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Xiaowei Shen, Dir., IBM Research China

Xiaowei Shen, Dir., IBM Research China

By Xiaowei Shen

China’s economic development story is truly incredible. With an average GDP growth of 10% over the past 30 years, China has emerged as the world’s second-largest economy and largest manufacturer.

But as a nation we realize that for China to sustain rapid growth some things have to change. One of the most central and widely discussed issues is ensuring growth while protecting the environment and the health of our citizens. We understand that our success should not come at the cost of future generations. Continue Reading »

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Steve Abrams, Dir., IBM Watson Life

Steve Abrams, Director, IBM Watson Life

By Steve Abrams

One of my all-time favorite activities is barbequing on my deck (and I mean real barbecue, not grilling). My favorite dish to make is beef brisket, which, if you’ll allow me to be immodest, reaches a pinnacle of perfection after 12 hours in the smoker.

Yep, I love to eat and I love to cook and I love to experiment. I almost never use a recipe exactly as I find it.

That’s why I’m so happy that my group at IBM has joined with Bon Appétit one of the world’s most respected food-media brands, to enhance culinary creativity and discovery with cognitive computing.

Today, Bon Appétit’s editors published a package of stories about a web-based cognitive cooking application that we’re developing, called “Chef Watson with Bon Appétit.” This has evolved from the same technology that we debuted at SXSW in Austin, Texas, a couple of months ago, serving Watson’s culinary creations from a food truck. But now, in collaboration with Bon Appétit, we’re introducing a limited beta of an application built around this technology, tailored to the needs of avid home cooks.

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Toby Lewis, Editor, Global Corporate Venturing

Toby Lewis, Editor, Global Corporate Venturing

By Toby Lewis

IBM made a hugely exciting move in the world of venture capital a few months ago when it committed $100 million in a bid to boost its new IBM Watson Group business unit, which provides cloud services using Watson cognitive computing technology. The goal is to use targeted venture funding to help establish a sprawling ecosystem of companies that build web services and mobile apps on top of the Watson platform.

The strategy is a pioneering move within the field of corporate venturing. Typically corporations invest venture money in companies that are aligned with their technology and strategy. Sometimes they end up buying the companies they invest in. But IBM is pushing the model further than others by using its investments to help establish a new business ecosystem for a particular business unit.

For this reason, Global Corporate Venturing, the only media publication exclusively dedicated to tracking how corporates are investing in venture capital, gave IBM our Fundraising of the Year Award.

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Paul Segre, CEO, Genesys

Paul Segre, CEO, Genesys

By Paul Segre

When it comes to customer experience, there is overwhelming evidence that getting it right is great business. It lowers customer effort, increases sales, and creates more loyal customer advocates. At the same time, only one in three companies deliver a positive customer experience today.

That’s one of the reasons that Genesys, a leader in technology solutions for customer experience and contact centers, teamed with IBM to bring the power of Watson to customer service. Together we are developing a learning system that combines the Watson Engagement Advisor with the Genesys Customer Experience Platform to transform how organizations engage with their customers. Companies and organizations can now tap into a virtually unlimited range of information to provide more accurate and complete responses to customer inquiries – within self-service and agent assisted engagements. Continue Reading »

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As cognitive computing advances, it’s becoming obvious that these new capabilities will ultimately touch nearly every aspect of life–augmenting human intelligence and spreading expertise. Watson’s newest focus is on the customer experience.

We have all faced frustrations when we’re trying to find just the right product or service, comparison shop or get something fixed or updated. We want personalized attention and quick and easy answers to our questions. A newly announced alliance of IBM and Genesys, a leading provider of customer experience and contact center solutions, aims to help companies serve their customers better. Here’s a scenario explaining how the services will work:

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FangBy Steve Hamm
IBM Writer

Fang, a cute plush toy who is much smarter than your average (stuffed) bear, is not something that IBM Watson Group had on its drawing boards. But the creative geniuses at a New York City startup, Majestyk Apps, dreamed up this novel way of using the power of Watson to delight and teach children.

Majestyk was one of three winners of the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, who were announced today. The others were GenieMD, of Pleasanton, Calif., a maker of mobile personal healthcare apps; and Red Ant, of London, England, a a provider of mobile technology for the retailing industry. Continue Reading »

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Alistair Rennie, General Manager of Business Analytics, IBM Software Group

Alistair Rennie, General Manager of Business Analytics, IBM Software Group

By Alistair Rennie

Imagine being able to make a well-informed decision based on real time insight, available anywhere and anytime. Now imagine this for all the decision makers in your organization. We’re getting there.

Today IBM took one step closer toward realizing its vision of “analytics everywhere” with new capabilities and solutions that will transform how business users perform their roles, collaborate, and make decisions. How? By making sophisticated analytics more accessible, easier to use, and available to employees at any location and at any moment.

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Michael Rhodin, Sr VP, IBM Watson Group

Michael Rhodin, Sr VP, IBM Watson Group

By Mike Rhodin

The second in a series on the IBM Watson Platform, this blog explores the future of how computers relate to us.

For decades, moviemakers and TV producers have featured talking computers as futuristic props—whether it was Captain Kirk barking commands on the Starship Enterprise, Michael Knight talking to his car, K.I.T.T., on Knight Rider, or Theodore cooing to his smartphone operating system, Samantha, in the recent movie Her.

Yet, even though the way we interact with computers has come a long way since the days of punch cards, in large part we are still forced to deal with them mainly on their terms—and hampered by their limitations.

Not much longer.

An essential part of the third era of computing—cognitive computing—will be our ability to interact with smart machines in ways that are more natural to us.  Making them conversational is an important part of that effort.

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Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group

Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group

By Michael Rhodin

When IBM’s Watson arrived on the scene three years ago, it did one thing really well: Answer written questions very quickly on a wide range of topics. It amazed all of us with its understanding of language and its ability to sort through vast amounts of data in seconds. But that was just the beginning.

Today, IBM Watson is on a path to augment and scale human expertise on a variety of dimensions. As a software geek, I’m really excited about this. We’re architecting a technology development system, called the Watson Platform, which will be like a library for cognitive technologies. Scientists within IBM Research and engineers in the Watson Group are building discrete cognitive components that can be pulled off the virtual shelf by developers at IBM, by entrepreneurs and by corporate developers–and used in any number of applications. Continue Reading »

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Sumit Gupta, GM, Tesla Accelerated Computing, NVIDIA

Sumit Gupta, GM, Tesla Accelerated Computing, NVIDIA

By Sumit Gupta

Last week, while on a road trip to southern California with my family, I had one of those moments that parents treasure. I impressed my kids with what I do for a living.

They wanted to know what song was playing on the radio, so I ran the song through the Shazam music app on my phone. I proudly told my kids that Shazam uses a type of high-performance computer processor from my group at NVIDIA to rapidly search and identify songs from its 27-million track database. That lightning-quick computing task took place in a far-off data center in the cloud, but, for the kids, it seemed like magic happening in the palm of my hand. “Cool, dad!”

The moment was especially thrilling for me because I foresee an explosion of innovation taking place in cloud data centers. One of the forces fueling this phenomenon is an initiative called the OpenPOWER Foundation.

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