By Shahram Ebadollahi
In IBM Watson’s early days, the cognitive computer was a whiz at words. It was designed to ingest vast amounts of documents and Web pages, understand words and their context, and answer free-form questions from people–offering up responses ranked by its confidence in their accuracy.
These days, we’re adding a wide variety of other types of data to Watson’s repertoire, perhaps most significantly, images–including photos, medical images and videos. Simply put, we’re teaching Watson to “see.”
A watershed moment in our effort to expand Watson’s visual capabilities comes today: we’ve announced our intention of acquiring Merge Healthcare Incorporated, a leading provider of medical image handling and processing systems. It addresses radiology, cardiology, orthopedics eye care and other medical fields. The planned acquisition is subject to regulatory review and Merge shareholder approval and is anticipated to close later this year.
By Steve Hamm
Dr. Jose Morey has a full-time job as a radiologist with the U.S. Veterans Administration in Hampton, VA. He also teaches part-time at the University of Virginia and Eastern Virginia Medical School. As if that wasn’t enough, he is helping IBM develop a system, Medical Sieve, aimed at assisting doctors to interpret medical images.
Why does he do it? “I have an eight-year-old son,” Jose says. “I tell him that someday a computer might help save his life. I’ll play a little part in that. And even when I’m gone it might help his kids. It’s a legacy thing.” Continue Reading »
By Dharmendra S. Modha
For decades, computer scientists have been pursuing two elusive goals in parallel: engineering energy-efficient computers modeled on the human brain and designing smart computing systems that learn on their own—like humans do—and are not programmed like today’s computers. Both goals are now within reach.
And, today, as we launch our ecosystem for brain-inspired computing with a TrueNorth Boot Camp for academic and government researchers, I expect that the two quests will begin to converge. By the end of the intensive three-week training program, hopefully, early adopters will set out to show potential for these new technologies to transform industries and society.
The boot camp is a pivotal step in bringing brain-inspired computing to society by putting cutting-edge innovation in the hands of some of the best and brightest researchers who will begin to invent a wealth of applications and systems that we cannot even imagine today.
By Dr. John E. Kelly III
This week, President Obama issued an executive order establishing the National Strategic Computing Initiative with the goal of ensuring that the United States leads in the field of high-performance computing. The initiative is aimed at producing computers capable of exascale performance–which is one billion billion operations per second, orders of magnitude faster than today’s most powerful computers.
IBM has been a pacesetter in large-scale computing ever since modern computers emerged in the 1940s. We have collaborated with the US government in producing and deploying computers in the national laboratories and government agencies that help the country retain its leadership in science and commerce, as well as safeguarding national security. Continue Reading »
By Kyu Rhee
When it comes to transforming healthcare, IBM started by looking at what we could do for our own employees. More than a decade ago, thought leaders within the company helped shape one of the most important concepts in healthcare today–patient-centered primary care.
That’s the idea that healthcare should be organized around the individual and that all of the organizations and healthcare providers involved should coordinate to deliver truly personalized services addressing everything from promoting healthy lifestyles to treating diseases.
Since then, we’ve been on a steady march to infuse people-centric, relationship-based thinking into every aspect of healthcare and wellness at IBM–and we’re committed to creating technology-based solutions that give organizations and healthcare providers worldwide the tools for improving the health and well-being of their populations. Continue Reading »
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 »