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The Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Photo credit: Haroldo Palo Jr.

The Brazilian Amazon rainforest. (Photo: Haroldo Palo Jr.)

By Steve Hamm, IBM Writer

With its warm, wet climate and vast expanse of 2.7 million square miles of land, the Amazon River basin has the potential to become one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions—essential for feeding a global population that’s fast-approaching eight billion.

Yet, at the same time, the Amazon rainforest is an invaluable—and imperiled–natural resource. According to The Nature Conservancy, no other place is more critical to human survival. The basin, which is about the size of the United States and touches eight countries, harbors one-third of the planet’s biodiversity, produces one-fourth of the fresh water and plays a key role in warding off the worst effects of climate change. Continue Reading »

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Meghan M. Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture Consulting Group

Meghan M. Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture Consulting Group

By Meghan M. Biro

The way we work isn’t working.

Or at the very least, today’s workforce dynamics are evolving faster than most organizations can manage. We’re more likely to find a new job using social media, our mobile devices are rarely more than an arm’s reach away, and we want greater flexibility in our work environment. At the same time, the emergence of new technologies and workforce science is giving HR leaders access to tools and insight they never had before but a new IBM study revealed only 20 percent feel successful managing change.

The challenge for many is to better understand employees as unique individuals while also managing the transformational change required to unlock innovation and transform the workforce. Daniel Pink’s TED Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation” and Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” help address this challenge by focusing on the autonomy, mastery and purpose in motivating people to action. As Sinek says, “Don’t just hire people who need a job — hire people who believe what you believe.” Continue Reading »

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Dharmendra Modha, IBM Fellow

Dharmendra Modha, IBM Fellow

By Steve Hamm
IBM Writer

The idea of making machines modeled on the human brain has thrilled and confounded scientists since the earliest days of computing in the 1940s. The brain is a remarkable organ. Thanks to this spongy mass the size of a grapefruit, which uses just 20 watts of power, we humans understand complex concepts, navigate the physical world, and create marvelous things—from spacecraft to sonnets.

Not surprisingly, imitating the brain has proven to be incredibly difficult. Conventional computers don’t even try. They use linear logic and hard-wired circuitry to calculate, send messages, analyze data and organize knowledge consuming enormous amounts of power while failing to match the brain’s protean capabilities.

But, today, we’re at a turning point in the history of computing. The SyNAPSE team at IBM Research, funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and aided by scientists from several universities, has demonstrated powerful yet energy-efficient neuromorphic chip that has the potential to help fulfill the dreams of the computer industry’s pioneers.  “I hope this will inspire completely different thinking about what computing can do,” says Dharmendra S. Modha, IBM Fellow and principal investigator of the SyNAPSE Project.

An article about the breakthrough was published today by Science magazine.

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Xiaowei Shen, Dir., IBM Research China

Xiaowei Shen, Dir., IBM Research China

By Dr. Xiaowei Shen

To help China deliver on its ambitious energy and environmental goals, IBM recently launched a major 10-year initiative called Green Horizon. Led by IBM Research – China with support from our network of 12 global research labs and a number of high-profile partners, we will bring cutting-edge technologies to bear on three key areas: air quality management, renewable energy forecasting and energy optimization. Continue Reading »

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Eric Engquist, assistant VP, USAA

Eric Engquist, assistant VP, USAA

By Eric Engquist

When I left the US Army in 2005, it was an incredibly stressful experience. In fact, I tell people today that I’m the quintessential example of what not to do when you’re transitioning to civilian life.

From childhood, I had planned on serving in the military. It was a family tradition.  But after serving as an infantry officer for 8 years, including deployments to Kosovo and Iraq, I decided to leave the military, get married and start a family.

Problem was, I didn’t know what to expect after I exited the military. I didn’t have a career plan, or a financial plan or even a firm sense of where I would live. As a result, it took me nearly six months to land a job.

That’s why, as the assistant vice president in charge of military transitions at USAA, I am passionate about serving our military members and their families, and am determined to do everything I can to ease their journey. And, I’m happy to say that we’re getting help from IBM Watson—the cognitive computing system.

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Virginia Rometty, IBM Chairman and CEO; Tim Cook, Apple CEO. (Photo: Paul Sakuma/Feature Photo Service for IBM.)

Virginia Rometty, IBM Chairman and CEO; Tim Cook, Apple CEO.
(Photo: Paul Sakuma/Feature Photo Service for IBM.)

By Bridget van Kralingen

The mobile revolution has transformed the way we connect, relax, navigate, enjoy our music and document our lives in photography.

Yet, for the most part, the impact of all this native capability on the devices we carry hasn’t penetrated the world of serious business. No doubt, millions of people use their personal mobile devices at work for tasks such as email, calendaring or instant messaging – all providing value. We reclaim some “niche time” and gain the convenience of untethering from our desktops. But that state of play – mobility as we know it today – is hardly transformative.

That’s changing.

IBM and Apple have joined forces to unlock a new generation of value and possibility in mobility for business. Our companies have come together from two independent positions of strength, combining the best of what we’ve each built our reputations and market positions on: Apple’s legendary ease and user experience, with IBM’s depth in analytics, industry, enterprise-class software and cloud. Continue Reading »

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Lynda Chin, Scientific Dir., MD Anderson Institute for Applied Cancer Science

Lynda Chin,  Chair of Genomic Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

By Lynda Chin

New technologies have their upsides and downsides.

High speed computing has allowed for rapid gene sequencing and a tremendous acceleration in scientific discovery.  The parallel developments of handheld computers and high-speed wireless networks have led to an amazing point in human history; one where several libraries worth of information can immediately be accessed from devices we carry in our pockets. Continue Reading »

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July 9th, 2014
9:00
 

Christopher Hansen, President, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network

Christopher Hansen, President, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network

By Christopher W. Hansen

Technology is changing every aspect of our lives, and in the field of medicine that is especially true in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer.

Technology allowed scientists to unravel the human genome and led to the creation of the entirely new science of genomics and personalized medicine. Now we’re able to fight some cancers by using technology to identify genetic mutations and create therapies to cause specific molecular alterations in tumors. We also use apps on smartphones and other personal technological devices connected to broadband networks to monitor our health. Technology enables patient-centered care.

As cancer care continues to evolve, so does medical technology and its use in every aspect of the care continuum. Continue Reading »

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Xiaowei Shen, Dir., IBM Research China

Xiaowei Shen, Dir., IBM Research China

By Xiaowei Shen

China’s economic development story is truly incredible. With an average GDP growth of 10% over the past 30 years, China has emerged as the world’s second-largest economy and largest manufacturer.

But as a nation we realize that for China to sustain rapid growth some things have to change. One of the most central and widely discussed issues is ensuring growth while protecting the environment and the health of our citizens. We understand that our success should not come at the cost of future generations. Continue Reading »

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

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

By Dr. Guillermo Cecchi

More than 63 million psychiatric interviews are conducted every year. But none of them are analyzed in a quantitative codified manner. Surprising? Not really. Doctors don’t have time to find patterns in the pages of notes they keep per patient. Those pages, though, keep “big data” on psychiatric issues that analytics can help unlock and predict before episodes occur.

Now, after a multi-year study and accompanying development of text analysis algorithms, we may finally be able to quantify patterns in these interviews, and help doctors treat patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions. Continue Reading »

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