By Dr. John Kelly III
World leaders from business, government and the non-profit sector are gathering this week in Nairobi, Kenya, for Global Entrepreneur Summit 2015, the first such summit to be held in sub-Saharan Africa. So it’s a good time to explore the potential for Africa and Africans to take advantage of the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to propel the continent forward.
IBM is committed to helping Africa fulfill it’s promise by providing information technologies to help address the continent’s challenges, through research collaborations with companies and universities, and by helping to foster innovation ecosystems in a number of cities. Continue Reading »
By Guruduth Banavar
With thousands of scientists, engineers, and business leaders focused on cognitive computing across IBM Research and the IBM Watson Group, IBM is pursuing the most comprehensive effort in the tech industry to advance into the new era of computing. Nobody has more people on it, a broader array of research and development projects nor deeper expertise in so many of the most significant fields of inquiry.
Yet we understand that to accelerate progress in cognitive computing, we can’t do this alone. That’s why IBM has been pursuing a strategy of forming deep collaborative partnerships with academic scientists who are among the leaders in their fields as well as opening Watson as a technology platform for others to build on. Continue Reading »
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 »
Italians call Parmigiano Reggiano – or, simply, parmesan – the king of cheeses. Once a staple in the royal courts of Europe during the Renaissance, today it represents a $2.6 billion industry. To better satisfy growing global demand and improve quality, Parmigiano Reggiano producers have turned to data analytics. Using an IBM system, producers are tracking the production cycle and for the first time have a new real-time view of inventory. Simone Ficarelli of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano, which represents the 350 Italian dairies authorized to make the cheese, says the goal is to track the entire supply chain from the cow to store shelves to protect the brand and stand out amid a confusing cast of knock-offs. The Smarter Planet recently caught up with Ficarelli for more. Continue Reading »
By Lee Jackson
As water travels through and across a watershed, its quantity and quality changes dramatically based on human activities and the things – usually chemicals – that we add to it.
Understanding the increasing pressures on watersheds has been the work of the Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA) and IBM Alberta Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS). The partnership, which just celebrated its 10 anniversary, brings together the latest data tools to tackle one of the biggest challenges in managing water – ensuring that people across the watershed have a fuller understanding of what is taking place. 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 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 »