By Steve Hamm
At IBM, Watson seems to be everywhere these days. The cognitive computer that beat two grand champions on the TV quiz show, Jeopardy!, has a team working on enhancements in IBM Research; software programmers developing services for businesses and whole industries; programming and ideation contests in universities; two books about it (Final Jeopardy! and Smart Machines); and, now, an Off-Broadway play.
That’s right, Playwrights Horizons is presenting The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, by playwright Madeleine George—which opened on Nov. 15 and will continue through Dec. 29. It’s an exploration of the relationships between people and the people and machines we depend on. The play draws on parallels between IBM’s Watson, the character Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame and the Watson who Alexander Graham Bell called in the first-ever telephone conversation. At times funny and other times emotionally wrenching, the play examines our mixed feelings about being helped by others. George is featured here.
By Shashi Bellamkonda
The mobile revolution isn’t only having a profound influence on the lives of consumers, it’s also changing the way business owners—especially small business owners—are marketing their business.
Research has found that 42 percent of small business owners say it would be a huge challenge to operate their businesses without mobile services. An additional one-in-three business owners say their businesses could not survive without some type of mobile service.
So how can small businesses stay ahead of the mobile curve?
Think about how you, as a consumer, go through your day with your smartphone or tablet. You may scan comments, compare prices, and shop on the go. As you work, sit in the doctor’s office, ride the train, and even stand in line at the grocery store, it’s never been more important for the businesses you frequent to have your information up-to-date and accurate across all online channels. Gleaning analytic insight on all this mobile Web activity and seeing what kind of content, feedback and posts are driving the most engagement will be key. Continue Reading »
By Jay Henderson
With another peak holiday shopping season upon us, retailers and marketers across the country have high hopes for another record-breaking weekend of online sales.
They may very well get their wish.
Based on early data from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, Thanksgiving Day online sales grew 19.7 percent over 2012, led by department stores, which increased 60 percent using the same comparison. As expected, mobile was once again a key driver of that overall growth, increasing 49 percent year over year as a component of all online sales.
As holiday shoppers become more diverse, connected and digitally savvy, retailers are looking to cloud, mobile and big data analytics to deliver personalized experiences for millions of consumers. The winners this year will be those that rely on real-time insight to adapt their mix of in-store, online and mobile promotions to make the sale whenever and wherever their customers choose. For retailers like Moosejaw, that means building a connected physical and digital shopping experience that is integrated, from the ground up, across the entire commerce cycle. Continue Reading »
By William Rusnak
We are just beginning to see the full potential of the use of sensors in healthcare.
In fact, the day may soon come when acute changes in a patient’s vitals may be sent as an alert to the phone of a primary care physician. Giant fluctuations of glucose levels in the blood of diabetics may be detected without the need to repeatedly prick finger tips. Food diaries, home blood pressures jotted down on notepads, and face-to-face follow-up appointments will likely be a thing of the past.
The typical check-up that we know today may transform into the equivalent of getting your car’s computer inspected when the “check engine” light is on. Sensors will lead to more pertinent data collection, and with the right analytics, will significantly improve outcomes. Continue Reading »
By Mark Daley
The tools and methodologies of “Big Data” provide us with new – necessarily automated – ways to boil down vast quantities of data into a form that is easier to digest. Critical tools include algorithms for dimensionality reduction, machine learning and large-scale visualization.
Beyond Big Data, many researchers are also beginning to face the related challenge of “fast data” – that is, real-time, streaming data for which an analysis is only useful if the results can be had quickly. For example, imagine a system designed to predict adverse weather events to mitigate losses to human life or damage to property. Clearly, the prediction is not useful if it comes 12 hours after the event. Continue Reading »
By Mathews Thomas
Are you facing challenges creating business process that require services from multiple cloud vendors with your enterprise? Wouldn’t it be nice to seamlessly integrate these services with large volumes of data you have to obtain key business insights?
Right now, cloud applications and services are single instances from one provider or vendor. IBM inventors have created a new technique that would make it possible to bring cloud applications and services into a single view to make it easier for business users to access these services and integrate them with in-house systems – for a single view of business operations.
IBM’s patent # 8,504,400 Dynamically Optimized Distributed Cloud Computing-based Business Process Management (BPM) System, helps combine the benefits of cloud services with in-house systems. Continue Reading »
By Kyu Rhee, MD
While emerging economies across the world are exploding, the sad fact is that chronic disease is taking its toll.
As the middle class grows across Africa, Asia and South America, people are living longer and also suffering from obesity and the effects of a more sedentary lifestyle. That translates into growing death rates from chronic disease.
In most African countries, cardiovascular disease is now the second leading cause of death after infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. It has been estimated that between 1990-2020, the burden of heart disease will double. Diabetes across the Middle East and North Africa has jumped 87 percent between 1990-2012, and stroke by 35 percent.
Approximately 70 percent of all cancer deaths occur in developing nations, according to the World Health Organization. That number is rising: for example, cancer is expected to increase in Sub-Saharan Africa by 85 percent by 2030. But that figure is only an estimate, since less than 1 percent of the region’s population is covered by cancer registries. Continue Reading »
By Michael Karasick
As a computer scientist and director of one of IBM’s global research laboratories, I find it fascinating to trace the repeated patterns in the history of computing. Typically, the Next Big Thing spends years in incubation, either as military initiatives (the first electronic computers), consumer phenomena (the PC) or science projects (the World Wide Web). But, ultimately, these advances are adopted by business enterprises, where they’re deployed at massive scale to make organizations more efficient and effective—and, ultimately, to drive growth and dynamism in the global economy. Continue Reading »
By Nataraj Nagaratnam
With IDC predicting that by 2017, the U.S. Federal Government will quadruple from $2 billion next year to nearly $9 billion in what it spends on cloud computing (mostly on private cloud), the topic of cloud security is going to quickly become the center of attention in Washington D.C.
Though the government has established some early security certifications like the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) and the Federal Risk and Authorization management Program (FedRAMP) to give agencies guidance on security, there will be a heightened need to go even further as agencies move mission critical workloads to the cloud. Continue Reading »