By Dario Gil
IBM Research scientists launched the nanotechnology revolution when they designed the scanning-tunneling microscope in 1981, and our researchers have achieved numerous nanotech breakthroughs since then–including being the first people in the world to move single atoms.
Now comes an advance that delivers on the promise of nanotechnology–potentially extending the life of Moore’s Law by enabling major performance improvements over today’s conventional chip technology.
A team at our Yorktown, New York, lab overcame one of the most daunting challenges facing the chip industry by demonstrating the first carbon nanotube transistors that don’t suffer from reduced performance as they’re shrunk to smaller dimensions. Read about their invention in the Oct. 2 edition of Science.
By Steve Hamm
IBM Chief Storyteller
In the solar energy realm, nothing beats the drama and fun of the biennial Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, an 1800-mile race in solar-powered cars across the Australian outback. Teams from dozens of universities around the world compete for global bragging rights–combining precision teamwork with advances in software, electronics, materials and aerodynamic design.
For this year’s race, which will take place October 18 to 25, there’s an exciting new technology in play: cognitive computing. IBM Research scientists are collaborating with the University of Michigan’s solar car team to provide solar forecasting technology they hope will give the team’s car, Aurum, a decisive edge.
By Arvind Krishna
Over the past two decades, the Internet, cloud computing and related technologies have revolutionized many aspects of business and society. These advances have made individuals and organizations more productive, and they have enriched many people’s lives.
Yet the basic mechanics of how people and organizations forge agreements with one another and execute them have not been updated for the 21st century. In fact, with each passing generation we’ve added more middlemen, more processes, more bureaucratic checks and balances, and more layers of complexity to our formal interactions–especially financial transactions. We’re pushing old procedures through new pipes.
This apparatus–the red tape of modern society–extracts a “tax” of many billions of dollars per year on the global economy and businesses.
What can be done? One potential solution is an intriguing technology called blockchain, which is little understood outside a small fraternity of computer scientists. Blockchain provides the technology underpinnings of Bitcoin, the crypto currency that has been the subject of much interest and speculation within the technical, business and law enforcement communities, and in society at large. (IBM is not involved in cryptocurrencies.)
by Guillermo Cecchi
Patterns are everywhere. Benoit Mandelbrot found them in nature, and gave us fractals. And now computer systems and algorithms find them in data, like how Watson teases out relevant information in just about anything. Machines can even find patterns in speech to accurately predict psychosis onset in high-risk youths, as colleagues and I explain in a recent Nature Publishing Journals – Schizophrenia article, Automated Analysis of Free Speech Predicts Psychosis Onset in High-Risk Youths.
About 1 percent of the population between the age of 14 and 27 is at clinically high risk, or CHR, for experiencing a psychotic episode at some point in their lives. One percent might not sound like much, but a statistically significant 30 percent of those known CHR individuals will have an episode. This led me to work with academic and clinical psychiatrists to apply machine learning to the data – in the form of transcribed interviews – to find patterns that would accurately predict that 30 percent. Continue Reading »
By Dharmendra S. Modha
For decades, computer scientists have been pursuing two elusive goals in parallel: engineering energy-efficient computers modeled on the human brain and designing smart computing systems that learn on their own—like humans do—and are not programmed like today’s computers. Both goals are now within reach.
And, today, as we launch our ecosystem for brain-inspired computing with a TrueNorth Boot Camp for academic and government researchers, I expect that the two quests will begin to converge. By the end of the intensive three-week training program, hopefully, early adopters will set out to show potential for these new technologies to transform industries and society.
The boot camp is a pivotal step in bringing brain-inspired computing to society by putting cutting-edge innovation in the hands of some of the best and brightest researchers who will begin to invent a wealth of applications and systems that we cannot even imagine today.
By Dr. John E. Kelly III
This week, President Obama issued an executive order establishing the National Strategic Computing Initiative with the goal of ensuring that the United States leads in the field of high-performance computing. The initiative is aimed at producing computers capable of exascale performance–which is one billion billion operations per second, orders of magnitude faster than today’s most powerful computers.
IBM has been a pacesetter in large-scale computing ever since modern computers emerged in the 1940s. We have collaborated with the US government in producing and deploying computers in the national laboratories and government agencies that help the country retain its leadership in science and commerce, as well as safeguarding national security. Continue Reading »
By Dr. John Kelly III
World leaders from business, government and the non-profit sector are gathering this week in Nairobi, Kenya, for Global Entrepreneur Summit 2015, the first such summit to be held in sub-Saharan Africa. So it’s a good time to explore the potential for Africa and Africans to take advantage of the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to propel the continent forward.
IBM is committed to helping Africa fulfill it’s promise by providing information technologies to help address the continent’s challenges, through research collaborations with companies and universities, and by helping to foster innovation ecosystems in a number of cities. Continue Reading »
By Hendrik Hamann
Five years ago, a few of my IBM Research colleagues and I played a hunch. Large-scale solar power was taking off, but we realized that for solar to fulfill its potential for helping to produce a more sustainable energy future, it would have to be integrated into electrical grids. For that to work, you would have to know ahead to time how much solar power would be generated when and where. That realization spawned our solar forecasting research project.
Today, we have shown that we can generate accurate forecasts of solar energy (from minutes ahead to many days ahead), which in turn can have a significant impact on the energy business – and on the future of sustainable energy. Our preliminary findings, including a test conducted at ISO-New England, the grid operator serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, show that our system can be 30 percent more accurate than other state-of-the-art approaches. Continue Reading »
By Evans Kidero
Next week, Nairobi will host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), attended by U.S. President Obama. This will be the first time that the GES takes places in sub-Saharan Africa bringing together emerging entrepreneurs and leaders from government, private companies and international organizations from across Africa and around the world.
This is a proud moment for Nairobi and for me as its first governor. This city, which started out as a railway depot more than a century ago, today accounts for nearly 50 percent of Kenya’s formal employment and generates more than half of the country’s GDP.
Nairobi is now recognized as a trailblazer in Africa for its efforts to modernize its economy and city services. Our thriving tech scene is seen as a leader on the continent, giving rise to Kenya’s “Silicon Savannah” moniker and the strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that we are becoming recognized for globally. Continue Reading »