant information in just about anything. Machines can even find patterns in speech to accurately predict psychosis onset in high-risk youths, as colleagues and I explain in a recent Nature Publishing Journals – Schizophrenia article, Automated Analysis of Free Speech Predicts Psychosis Onset in High-Risk Youths.

About 1 percent of the population between the age of 14 and 27 is at clinically high risk, or CHR, for experiencing a psychotic episode at some point in their lives. One percent might not sound like much, but a statistically significant 30 percent of those known CHR individuals will have an episode. This led me to work with academic and clinical psychiatrists to apply machine learning to the data – in the form of transcribed interviews – to find patterns that would accurately predict that 30 percent. Continue Reading »

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Ron Melton, Project Director, Battelle Memorial Institute; Pacific Northwest Division Smart Grid Demonstration Project

By Ron Melton

Imagine a hot, sweltering day. Nearly everyone is using an air conditioner to keep cool. So much energy is needed that area power plants, wind farms and rooftop solar panels are struggling to keep up.

What if the clothes drier, water heater, car charger and other electric devices in your home and office could adjust their energy use to help in situations like this? And what if temporarily adjusting how those devices operate also reduced your power bill?

Results of a 5-year, $178-million smart grid pilot project show such a scenario isn’t just a pipe dream. It’s possible – if some technical and logistical hurdles are overcome, concluded the leaders of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Norman Sharpless, Professor of Medicine and Genetics, UNC School of Medicine; Chair, The Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

To hear Dr. Norman Sharpless tell it, it’s time to open a new front on the war on cancer. That front, he says, will match the latest cancer treatment advances and lab breakthroughs with big data analytics to help determine the best treatment options for patients. According to Dr. Sharpless, oncologists and molecular biologists are drowning in data. The Smarter Planet blog caught up with him recently to discuss his ideas for overcoming the challenge. 

Smarter Planet: The World Health Organization predicts that the number of new cancer cases will grow 70 percent within two decades. It’s no wonder many of us believe we’re losing the war on cancer.

Dr. Norman Sharpless: Cancer is not one disease. That misconception dates back to the Nixon administration. Maybe we should have said back then we’re launching a war on cancers. Each cancer requires different treatments. Each has different causes. And because every cancer is different you really can’t talk about a one-size-fits-all approach. What is needed is personalized care. Continue Reading »

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Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems

Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems

By Tom Rosamilia

Fifteen years ago IBM did what must have seemed to some people like the unthinkable. We started shipping mainframe computers running Linux, the open source operating system.

It was a major step forward for the open software movement, and, for IBM, it marked a significant expansion for the mainframe–helping to establish it as a backbone of the digital economy.

Today, we’re launching another major advance. IBM is going all-in for open software on the mainframe, which is now called z Systems.

This expansion strategy has many moving parts, but the key thing is that it provides entrepreneurs and businesses that are building the future of computing with a powerful, secure and flexible platform for developing and running cloud services and mobile apps.

Continue Reading »

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Juana Marcela Ramírez, General Director of Soluciones Hospitalarias Integrales

Juana Marcela Ramírez, General Director of Soluciones Hospitalarias Integrales

By Juana Marcela Ramírez

Almost a sixth of the adult population in Mexico suffers from diabetes and that number is only expected to grow.

The diabetes epidemic in Mexico holds massive implications. It profoundly impacts the health of individual Mexicans and negatively affects the country’s socioeconomic development. The Mexican government is working hard to not only combat the diabetes, but prevent it. For example, it launched a “soda tax,” which increases the price of sugary drinks 10 percent and the price of junk food 8 percent, to deter consumption.

This was the impetus behind IBM and Tienda Diabetes’ decision to team up to launch Farmacia Online, the first-ever specialized online drugstore in Mexico. Farmacia Online provides diabetes patients with affordable same-day delivery options for medications and treatments, as well as personalized care. Continue Reading »

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Ilya Tabakh, CEO, Edge Up Sports

Ilya Tabakh, CEO, Edge Up Sports

By Ilya Tabakh

Baseball still holds sway as America’s national pastime, but, for a certain slice of the population, Fantasy football is THE GAME. More than 33 million people play–obsessing over rosters, stats and injury reports for nearly six months of the year. Yet, as popular as Fantasy is, it could be even bigger if more of football’s 100+ million fans got involved.

That’s why my co-workers and I at Edge Up Sports have set out to change the way fans play the game. Our Edge Up platform, which we’re introducing today with a Kickstarter campaign, is designed to take the drudgery and stress out of managing a Fantasy football team. Continue Reading »

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Jimoh, right, and the original ROSS Intelligence team

Jimoh, right, and colleagues at ROSS Intelligence

By Steve Hamm

Just a few months ago, Jimoh Ovbiagele was a junior computer science major at the University of Toronto. Today, he’s the chief technology officer of ROSS Intelligence, a Toronto-based startup that’s harnessing IBM Watson in an attempt to transform the legal profession by streamlining case law research. This is no pipe dream: the software is being piloted by Dentons, the world’s largest law firm–giving it an industry stamp of approval.

“From the moment we had the opportunity to touch Watson, we saw that we could change a whole industry. So that’s what we set out to do,” Jimoh says.

Thanks to the IBM Watson Ecosystem, tiny startups like ROSS Intelligence can begin to disrupt the status quo in one industry after another–and in a matter of months. Continue Reading »

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