By Dan Ricci
Remember when car dealers pushed tinted windows, rust proofing, and keyless entry to sell cars? That’s ancient history for automakers. Today’s new competitive edge is centered around the Connected Car – and using real-time insights from big data inside and outside of vehicles to improve safety, enhance vehicle quality and enrich the driving and service experience.
Cars are rolling gold mines of information, gathering data about the driver, the driving environment and the car itself, as well as any connected devices. In fact, up to 25 gigabytes of data is generated from a single plug-in hybrid vehicle in just an hour.
And although auto manufacturers have been capturing telematics information for years, something different, more sophisticated is going on now and it has everything to do with big data and analytics. Continue Reading »
By Jim Spohrer
Moore’s Law describes the phenomenon that drives rapid progress in the electronics industry. Taking advantage of the laws of physics, engineers have been able to pack transistors ever more densely onto semiconductor chips, doubling their capacity every 18-24 months. The effect of this so-called “scaling” phenomenon is the ability to do more with less space, continuously increasing the capabilities and lowering the cost of computing. Rapid progress is built into the system.
Society’s efforts to scale higher education have not been so successful. Sure, the world’s developed economies handle an immense quantity of university students. In the United States alone, nearly 5,000 institutions of higher education serve more than 20 million students. Yet the way we have scaled up to produce the number of knowledge workers required by modern society is ineffective and unsustainable. In the US, the cost of higher education has increased by 1,120% over the past 35 years, four times the increase in the consumer price index. And stasis, rather than progress, is built into the system. Continue Reading »
By Wayne Balta
Businesses operate in a competitive global marketplace – where they must not only deliver value and be efficient, but also must operate responsibly. That includes responsibility towards the environment.
In my view, environmental sustainability must transcend whether or not the topic is popular at any given time, and regardless of short-term business cycles.
Environmental sustainability should be a strategic imperative that anticipates and prevents, rather than reacts and fixes. It should be systemic, not an episodic fad. It’s much more than a demonstration project, or a marketing campaign. Continue Reading »
By Steven Rodriguez & Alexa Genova
While attending the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual BIG Show, it became apparent what an impact technology is going to have on the future of retail.
Sure, we see and use technology to shop now, whether it’s shopping online, using our Smartphone for a coupon or just “checking in” via social media at a store. But what we saw at NRF gave us a glimpse into how technology will change retail as we know it.
By Evan Nisonson
A staggering one-in-three high school graduates who took the ACT tests in 2013 are not ready for college, the testing organization has said in a recent report. Of the 1.8 million high school graduates who took the test last year, only 26 percent achieved college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects of English, reading, math and science. Another 27 percent met two or three benchmarks, and 16 percent met just one.
This is a significant challenge to the expectations of policy makers, educators, parents and students themselves who look to our educational systems to better prepare the youth of today into the skilled workforce of the future. To be clear, the number of unprepared, or even under-prepared, college freshman can impact states even today through a rise in unemployment and a decrease in the number of much-needed skilled workers. We must do better.
One part of a solution is to arm our teachers with better tools, such as digital content, that would lead to a more personalized and more impactful curricula for students. The other is harnessing the multitude of data generated in education to establish linkages between K-12, postsecondary, and workforce partners.
The latter part of the solution is what the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) has chosen to deploy to better prepare their students for college and careers. The aim of the project is to facilitate collaboration between educators, parents, and students to develop academic, financial, and future career plans that align with student aspirations. Continue Reading »
By Claudia Fan Munce
IBM has long had a keen interest in tech startups. For nearly two decades, behind the scenes, we forged relationships with venture capitalists to learn about their portfolio companies with an eye to acquiring some of the best of them when the time was right. That strategy served us well. Over the past decade, we have acquired more than 120 companies for a total of more than $34 billion dollars in critically strategic areas such as cloud computing, digital marketing and data analytics.
But oh how our world is changing.
Today, IBM is emerging as a major player in the startup economy. We continue to pursue our acquisition strategy, but now we’re doing much more. We have begun to invest directly in startups, we offer cloud services for thousands of born-on-the-Web companies, and we’re working with startups to help them build services powered by Watson, the cognitive computing system that shook up the world by beating two former grand-champions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
All Samar Birwadker and Subbu Balakrishnan had was the germ of an idea for a product when they attended a startup workshop in San Francisco in April of 2012. But they met Joshua Krammes there, and he helped them think through the intricacies of turning their idea into a company—Good.Co Inc., which is now in the later stages of creating a cloud service for matching the personalities of job candidates with the cultures of companies they’re interested in working for.
Krammes advised them to learn the ropes of entrepreneurship in the TechStars program, and, later, after they launched the company, he helped out with a host of business issues. But Krammes isn’t a startup consultant or venture capitalist, like you’d expect. He’s an evangelist at IBM SoftLayer who runs the Catalyst program for startups. Continue Reading »
By Rob High
My hometown of Austin, Texas, is food truck heaven. The city boasts more than 1000 trucks serving up an incredible variety of fare—everything from potato-chip-flavored ice cream sandwiches to Japanese deep fried octopus meatballs. When hordes of technorati and live music fans gather here for the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) festival next week, they’ll have plenty of culinary treats to choose from. But we have something really different to bring to the table — IBM’s Watson food truck.
You’ve probably watched Watson compete on TV, but now for the first time you can see, taste and smell the results of its creativity.
The bright orange truck will serve up exotic delicacies including Indian Tumeric Paella, Italian Grilled Lobster and Ecuadorian Strawberry Dessert. Unlike the menus of the other trucks, these dishes were created through a collaboration between Watson, a cognitive computer, and award-winning chefs at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). Continue Reading »
By Stephen Gold
Ever since the early days of personal computing, scientists, sci-fi mavens and movie makers have envisioned a time when people would interact with pocket-sized intelligent digital assistants that would help them organize their lives and get things done.
Like flying cars, those intelligent digital assistants always seem to be off in the future.
Except that’s not so anymore. Today, scientists and engineers at IBM are designing cognitive systems that will ingest vast amounts of information, learn, reason, and interact with people in ways that are more natural to us.
Very soon, you’ll have all of the power of Watson, the Jeopardy-winning computer, delivered in the palm of your hand. In fact, some early adopters are already trying out test versions of the technology.
Many people think of Watson as a room-sized supercomputer. Today’s reality is quite different. The computing power of the original Watson has been squeezed into a space the size of three pizza boxes, and, thanks to the cloud, Watson’s intelligence can be accessed on your smart phone or tablet wherever and whenever you want it.