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Cognitive Computing

Wendy Hite, cognitive cooking pioneer

Wendy Hite, cognitive cooking pioneer

By Steve Hamm
Chief Storyteller, IBM

Wendy Hite is a bit of a food snob. She grew up in South West Louisiana, where food and family are all mixed up in the great gumbo of life, and, for the longest time, she couldn’t imagine how she could improve on traditional Cajun-style cooking.

Until she met Chef Watson, that is.

She used the cognitive cooking discovery program to develop a crawfish deviled egg dish that was mighty tasty–familiar, in some ways, but also new to her. “This has been fun,” she says. “It gets you to try new things and to be more creative than you normally would be.” Continue Reading »

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Arvind Krishna, Dir., IBM Research

Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Research

By Arvind Krishna

Chemists at Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant, used to spend up to three months in their laboratories creating new formulations for liquid cleaning products. Now, they can perform the same work in 45 minutes or less–thanks to a collaboration between Unilever, one of the United Kingdom’s national laboratories and IBM.

Unilever product developers use iPads to set up tests and experiments, run simulations on an IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer at the UK’s Hartree Centre lab, and see their results in 3D visualizations that help them explore the data and make discoveries that otherwise might elude them.

This is an example of what’s possible when government, businesses and tech companies combine forces to bring the power of supercomputing and sophisticated data analytics to bear on business problems. It’s also an example of the kind of collaboration I expect to see flourish as a result of an agreement IBM is announcing today with Britain’s Science & Technology Facility Council.

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Selfie: Angel and IBMers

Angel Diaz, IBM Vice President, Cloud Technology & Architecture, with other young IBMers.

By Angel Diaz

When I was a young guy growing up on a farm in Puerto Rico, I was a neophyte when it came to computer science and mathematics.  I was so fortunate at an early age to be empowered by my mother to reach further. At 17, I left for college in America.

Back then, people growing up in less-developed places didn’t have much chance of succeeding in technology unless we left home and headed for major tech meccas such as Silicon Valley, New York and Boston.

But things are different today, thanks in part to cloud computing. This new approach to technology creates tremendous opportunities for young people everywhere to build services and mobile apps on ready-made cloud platforms–either as entrepreneurs or as employees of larger companies. Continue Reading »

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Social sharing, mobile computing and the Internet of Things have made data compression a part of our every day lives. The process of compressing data is put to work every time a photo or video is shared across social media or a weather sensor reports a temperature change. Continue Reading »

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A screen shot from the Secret Squirrel project

A screen shot from the Secret Squirrel project

By Jeffrey Coveyduc and Emily McManus

Imagine being able to ask a panel of TED speakers: Will having more money make me happy? Will new innovations give me a longer life? A new technology from IBM Watson is set to help people explore the ideas inside TED Talks videos by asking the questions that matter to them, in natural language.

Users will be able to search the entire TED Talks library by asking questions. Then they’ll be offered segments from a variety of videos where their concepts are discussed.  Below each clip is a timeline that shows more concepts that Watson found within the talk, so that users can “tunnel sideways” to view material that’s contextually related, allowing a kind of serendipitous exploration.

Today, IBM and TED are showing a demo of the technology at World of Watson, an IBM symposium in Brooklyn, New York, aimed at expanding the role of cognitive computing in society.

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Dr. Lukas Wartman, MD

Dr. Lukas Wartman

By Dr. Lukas Wartman

I have the dubious distinction of being a famous cancer patient.  I’m an oncologist who specializes in leukemia; I got leukemia; and I’m cured, at least for now, thanks to advances in genomic medicine and the efforts of some brilliant physicians and researchers.

My health was broken. It took some of the best minds and science in the world to put me back together again.

Unfortunately, in spite of advances in gene sequencing and oncology, too few cancer victims have outcomes like mine. The genomic treatment I received, an example of precision medicine, simply isn’t scalable to millions of people right now.

This is where IBM Watson could help. Using Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities, I hope it will be possible for oncologists like me to quickly mine insights from the immense amount of genomic data that’s becoming available about individual patients by using Watson to identify potential drugs that target our patients’ specific genetic profiles.

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John Kelly, SVP, IBM Research

John Kelly, SVP, IBM

By John E. Kelly III

It’s amazing for me to recall that in 1980 when I came to IBM Research out of graduate school, engineers were striving to design chips containing 100,000 transistors–those tiny electronic switches that process and store data. Today, it’s common to put five or six billion transistors on a sliver of silicon.

Gordon Moore and Intel co-founder Robert Noyce in 1970

Gordon Moore and Intel co-founder Robert Noyce in 1970

This remarkable achievement is the fulfillment of a prediction made in 1965 by industry pioneer Gordon Moore: that the number of components on a chip would double every year for the foreseeable future. He later amended the time period to 24 months. His predictions, codified as Moore’s Law, have come to symbolize the seemingly inevitable march of technological progress–the ability to make all sorts of electronic devices faster, smaller and more energy efficient.

While Gordon’s prediction proved to be more prescient than he could have imagined, today, 50 years later, the chip industry is no longer able to clear the high bar he set, due largely to limits imposed by the laws of physics. To put things bluntly: Moore’s Law is hitting a wall, and that collision holds significant consequences for business and society. Unless scientists and engineers come up with bold new approaches to chip architectures and materials, technological progress will slow.

To accelerate progress, we need to invent the next switch.

Continue Reading »

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April 15th, 2015
12:05
 

The 2015 IBM Fellows: (L to R) Steve Fields, Jing Shyr, John Smith, Michael Factor, Berni Schiefer, Jim Sexton, Chitra Dorai, Mickey Iqbal, Donna Dillenberger, Bala Rajaraman

The 2015 IBM Fellows: (L to R) Steve Fields, Jing Shyr, John Smith, Michael Factor, Berni Schiefer, Jim Sexton, Chitra Dorai, Mickey Iqbal, Donna Dillenberger, Bala Rajaraman

By Chris Nay

On average, IBM bestows its top technical rank of Fellow upon only five employees per year. That adds up to 257 who have earned the title over the program’s 52 year history. And those who hold it are recognized not only across IBM, but throughout the industry and around the world for leading innovation that will change the future.

Fellows program founder, Gardiner Tucker, recently recalled an example of the impact and scope of the program when discussing the work of Nathaniel Rochester, Fellow class of 1967. Continue Reading »

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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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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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