By Steve Hamm
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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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:
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 »