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A screen shot from the Secret Squirrel project

A screen shot from the Secret Squirrel project

By Jeffrey Coveyduc and Emily McManus

Imagine being able to ask a panel of TED speakers: Will having more money make me happy? Will new innovations give me a longer life? A new technology from IBM Watson is set to help people explore the ideas inside TED Talks videos by asking the questions that matter to them, in natural language.

Users will be able to search the entire TED Talks library by asking questions. Then they’ll be offered segments from a variety of videos where their concepts are discussed.  Below each clip is a timeline that shows more concepts that Watson found within the talk, so that users can “tunnel sideways” to view material that’s contextually related, allowing a kind of serendipitous exploration.

Today, IBM and TED are showing a demo of the technology at World of Watson, an IBM symposium in Brooklyn, New York, aimed at expanding the role of cognitive computing in society.

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Dr. Lukas Wartman, MD

Dr. Lukas Wartman

By Dr. Lukas Wartman

I have the dubious distinction of being a famous cancer patient.  I’m an oncologist who specializes in leukemia; I got leukemia; and I’m cured, at least for now, thanks to advances in genomic medicine and the efforts of some brilliant physicians and researchers.

My health was broken. It took some of the best minds and science in the world to put me back together again.

Unfortunately, in spite of advances in gene sequencing and oncology, too few cancer victims have outcomes like mine. The genomic treatment I received, an example of precision medicine, simply isn’t scalable to millions of people right now.

This is where IBM Watson could help. Using Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities, I hope it will be possible for oncologists like me to quickly mine insights from the immense amount of genomic data that’s becoming available about individual patients by using Watson to identify potential drugs that target our patients’ specific genetic profiles.

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John Kelly, SVP, IBM Research

John Kelly, SVP, IBM

By John E. Kelly III

It’s amazing for me to recall that in 1980 when I came to IBM Research out of graduate school, engineers were striving to design chips containing 100,000 transistors–those tiny electronic switches that process and store data. Today, it’s common to put five or six billion transistors on a sliver of silicon.

Gordon Moore and Intel co-founder Robert Noyce in 1970

Gordon Moore and Intel co-founder Robert Noyce in 1970

This remarkable achievement is the fulfillment of a prediction made in 1965 by industry pioneer Gordon Moore: that the number of components on a chip would double every year for the foreseeable future. He later amended the time period to 24 months. His predictions, codified as Moore’s Law, have come to symbolize the seemingly inevitable march of technological progress–the ability to make all sorts of electronic devices faster, smaller and more energy efficient.

While Gordon’s prediction proved to be more prescient than he could have imagined, today, 50 years later, the chip industry is no longer able to clear the high bar he set, due largely to limits imposed by the laws of physics. To put things bluntly: Moore’s Law is hitting a wall, and that collision holds significant consequences for business and society. Unless scientists and engineers come up with bold new approaches to chip architectures and materials, technological progress will slow.

To accelerate progress, we need to invent the next switch.

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Steve Hamm, Chief Storyteller, IBM

Steve Hamm, Chief Storyteller, IBM

By Steve Hamm

Last November in a championship powerboat race off Key West, Florida, Nigel Hook, skipper of Lucas Oil 77, was knifing along at more than 140 mph when he got a heads up from his support team that one of the main batteries was about to fail. That would have left the boat dead in the water. Instead, Nigel quickly switched to another battery and completed the race–finishing in 3rd place.

How did the support team know the battery was about to fail? Lucas Oil 77 is not only a monster of a motorboat; it’s also a node on the Internet of Things. Hundreds of sensors attached to the engines, navigation system and crew members monitor their health and beam the data wirelessly into the cloud, where it’s analyzed, and, when the system spots trouble, Nigel and the support team get alerts. Continue Reading »

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March 31st, 2015
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By Joel Cawley

As climate change advances, the frequency and severity of weather and climate disasters is increasing. That’s bad news for all of us, and it’s particularly dire for the people who lose property or loved ones as a result.

But what if insurance companies had much more timely and detailed understanding of weather events as they happened? They could help people avoid the worst and recover more quickly when they’re hit hard.

Imagine this scenario: A string of tornados is heading toward a city. An insurance company, supplied with a stream of real time weather information, issues up-to-the-minute alerts to its customers with more details about the path of the tornados than they can get on TV. Immediately after the twisters whip through the area, the company sends out text messages to policyholders inquiring about their safety. It asks customers to send photos of damage through a smartphone app. Continue Reading »

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IBM_Watson_AvatarBig Data, once thought to be the answer to unlocking insight, has itself become a challenge.  From the vast amount of digital content online to new types of data streams from social, mobile and other sources, information overload pervades all aspects of our lives.

Identifying true insights trapped within that data is a difficult task. How do you sift through the 95 percent of information that doesn’t matter to find the five percent that does?

Enter IBM Watson and the era of cognitive computing.  Watson has both an insatiable appetite for Big Data and the unique ability to contextually analyze that information to unlock meaningful insights.  Continue Reading »

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sp shoppers

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By Alistair Rennie

Leaders at a global food service company wanted to understand more precisely the types of people who visit their stores throughout a typical day. The goal: To spot hidden patterns that could help them market to specific customers more successfully.

With IBM’s help, they began incorporating Twitter streams into their analysis of loyalty-program data. The exercise quickly produced surprising insights. For instance, they learned that people with similar tastes in food and drinks tended to come in at specific times of day. One time-constrained  type of customer, for instance, visits the stores nearly every morning, purchases food and beverages to go, and even buys their lunch during their morning visit. Continue Reading »

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March 16th, 2015
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Florian, center, with ICE chefs Michael Laiskonis, left, and James Briscione, right

Florian, center, with ICE chefs Michael Laiskonis, left, and James Briscione, right

By Florian Pinel
Co-creator, Chef Watson

I love cookbooks. I must have 200 of them packed in a bookcase in my family’s apartment in East Harlem, N.Y. They’re from all over the world, in English, my native French, Russian, Hungarian and German. Soon there will be a new one: Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson: Recipes for Innovation from IBM & the Institute of Culinary Education.

This latest addition to my collection is a result of IBM’s successful collaboration with the Institute of Culinary Education to pair the recipe expertise of world-class chefs with the cognitive power of Watson to generate novel and tasty dishes.

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By Carolyn Baird

The Millennial generation, which prioritizes transparency, relevancy and engagement from consumer brands, has had a profound impact on consumer marketing practices. But will this fast-growing group, which is rapidly ascending to leadership positions within their organizations do the same for business-to-business (B2B) marketing?

In a just-released report by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) on the power of Millennials, the study reveals that Millennials’ high expectations as consumers are indeed impacting their expectations for their B2B client experiences. Continue Reading »

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