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Bernard Tyson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente

Bernard Tyson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente

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 »

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Terry Jones, Executive Chairman, WayBlazer

Terry Jones, Executive Chairman, WayBlazer

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.

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By Chris Sciacca

Dr. Gregory Neven, IBM Research

Dr. Gregory Neven, Cryptographer, IBM Research – Zurich

If you believe the press, you may think that passwords are antiquated. And who could blame you? With major breaches being reported at popular websites such as LinkedIn, Adobe, Yahoo!, and Twitter, passwords may sound like a vestige of past security solutions.

Well, not so fast. IBM scientists have developed a three-pronged approach that can secure all of your passwords for social media, email, cloud files or shopping websites, with one practically, hack-proof password.

And this password is secured by something they like to refer to as the “Memento Protocol.” In the 2000 film “Memento” by Christopher Nolan, the protagonist suffers from short-term memory loss. Throughout the film he meets several so-called friends, but due to his condition he never really knows if they are trustworthy or if they are trying to steal something from him. Continue Reading »

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The Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Photo credit: Haroldo Palo Jr.

The Brazilian Amazon rainforest. (Photo: Haroldo Palo Jr.)

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 »

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Dharmendra Modha, IBM Fellow

Dharmendra Modha, IBM Fellow

By Steve Hamm
IBM Writer

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.

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July 24th, 2014

Max Neiman, Senior Research Fellow, Professor, Political Science, University of California, Riverside (Emeritus)

Max Neiman, Senior Research Fellow, Professor, Political Science, University of California, Riverside (Emeritus)

Jeremy Goldberg, Deputy Chief of Staff - Civic Innovation, Office of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed

Jeremy Goldberg

By Max Neiman and Jeremy M. Goldberg

California’s Department of Technology and IBM are launching CalCloud, a new public-private partnership model for fostering cutting edge technology and efficiency in government.

The CalCloud computing platform aims to speed access to information, enable more publically accessible and consumable data, and spur civic innovation across state and local governments on a subscription basis.

In a recent study we surveyed city administrators, managers and financial officers in 245 California cities (“Managing Budgets During Fiscal Stress”), representing 67 percent of California’s city population. Our research included case studies of the state’s major cities Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Riverside, Pasadena and Los Angeles.  Our findings and recommendations considered how to manage structural deficits, examples of civic innovations and public-private partnerships to foster citizen engagement, and reducing conflict between the state and local government. Continue Reading »

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Eric Engquist, assistant VP, USAA

Eric Engquist, assistant VP, USAA

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.

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Virginia Rometty, IBM Chairman and CEO; Tim Cook, Apple CEO. (Photo: Paul Sakuma/Feature Photo Service for IBM.)

Virginia Rometty, IBM Chairman and CEO; Tim Cook, Apple CEO.
(Photo: Paul Sakuma/Feature Photo Service for IBM.)

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.

That’s changing.

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 »

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Lynda Chin, Scientific Dir., MD Anderson Institute for Applied Cancer Science

Lynda Chin,  Chair of Genomic Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

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 »

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July 9th, 2014

Christopher Hansen, President, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network

Christopher Hansen, President, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network

By Christopher W. Hansen

Technology is changing every aspect of our lives, and in the field of medicine that is especially true in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer.

Technology allowed scientists to unravel the human genome and led to the creation of the entirely new science of genomics and personalized medicine. Now we’re able to fight some cancers by using technology to identify genetic mutations and create therapies to cause specific molecular alterations in tumors. We also use apps on smartphones and other personal technological devices connected to broadband networks to monitor our health. Technology enables patient-centered care.

As cancer care continues to evolve, so does medical technology and its use in every aspect of the care continuum. Continue Reading »

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