By Bernard Tyson
Since shortly after Kaiser Permanente’s launch in 1945, this organization has been at the forefront of using technology to improve patient care. We started collecting large amounts of data about patients and treatment outcomes long before electronic medical records and “big data” became hot topics. And, today, we remain one of the early adopters of cutting-edge technology in the healthcare industry.
Like other healthcare organizations, we take advantage of technology to make our operations more efficient and to help deliver superior care. But I believe that information technology can play an even more important role in this industry: It can help us transform from focusing on healthcare to focusing on health.
What do I mean by that? To me, the term healthcare connotes being reactive to problems. That’s not enough. An organization that focuses more broadly on health itself can help people extend their lives and live healthier lives. Continue Reading »
By Terry Jones
My first job when I got out of college in 1971 was as a receptionist at a travel agency in Chicago. In those days, believe it or not, we used telegrams to make international reservations.
It’s amazing to think how far travel has come since then—and the role that information technology has played in those changes.
Today, the travel industry is primed for yet another revolution. This time, cognitive computing is the agent of change, and my company, WayBlazer, is one of the industry pioneers.
WayBlazer taps into the power of IBM’s Watson to help Web sites create travel experiences that fit the interests and budgets of individual consumers. It’s a step towards a time in the future when, I believe, computers will serve as truly personal travel advisors—enabling people to do everything from arranging the perfect vacation to making last minute-changes with the minimum of fuss.
By Michael Rhodin
It’s hard to believe it’s only been 10 short months since the IBM Watson Group was announced. We talked of bringing together a unique group of people – incredibly talented professionals from across IBM – into a new unit.
This included the single largest movement of IBM Research personnel in our history, along with 10 – 12 startups worth of new cognitive technologies that would help define the Watson team. Individuals and core capabilities from our software business would join into the fray.
A new approach to engaging the market would be created from talent across IBM’s sales, marketing, services and consulting organizations. A new cloud delivery organization would be formed out of our services teams to serve this market – all brought together with a single purpose: to usher in a new era of computing. Continue Reading »
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 »
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 »
By Steve Hamm
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.
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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 »