As IBM celebrates 100 years of innovation, we’re exploring how the company has pursued progress over the last century in three ways: Pioneering the science of information, changing the way the world works, and reinventing the modern corporation. As we both reflect and look ahead, it’s interesting to note how the world around us has also changed and to imagine what it will look like in another hundred years.
Over the last century, global water usage has increased at twice the rate of population growth, impacting society across the board from public health to economics to energy consumption. Obviously, this supply and demand ratio isn’t sustainable, and big changes in the way we manage this precious resource are an imperative.
Collaboration among companies, municipal and government leaders, water managers and citizens will be essential as we continue to look for new ways to innovate in the water management industry. And while much data is being collected, we’ve got to find better ways of using that data to make difficult decisions about how, when and where we’re using our water supply. Data collection is one thing – but finding value in vast amounts of data, streaming in realtime or near realtime from a wide variety of sources, is another. The advent of the deep QA (Question and Answer) technology that powers the Watson computing system presents a unique opportunity to rapidly analyze information and find answers to difficult questions.
Cameron Brooks, IBM’s director of smarter water management, takes a closer look at the implications for Watson in the water management field here.