Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

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If there’s one trend that underpins nearly every topic and post we’ve addressed here on this blog in the past 18 months, it is data. The reason we instrument the world is to generate and collect data. The reason we collect data is to analyze it. The reason to analyze data is to understand better the world around us. And the reason to understand the world around us better is to make decisions that improve that world.

It is all very simple, really, in a linear sort of rationale. The challenge, of course, is the inherent complexity at each of those steps.

Which is where human expertise, computing power and analytical software play a huge role. You can’t create a congestion charging system without software and sensors. You can’t create predictive models to understand the spread of infectious diseases without massive computing power. And you can’t apply it in the context of human behavior without a fundamental understanding of psychology, culture and politics.

Why am I talking about all of this? And what’s it got to do with the video above? If you live in the United States and happen to own a television, you are likely to come across a whole new slate of IBM TV advertising in the coming days that at a very high level does two things: 1) reinforces the point that data is fundamental to creating a Smarter Planet; and 2) highlights just a few of the thousands of IBMers whose day jobs are to think about data on a smarter planet.

Following are a few of the ads you’ll begin to see soon.

Featuring Julia Grace, IBM Researcher working on social and collaborative computing:

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Featuring John Cohn, IBM Fellow and “Distinguished Agitator” (and a familiar face here on this blog):

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Featuring Jeff Jonas IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Scientist, Entity Analytic Solutions, IBM Software Group:

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Posted by: paving west chester
March 10, 2010
11:57 am

As a citizen, a student, an educator, a mother, a small business entrepreneur, and sometimes a patient, I want information I can use immediately. I am no stranger to making personal decisions which improve my own behavior for sustainable social change and resource management. Becoming a conscious contributor and a model of doing the right thing at the right time is a life long process. Like so many of my contemporaries, I was raised in a mindset of consumer wastefulness mainly due to an educational disconnect from the source of, say, electrical energy, and the currently overwhelming toxicity of older systems that have outlived their usefulness.

I have no intention of waiting another ten years to find out that what I am doing now, in my own home, local school, and church community is actually a poor use of potential resources. Knowledge alone, especially standardized knowledge, means nothing to me, unless I can pass on what is useful and relevant, to the children, parents, and community members for which I prepare outreach materials. My experience with standardization is that it can become its own vortex of hypocrisy. So, I advise multiple alternatives. I am more than curious about what protocols can be coordinated between data, resources and realtime application in homes right now, in island communities like mine. We live with finite resources every day, and may have more motivation to preserve and protect natural resources than urban neighborhoods.

We, the common folk, for whom all education and systems of governance are intended to ultimately serve, are already saturated with information that defines scientific reality. We still struggle to live respectfully and “do no harm” to each other and the planet. Defining isn’t the answer…it is a natural part of the process of learning. Aligning knowledge with current human experience, as a structure of learning for behavioral change, is the course of wisdom, and needs to be a top priority. Like the largest percentage of human intelligence, I am an optional learner. This means that I require a hands-on “Learn it – Do it- Teach it” model. It is time to close the gap between those who may have some answers we can live and those who are willing to be the answer (us).

I cannot be standardized. I represent the constant variable in the research model, the one that cannot be controlled. Continue the necessary conversations with people like me. I have the desire to make smart choices. I want the support to do so. Give me and the other 120 million Americans practical information in a way that we can actually receive it and use it. We are the agents of change our constitution provides for. You’re going to have to appeal to our hearts and the simplicity of ground truth. There will need to be a basis for mutual trust that we will be given all that we need to know, and what we need, to make healthy, responsible patterns our new reality.

Technology is only one partner out of a host of potential partnerships. If it is our tool we have much to gain. Without human contribution, the experiment of life becomes sterile. Earth strives for organic life. Me, too.

Working on a team effort to bring what we know into common understanding:

Posted by: Morgan L. Meadows
March 10, 2010
8:29 am

There is a lot of data all around us. We are unable to collate it, massage it and interpret it for several reasons. Primary among these reasons is the fact that there is no commonly accepted structure around the data. If there is a structure, then it is not a standard. If there is a standard then there is no connectivity and so on. The place to start would be standardization. Every device, every entity in a network should be described using a standard format. It should generate information in a standard format and it should exchange data using standard protocols. So the task is enormous but a beginning can be made by first identifying the requirements.

I had written a blog earlier this from a limited perspective of operations in a cloud computing environment. Please take a look:


PS: I am an IBMer as well

Posted by: Ravi Kulkarni
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March 19, 2010
9:35 am

[...] Data. The foundation for everything on an intelligent, interconnected, instrumented planet The reason we instrument the world is to generate and collect data. The reason we collect data is [...]

Posted by: Google’s algorithm and the importance of data « Spare Cycles
March 18, 2010
8:41 am

[...] • Data. The foundation for everything on an intelligent, interconnected, instrumented planet [...]

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