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.
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 »
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.
By Laurence Guihard-Joly
Every company needs electricity, but that doesn’t require building a power plant. Many organizations have reached the same conclusion about computing and storage needs. Why build out data centers if it’s not your core business? Plus it can be a costly proposition.
That’s basically the premise of cloud computing – turn to trusted partners for your computing needs so you can focus on the business. But when deciding on a cloud strategy, organizations should be careful not to simply focus on saving money.
To be sure, moving to the cloud is economical and brings greater efficiencies, but it’s also an opportunity to reexamine everything from finance systems to enterprise resource planning and even the helpdesk. It can be a means of improving business efficiency over every operation that runs on software. Adding redundancy and automating backup are two functions most cloud providers offer, with more or less sophistication. A cloud strategy – public, hybrid, private – is also an excellent place to rethink security and continuity strategy and options across the board. Continue Reading »
By Sandy Carter
For centuries, playgrounds have provided children around the world with a place to explore, grow new skills and advance their mental, social and athletic abilities. Today, a new type of playground has emerged that is a bit different than your typical sandbox, monkey bars and tire swings.
This playground is the cloud and it has emerged as the ultimate developer playground, providing a platform for exploring new methods and quickly transforming an innovative idea into a reality. Continue Reading »
By Rick Singer
Ever since Augusta National Golf Club hosted its first Invitational event in 1934, a commitment to history and tradition has permeated the fabric of the Masters Tournament, which begins play this week.
While the Masters has delivered many thrilling, magical moments among the Georgia pines of the Augusta National golf course, many people may not be aware of the Tournament’s unwavering dedication to enriching the game of golf. From playing 18 holes on each of the Tournament’s four days — instead of 36 holes on the third and final day, which was the standard 80 years ago — to introducing the first cumulative over/under scoring method, the Masters has consistently established innovative practices that became and remain standards in the sport. Continue Reading »
By Jon Iwata
In November 2008, with the world in the throes of a financial crisis, IBM offered companies and governments a bold invitation: “Let’s build a Smarter Planet.” We saw that the combination of instrumentation, interconnectivity and computer intelligence had created an unprecedented opportunity to make the world work better. We initiated a global conversation about the possibilities.
Today, most people see what we saw. We have engaged with thousands of clients to help them make their enterprises and industries smarter. And our belief in Smarter Planet has only grown stronger. It remains our point of view on the world and the future.
But the world doesn’t stand still, and neither have we. The technologies underpinning Smarter Planet—Big Data analytics (including IBM Watson), mobile, cloud, and new systems of engagement – are converging, and the transformation they are unleashing is accelerating. So IBM is moving beyond the “what” and “why” of Smarter Planet to the “how.”
We call this next phase “Made With IBM.” It is both a harvest of insights and an invitation to take this transformational journey with our company. We mean to show through hard evidence that IBM can be an essential partner in providing the technology and conceptual building blocks for the new world of work. We’re making a case for action.
By Mina Wallace
You’ve seen the headlines. There are many stories in the media detailing how risk management failures can be hugely damaging – both in terms of direct losses and company reputation. Increasingly, the root causes of such losses are multi-dimensional. In fact, our research shows that 42 percent of the top losses since 2007 have been boundry events involving credit risk, market risk and operational risk.
While some companies have been able to meet their risk and compliance challenges head on, many in financial services today are still struggling to move beyond traditional approaches and legacy systems to keep up with changing requirements. These clients are challenged to operate and perform sustainably in an environment that is increasingly complex, regulated and competitive yet still expected to generate a healthy bottom line.
This week at IBM’s ClientCenter in New York, we’ll demonstrate how Financial institutions today can build trust across organizational silos with a Smarter Risk approach, which brings together an interconnected view of risk across the enterprise. Continue Reading »
By Scott Megill
The demand for healthcare to go mobile is on the rise.
More and more physicians and patients are using an increasing number of mobile healthcare apps, healthcare apps which enable an almost unlimited range of health-related functions, from an individual patient controlling their diabetes, to monitoring diet & exercise and even, to tracking medical treatments and progress.
By 2017, half of the world’s more than 3.4 billion smart phone users will have downloaded health-related apps.
The rapid increase in mobile health app use is generating an enormous amount of patient data. Simultaneously, a plethora of data is being generated through individual patient’s medical records, which can easily cross multiple departments, physicians, and clinicians.
How can healthcare providers manage this influx of data and tap into the mobile opportunity to draw key insights and improve customer care? Continue Reading »
By Alicia Buksar, IBM Communications
As a teenager parking cars at a Fort Lauderdale country club, IBM customer analytics consulting leader Mike Haydock picked up much more than just tips.
Take the life lesson he received one day from Academy Award winning actor George C. Scott. “He gave me a tremendous insight on how he got into the role of Patton,” Haydock said. “He told me he became that role. He became Patton. That’s how he was able to pull that performance off.”
Haydock says he applies that same philosophy to his own work with clients. “I start to think like them,” he said. “So I know everything about the problem they’re trying to solve and probably more.”
That immersive approach has made Haydock, known as the ‘Math Maestro,’ one of IBM’s most sought after analytics experts, a demand that is likely to grow now that he has been named an IBM Fellow. The Fellow designation acknowledges an employee’s important contributions as well as their industry-leading innovations in developing some of the world’s most important technologies. Continue Reading »