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Kyu Rhee, Chief Health Officer, IBM

Kyu Rhee, Chief Health Officer, IBM

By Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP

There was an interesting decision to make within IBM about what to call a new business organization that we’re announcing today. Should it be named Watson Health or Watson Healthcare?

“Health” is an aspiration, for individuals and society. “Healthcare” describes an industry primarily focused on treating diseases.

While healthcare is essential, it represents just one of many factors that determine whether people live long and healthy lives. Some other critical factors are genetics, geography, behaviors, social/environmental influences, education, and economics.  Unless society takes all of these factors into account and puts the individual at the center of the healthcare system, we won’t be able to make large-scale progress in helping people feel better and live longer. So, Watson Health it is. Continue Reading »

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IBM engineers at NASA.

IBM engineers at NASA.

By Sandy Carter

In 1969, the world witnessed one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time, landing two astronauts on the moon for the first time. NASA used IBM technology to calculate the enormous amount of liftoff data needed for astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin to meet the command module for the flight back to Earth, and also called on our resources in managing subsequent Apollo missions.

This weekend, nearly half a century later, IBM is sponsoring the NASA Space App Challenge to give developers, students, scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs a chance to take part in the next era of space innovation by helping them devise solutions that address challenges facing Earth, humans, robotics and space exploration. Continue Reading »

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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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Robert-Jans Sips and colleague, Gert Jan Keizer, head into the Gobi desert on their Russia-Central Asia trek to combat water problems.

Robert-Jans Sips and colleague, Gert Jan Keizer, head into the Gobi desert on their Russia-Central Asia trek to combat water problems.

By Robert-Jan Sips

Last September, I left Amsterdam by car with friend and colleague, Gert Jan Keizer, to embark on the Poseidon Project – a community effort to fight the root causes of regional water problems with Internet of Things, cloud and analytics technology.

The epic journey took us across Russia and Central Asia to some of the most climate-challenged regions in the world. By the end, we had clocked a grand total of 34,000 kilometers.

Of all the Central-Asian water concerns, one of the most visible is the decline of the Aral Sea, lying between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. As recently as 1960, this inland sea occupied the same amount of area as Ireland. But since that time, is has gradually dried out and in 2014, it almost disappeared completely. Continue Reading »

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Brad McCredie takes flight

Brad McCredie takes flight

By Steve Hamm
Chief Storyteller, IBM

When Tom Rosamilia took command of IBM’s hardware division in early 2013, he faced a huge challenge. With the POWER systems, IBM made the world’s most capable server computers, yet sales were declining and there was no quick recovery in sight. One critical issue: the company’s high-end servers didn’t have a foothold in the fast-growing market for consumer- and public-cloud services.

A possible answer to Tom’s problem walked through his office door the first week he was on the job–in the person of Bradley McCredie, the chief technology officer for the hardware division. Brad urged him to make a radical change: Open IBM’s proprietary processor and system technology for use and modification by others.

The two men had discussed the idea previously–a number of times, in fact. But now Tom was in charge and Brad argued that the time had come to make a decision. “I said, ‘Let’s go for it,’” recalls Tom.

Continue Reading »

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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.

Continue Reading »

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Donald Coolidge, CEO, Elemental Path

Donald Coolidge, Co-founder, Elemental Path

By Donald Coolidge

The day we launched the Kickstarter campaign for Elemental Path and our Cognitoys  was one of the most amazing days of my life. Within hours, we had reached $10,000 and, before the end of the day, we had topped our goal of raising $50,000. Today, with just three days to go in the month-long campaign, we have raised nearly $250,000. (Hey, it’s not too late to join in!)

It all seems magical. But the magic actually started a little over one year ago, when we first learned of the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge. Entering, and, ultimately, winning the Challenge led to us launch a new company and set out to develop a new generation of fun and educational toys based on cognitive technologies. We plan on introducing our first product in November–in time for the holiday shopping season. Continue Reading »

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