By A Smarter Planet
With the holiday gifts unwrapped and unwanted presents returned to retailers, many shoppers are putting the frustrations of the gift-buying season behind them. While many skipped the long lines at traditional retail outlets in favor of online shopping convenience, they likely faced their own set of problems, due to some unseen cloud computing technology challenges they may not be familiar with.
Anyone who has ever logged onto a website and encountered the “spinning wheel” when trying to find a product or complete a purchase has experienced what is known as the “noisy neighbor” problem in the cloud. The so-called noisy neighbors are actually bandwidth-demanding virtual machines (VM) supporting other website users who may also be searching for items and placing orders, downloading music, watching a movie or a myriad of other online activities. The noisy neighbor situation creates bandwidth issues that prevent online shoppers and other users from receiving the responses they expect from the websites they are visiting. Continue Reading »
By Christopher Padilla
Abraham Lincoln – the only U.S. president to hold a patent – once said: “The patent system added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.”
We at IBM couldn’t agree more. And it’s critical the nation continues to protect the patent system to encourage the innovations that drive our economy. IBM set a new U.S. patent record today, achieving 21 consecutive years of patent leadership with more than 6,800 U.S. patents in 2013.
This accomplishment represents the company’s unyielding commitment to research and innovation. IBM invests about $6 billion a year in research and development. Continue Reading »
By Michael Karasick
When Thomas J. Watson Sr. joined IBM in 1914 as its president, the firm didn’t have a single engineer on its payroll, so he quickly hired engineers and set up a product development group in a brownstone near New York’s Penn Station. He created a patent development department in 1932 and, in 1945, he established the first corporate scientific research laboratory. Today, IBM Research has grown to become the largest corporate research organization in the world, with 3000 professionals at 12 labs in 10 countries.
The point is that the nature of innovation keeps evolving and organizations have to change with it.
That’s why IBM is adopting a new approach to innovation for our newly formed IBM Watson Group, which will be headquartered in New York’s Silicon Alley. In the group, we are melding research, product development, experience design and collaboration with business partners and clients—all with the goal of accelerating the development of cognitive computing solutions for many of the world’s most vexing problems. This new era of computing requires a new approach to innovation.
Our Watson initiative builds on top of IBM’s long tradition of innovation, which placed IBM as the No. 1 recipient of US patents in 2013 for the 21st year in a row. We received 6,809 patents, easily outdistancing Samsung, the No. 2 finisher, with 4,676. The next US company on the top 10 list, Microsoft, ranked No. 5.
By Steve Hamm
My father was studying agricultural science at a junior college in Iola, Kansas, in 1939 when he got an opportunity to drive with friends in a new Plymouth to the World’s Fair in New York City. There, exposed to a vision of an amazing future made possible by technology, he decided to change course and studying mechanical engineering so he could help make that vision come to life.
As an engineer for Westinghouse for nearly 40 years, he played a role in some of the key technological advances that took place in the second half of the 20th century, including jet engines and space exploration. Continue Reading »
IBM Watson is famous for its escapades on the Jeopardy! TV quiz show. IBM has been collaborating with oncologists to leverage the question-answering technology in deciding on the best medical treatments for individual patients. And, in recent months, IBM has been engaging with businesses to put Watson to work in banks, retail stores, and corporate offices. IBM Researchers have their own ideas–featured in the 5in5 predictions. But it’s clear that there will be no end of uses for cognitive computing technologies like Watson that can learn, reason and interact with humans in ways that are more natural to us.
That’s where you come in. As a scientist, an engineer, a marketer, or an entrepreneur, your skills and ideas will be essential for inventing the new era. For consumers of technology, social networking gives you a seat at the table where the future is being designed. Your voices will shape the thinking of technologists and the services they offer to you. Continue Reading »
Building a Smarter Planet takes people who are passionate about using technology to improve the world and who are eager to innovate and take risks. During the past year, we profiled eight of these “People for a Smarter Planet,” putting the spotlight on researchers, engineers, inventors and innovators who are focused on the future.
They include people like Lisa Seacat DeLuca, a young, prolific software engineer on the cutting edge of advanced cloud solutions; Andy Stanford-Clark, a pioneer in smarter energy solutions; Marie Kenerson, who’s using cloud technology to bring quality healthcare to Haiti; Uyi Stewart, chief scientist at IBM’s first research lab in Africa; and Michelle Zhou, who sees Big Data as a means for world peace and not just corporate profits. Continue Reading »
By Diego Sanchez Gallo
Walking down the street or on a sidewalk shouldn’t be hazardous to your health. But uneven pathways, cracks in the pavement, or some other unexpected obstacle trip up pedestrians all the time; and at worst, force those with disabilities to take inconvenient detours. IBM Research wants you to take a picture of your next stumbling block with the Rota Acessível (English version: Accessible Way) app – and help others avoid the same pitfall.
Inspired by another IBM crowdsource app, CreekWatch, my team in Sao Paulo developed a way for citizens to collaborate on “watching” their urban infrastructure – acting as human sensors of the city. Accessible Way geo-localizes the photos that users take, and puts them on a map visible to others using the app. Continue Reading »
Imagine this: Your computer, the one you carry around in your pocket or purse, knows everything about you. With your permission, it knows about your relationships with the people, places and things in your world. It talks and listens to you. And, as your computer interacts with you and with the vast store of data about you, it learns to be an even better assistant—helping you navigate your personal and professional lives.
Up until now, only a select few of the world’s leading businesses and government agencies have had the ability to marshal vast financial and computing resources to solve almost any highly complex problem. But in the coming years, this type of power will become available to individuals, as well– through the assistance of computers that learn and help us make the most important decisions affecting our lives. Continue Reading »
You can help design this world of the future—where machines learn, reason and interact with people in ways that are more natural to us. As a scientist, an engineer, a marketer, or an entrepreneur, your skills and ideas will be essential for inventing the new era. For consumers of technology, social networking gives you a seat at the table where the future is being designed. Your voices will shape the thinking of technologists and the services they offer to you. This year’s 5 in 5 predictions of innovations that will help transform your world is just a taste of what is to come.
To stimulate the conversation between technology creator and consumer, we’re calling on readers to suggest their own novel and perhaps even earth-shifting ideas for putting cognitive systems to work on everybody’s behalf. If you have an idea that gets you jazzed, please submit it as a comment at the end of this blog post. We’ll review the comments and highlight the best of them in future posts. The people with the most intriguing ideas get free Watson T-Shirts!
To learn more about the new era of computing, read Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing.
Check your calendars for tomorrow morning, and plan on coming back and viewing this year’s 5 in 5, predictions of five innovations that will rock your world within five years. Chosen by IBM Research scientists, this year’s innovations are rooted not in gee-whiz visions of the future but in projects we have underway in our labs today.
Each of the predictions will explore an aspect of one of the most important changes that’s coming to computing–the ability of machines to learn from their interactions with data and people. Such learning is part of the era of cognitive computing, which got its start with Watson’s victory on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! In the future, machines will increasingly learn, reason, predict the future and interact with people in ways that are more natural to us. Continue Reading »