By Steve Hamm, IBM Writer
Tanishq Abraham is just 10 years old but he has already accomplished a lot in life. He learned to read when he was just months old, became a Mensa member at age 4 and is now enrolled in college. What does he want to be when he grows up? “A medical researcher,” he says, and, as an afterthought: “The president of the United States.”On Monday evening, Tanishq charmed an audience at New York’s 92nd Street Y, when he appeared with IBM Research scientist Dario Gil in the last installment of the organization’s “Seven Days of Genius” program. The program, using the tag #thatsgenius on Twitter, explored the nature of genius and the potential for especially bright people to have an outsize impact on the world.
Monday’s event introduced the audience to two people who are passionately interested in science.
Tanishq became fascinated with paleontology when he was 4 years old, then turned to astronomy, then biotechnology. His current passion is nano medicine. While he’s taking two courses at American River College, near his home in Sacramento, Calif., he also studies online via Coursera. He likes online courses the best because, “I can move at my own pace,” he said.
By Florian Pinel
My time at South by Southwest (SXSW) could be called, “Five Days in a Food Truck,” or, “What it’s Like to Cook with a Computer.”
For the better part of a week, chefs James Briscione and Michael Laiskonis and I prepared everything from Caribbean snapper fish and chips, to chocolate burritos with an Austrian twist for the throngs of techies who hustled between presentations by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Edward Snowden, and more. Continue Reading »
By Sima Nadler
Whether it’s finding those gluten-free crackers, getting the best price for sunblock, or just navigating inside the store, new technology is changing the way we shop. We can already compare prices and products using our smartphones, and soon we’ll have a cognitive, digital shopping assistant ready to answer all our questions.
This week IBM announced an augmented reality technology with Tesco, one of the world’s leading retailers, that will enable the company to do things like manage more effectively how products are displayed on shelves – ensure they are arranged according to plans that specify the best position, amount, and arrangement. This same core technology can also be used to help shoppers compare products or find what they’re looking for. Continue Reading »
By Florian Pinel
Raise your hand if you have interests outside of your day job. Probably most everyone, I imagine. Now, how often do they serendipitously collide? Probably not that often, right? But that’s what happened for me two years ago when I applied my computer science skills to my love of the culinary arts as part of IBM’s Cognitive Cooking project.
If you’re attending South by Southwest in Austin from March 7-11, come meet me at the IBM Food Truck. I’ll be showing how this recipe-generating technology works, while chefs will be preparing the dishes you can vote for on Twitter.
The idea started when my team was brainstorming on “Watson-like projects” – nothing so specific as “cooking,” yet. We wanted to know: could the cognitive computing that Watson uses in healthcare and other industries, also be creative?
That angle then spun into “could a machine come up with a recipe we could make into a dish that we would actually want to eat?” You can read about its early iterations, and its potential societal impacts, in the 2012 IBM 5 in 5: Taste prediction. Continue Reading »
Chef Michael Laiskonis has worked in some of the world’s best restaurants, including New York’s Le Bernardin, a Michelin Guide three-star restaurant, as executive pastry chef. Now the creative director at the Institute of Culinary Education, Laiskonis is helping IBM “teach” a computer system to develop novel recipes. The “cognitive cooking” collaboration was on display at IBM’s Pulse Conference, where ICE chefs prepared everything from an Austrian chocolate burrito, to a Baltic apple pie in the IBM Food Truck. Next, the truck and tech will stop in Austin for the South by Southwest Interactive Conference. Before Chef Laiskonis set out for the Lone Star state’s capital, he spoke with the Smarter Planet blog about what it’s like to work with a computer that knows ingredients down to the molecular level, and how such a system would be accepted in the kitchen.
Smarter Planet: How did you become interested in cooking, and inspired to be a chef?
Michael Laiskonis: I fell into cooking quite by accident while I was pursuing a degree in fine arts. What began as something I “could” do simply in order to pay the bills quickly became something I felt “compelled” to do. The underlying science of cooking, the process of transformation, the hard work of making something with one’s own hands and the instant gratification of making people happy – all of those things still drive me today. Continue Reading »
By Pat Toole
Jovanna Marquez was a Florida high school student who was contemplating a career in criminal justice when a teacher convinced her to take a computer science class and then introduced her to IBM’s Master the Mainframe Contest.
It changed her life. Ms. Marquez is now studying computer science at the University of Central Florida and credits Master the Mainframe with helping her develop technical chops and find her true career path. Call it “Millennials Meet the Mainframe.” Or, “zEnterprise for Generation Z.” It’s a story about how a new generation of students are finding great career opportunities working with the IBM mainframe, which continues to advance as one of the world’s most dynamic and vital computing platforms. 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 »
What happens when you ask an entire continent to illustrate its challenges and opportunities in photos?
That’s exactly what IBM’s newest research lab wanted to find out. IBM Research – Africa, which opened its doors last November, was created with an ambitious mission: to conduct applied and far-reaching exploratory research into the grand challenges of the African continent by delivering commercially-viable innovations that impact people’s lives. Though it opened with clear objectives and an understanding of many of the infrastructural concerns across the continent, the Lab wanted a more personal understanding of the challenges.
“We quickly realized that if we were to make a difference in Africa, we needed to operate outside of the walls of the lab,” said Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya, Director, IBM Research – Africa. “While we benefit from 25 PHDs from some of the world’s best universities, it is crucial that we enter a dialogue with the people who best understand their own realities.” 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.