Humans have long dreamed of creating machines that think. More than 100 years before the first programmable computer was built, inventors wondered whether devices made of rods and gears might become intelligent. And when Alan Turing, one of the pioneers of computing in the 1940s, set a goal for computer science, he described a test, later dubbed the Turing Test, which measured a computer’s performance against the behavior of humans.
In the early days of my academic field, artificial intelligence, scientists tackled problems that were difficult for humans but relatively easy for computers–such as large-scale mathematical calculations. In more recent years, we’re taking on tasks that are easy for people to perform but hard to describe to a machine–tasks humans solve “without thinking,” such as recognizing spoken words or faces in a crowd. Continue Reading »
By Harry Kolar
New York’s Lake George is a pristine, 32-mile-long lake in the Adirondack Mountains that is noted for its water quality and clarity. While the lake is very clean, it faces multiple anthropogenic threats, including road salt incursion and several invasive species.
The Jefferson Project at Lake George, a joint research collaboration involving Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research, and the FUND for Lake George, is focused on protecting the lake and helping address the world’s looming freshwater supply challenges.
The project involves more than 60 scientists around the world (four IBM Research labs are involved), including biologists, computer scientists, physicists, engineers and chemists. Working as a virtual team, we’re pushing the boundaries in Internet-of-Things sensors, data analytics, and modeling of complex natural systems. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
Chief Storyteller, IBM
Wendy Hite is a bit of a food snob. She grew up in South West Louisiana, where food and family are all mixed up in the great gumbo of life, and, for the longest time, she couldn’t imagine how she could improve on traditional Cajun-style cooking.
Until she met Chef Watson, that is.
She used the cognitive cooking discovery program to develop a crawfish deviled egg dish that was mighty tasty–familiar, in some ways, but also new to her. “This has been fun,” she says. “It gets you to try new things and to be more creative than you normally would be.” Continue Reading »
By Ron Ambrosio
You walk into a room at night and flip the light switch on the wall. The lights come on. You didn’t think twice about that …you were certain it would work. While we’re not at that point everywhere in the world yet, it is true of most industrialized regions that electricity is a highly reliable resource. But the reality behind that simple action of turning on a light switch is a constantly evolving list of uncertainties that utilities deal with 24/7.
Uncertainty takes many forms in the utility industry, from the health of individual devices as they age, to volatility of fuel prices, to the behavior of you, the consumer, and your use of electricity or natural gas. And uncertainty can be equated to risk — the risk of failing to achieve both operational and business objectives. That’s not a risk any business wants to take. Continue Reading »
By Bob Picciano
Over the weekend, a room full of top developers competed in a hackathon in San Francisco–vying for bragging rights to coding on top of the Spark data-processing engine. The winners will be announced later, but, based on the results of an internal IBM hackathon a few weeks ago, I can give you the bottom line: these competitions show that Spark could shake up data analytics just like the Linux operating system blew the lid off the Internet a decade ago.
Today, large-scale data processing is available mainly to corporations, government agencies and universities. Spark, an open source software project under the Apache Software Foundation umbrella, has the potential to place these capabilities at the fingertips of all types of people and organizations all over the world. The goal: deeper and faster insights. Continue Reading »
By Jordan Monroe
I can still remember the first time tears blurred the view of my computer screen after receiving an email from a customer.
I had been working at Owlet for over a year at this point, and I had heard many tragic stories of parents losing a child due to suffocation or health conditions. However, this time was different. It was the first email I received after my son James was born. I struggled to even finish this message from a fellow parent.
Something very primal happens to your brain when you have a child. It’s like your heart is pulled apart and put back together again. You feel so much deeper than you even realized you were capable of. Now when I read emails or do presentations, getting all choked up is a common occurrence. Continue Reading »
By Suman Mukherjee and Forsyth Alexander
As the world waits anxiously for the fourth installment of the popular Jurassic Park movie series to be released Friday, we thought it would be fun to look into the social buzz for the upcoming summer blockbuster.
As fans, we were curious about things like, where the most Twitter chatter was happening, how tweets were breaking down by gender, overall sentiment, peak times for chatter, and more.
So we uploaded some Twitter data about Jurassic World into Watson Analytics, IBM’s natural-language cloud-based analytics service, and within minutes began unearthing pretty interesting insights, such as: the country with the most tweets so far is Chile; on the whole, women are tweeting more than men; and Portugal has the highest number of positive tweets, but also the most negative. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Daniel Oehme
Over the millennia our ability to utilise plants in many different ways has allowed us to flourish as a species. Most importantly, they turn our waste carbon dioxide into oxygen.
But we have also used plants to provide shelter, to publish and transmit information on paper and as a food source. In fact, developing new ways to utilise plants has even led to population explosions throughout time, such as when we first developed granaries to store grain thousands of years ago. In these modern times of climate change, global warming, ever-increasing populations and fossil fuels, plants have never been more important. Continue Reading »
By Arvind Krishna
Chemists at Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant, used to spend up to three months in their laboratories creating new formulations for liquid cleaning products. Now, they can perform the same work in 45 minutes or less–thanks to a collaboration between Unilever, one of the United Kingdom’s national laboratories and IBM.
Unilever product developers use iPads to set up tests and experiments, run simulations on an IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer at the UK’s Hartree Centre lab, and see their results in 3D visualizations that help them explore the data and make discoveries that otherwise might elude them.
This is an example of what’s possible when government, businesses and tech companies combine forces to bring the power of supercomputing and sophisticated data analytics to bear on business problems. It’s also an example of the kind of collaboration I expect to see flourish as a result of an agreement IBM is announcing today with Britain’s Science & Technology Facility Council.