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February 4th, 2015
21:01
 

Luis Lastras, Research Team Leader, IBM Watson Group

Luis Lastras,
Research Team Leader,
IBM Watson Group

By Luis Lastras

One of the most common features of online news sites, blogs and many other Web pages is the list of “related” items. Those links are produced using simple keyword associations, and, often, they’re basically the same information in a different package.

But what if you had a feature that helped you find items that lead you off in surprising new directions?

That’s becoming possible now thanks to a new service, Concept Insights, that my research team at Watson Group created.

Rather than using keywords to discover relationships, the technology digs deeply to understand the concepts contained in documents, maps those concepts in a giant knowledge graph, and surfaces linkages between the documents on Web pages. We think this new capability will be revolutionary–greatly enriching the online experiences of consumers, business people, scientists and students. Continue Reading »

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Last week's Winter Storm Juno. (Image: The National Weather Service.)

Last week’s Winter Storm Juno. (Image: The National Weather Service.)

By James Bales

Fortunately for many, Juno, the blizzard that hit the Northeastern part of the United States last week, was not the storm of the century the U.S. National Weather Service predicted. However, there was still a lot of planning and precaution taken by utilities companies to ensure citizens, as well as road crews and linemen stayed safe on the job while working around the clock to restore power. With their best workers on standby and ready to respond, utility companies across the Northeast scheduled all personnel to report to work immediately.

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February 3rd, 2015
8:43
 

Brad Gammons, General Manager, Energy and Utilities Industry, IBM

Brad Gammons, General Manager, Energy and Utilities Industry, IBM

By Brad Gammons

The energy grid is a 20th century engineering marvel and continues to be a core element of economic vitality for nations around the world. In order to continue to innovate, the utility industry must transform to meet the demands of new variable forms of energy and the shifting desires of how consumers use and interact with energy.

Investment is needed to transform the grid while continuing to deliver safe, reliable and cost-effective energy. This is a daunting challenge given the massive size of this infrastructure. Industry leaders are now beginning to use advanced data analytics to mine for vast amounts of data to help with this transformation. Continue Reading »

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Katie Keating, Social Content and Engagement Strategist, IBM

Katie Keating, Social Content and Engagement Strategist, IBM

By Katie Keating

Brands live in fear of the errant tweet, the insulting Facebook post, the lewd Instagram photo. And sometimes they are hacked. Sometimes a disgruntled employee does act out of spite. But all too often those social media gaffes come down to user error: a human juggling several channels – including their personal accounts – and hitting the wrong button, for the wrong site, at the wrong time.

A colleague of mine, software developer Aaron Quirk, and I submitted the patent “Preventing Messages From Being Sent Using Inappropriate Communication Accounts” to prevent just such embarrassments. Using natural language processing and the Bluemix cloud service, the invention monitors your activity across your email, social channels and more and “learns” your voice over time. Continue Reading »

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January 21st, 2015
3:00
 

ICE chefs, including Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, prepare a Baltic Herring Salad at the Chef Watson cookbook preview dinner in New York.

ICE chefs, including Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, prepare a Baltic Herring Salad at the Chef Watson cookbook preview dinner in New York.

By Florian Pinel

IBM Watson, the same cognitive computing system that has been put to work in healthcare, insurance, and retail, and which debuted the world’s first cognitive cooking food truck at SXSW last year, will soon be coming to your kitchen counter in the form of a new cookbook put together by IBM and The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE).

The cookbook is a result of IBM’s two-year collaboration with culinary partner, ICE, to pair the recipe expertise of world-class chefs with the cognitive power of Watson to generate never-before-seen recipes, many of which will be included in the cookbook, available April 14. Continue Reading »

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SP Nick Adams

Nick Adams, Director of One to One Marketing, Telstra

By Nick Adams

For today’s customers, online engagement is often the first point of contact with a brand and sometimes their only measure of customer service.

At Telstra, we recognized that as part of our continual customer focus, we needed to establish a two-way digital dialogue with our customers and get better at delivering a seamless, multi-channel experience. We also wanted to meet their changing expectations and speak to them on a more personal level.

To do it, Telstra embarked on a data-driven digital overhaul in 2011. Back then all 1.8 million weekly visitors to the Telstra website were being presented the same digital experience. The discrepancy between online and offline interaction was not acceptable – for us as a company, for our staff and our customers.

Together with IBM, we strengthened our CRM capabilities and developed a first-of-a-kind Enterprise Marketing Suite. The result is a 360 degree view of customer engagement and the capability to deliver targeted, real-time marketing, and ultimately, higher satisfaction levels for our customers. Continue Reading »

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January 2015 Detorit Michigan North American International Auto Show

The American super car, Falcon F7, at the North American International Auto Show this week in Detroit.

By Benjamin Stanley

If recent vehicle sales are any indication, the automotive industry has seen a resurgence of energy in recent years.

However, selling cars, and cars alone, is not going to sustain this renewed momentum and automakers and their partners will have to weather the transformative forces rising up around them. The good news, is that if you look closely, it will become clear that a new industry identity is emerging—one that is more inclusive and without borders.

It is with this new identity in mind that we decided to investigate what the automotive industry will look like in 10 short years. Continue Reading »

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Bri Connelly, student, The University of Texas at Austin

Bri Connelly, student, The University of Texas at Austin

By Bri Connelly

I just got back to Austin from a whirlwind trip to New York City where my classmates from The University of Texas at Austin and I stayed in an Airbnb on the Lower East Side, visited the September 11 Memorial and ate meals at as many different restaurants as we could pack into a short stay. The centerpiece of the trip, though, was the day we spent at IBM Watson Group headquarters at 51 Astor Place competing in the first-ever IBM Watson University Competition.

Last Friday, we were among teams from eight notable universities who showcased prototype apps we had built using Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing technology.  It was like being on an episode of Shark Tank – the judging was really tough. And our app won!

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Ross Mauri, GM, IBM z Systems

Ross Mauri, GM, IBM z Systems

By Ross Mauri

Over the holidays, I spent a few days skiing with family and friends in Vermont. Or, it would be more accurate to say my family and friends skied and I spent much of my time on the phone and email planning today’s launch of the IBM z13, a new  generation of IBM z systems built to redefine digital business and enable the new possible.

I was so preoccupied with work that my daughter’s boyfriend, a 21-year-old university student, asked me what was up. Like many of the millennials I meet, he knew next to nothing about the mainframe. And, like other young people I speak to, he was wowed when I explained to him that many of his day-to-day activities depend on mainframe computers operating in the background–including banking, shopping, getting car insurance, traveling, registering for classes, interacting with the DMV and IRS, and, yes, talking on the phone.

This new generation represents a great leap forward for IBM, our clients and society at large. (Thoughts? Tweet to #innovation.)

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SP Kohls Store

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By Ratnakar Lavu

Kohl’s has put its stake in the ground with a new goal to be the most engaging retailer in America. Technology and analytics are a major part of reaching this goal.

Since the first Kohl’s store opened in 1962, so much has changed in the retail industry. Digital and mobile technologies are transforming the business landscape in key ways – blurring the line between physical and digital space and changing the way people and businesses interact.

Companies need to constantly redefine and innovate their strategy to keep up with the pace of change and this is especially true for retailers. At Kohl’s, we are constantly listening to our customers for insights into how we can best serve them. Continue Reading »

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