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IBM Research
February 10th, 2015

SoftBank's Watson-based robot

SoftBank’s Watson-based robot.

By Michael Karasick

When IBM Watson was first created, it was designed to use English and to answer “factoid” questions. Since then, as we expand Watson’s capabilities to transform industries and professions, we are adapting it for other languages and forging strategic alliances to accelerate adoption globally.

Our alliance with Japan’s SoftBank, announced today, is a powerful example of both of those imperatives at work.

SoftBank, one of the most innovative companies in Japan, has signed on as our strategic partner to help introduce Watson and cognitive computing to the world’s third-largest economy. We’re working with SoftBank to train Watson to “think in” Japanese, and SoftBank will build a powerful ecosystem of partners, including entrepreneurs, app developers and venture investors; as well as take its own Watson-based applications and services to market. Continue Reading »

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February 6th, 2015

Solomon Assefa, IBM, and Zeblon Vilakaz, Wits University

Solomon Assefa, IBM, and Zeblon Vilakaz, Wits University

By Solomon Assefa

When I first visited South Africa more than a year ago from IBM’s research center in New York, I was impressed with the advanced level of science and technology in the country. The country boasts four Nobel laureates in science and medicine and some of the world’s best research organizations.

Among them is the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH). IBM Research is working with them to address one of Africa’s most pressing problems: Tuberculosis. TB is the leading cause of death in South Africa. Roughly half a million people contract the disease each year, and, according to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of the country’s young adults are infected, which exacerbates the spread of HIV. Continue Reading »

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Katie Keating, Social Content and Engagement Strategist, IBM

Katie Keating, Social Content and Engagement Strategist, IBM

By Katie Keating

Brands live in fear of the errant tweet, the insulting Facebook post, the lewd Instagram photo. And sometimes they are hacked. Sometimes a disgruntled employee does act out of spite. But all too often those social media gaffes come down to user error: a human juggling several channels – including their personal accounts – and hitting the wrong button, for the wrong site, at the wrong time.

A colleague of mine, software developer Aaron Quirk, and I submitted the patent “Preventing Messages From Being Sent Using Inappropriate Communication Accounts” to prevent just such embarrassments. Using natural language processing and the Bluemix cloud service, the invention monitors your activity across your email, social channels and more and “learns” your voice over time. Continue Reading »

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January 21st, 2015

ICE chefs, including Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, prepare a Baltic Herring Salad at the Chef Watson cookbook preview dinner in New York.

ICE chefs, including Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, prepare a Baltic Herring Salad at the Chef Watson cookbook preview dinner in New York.

By Florian Pinel

IBM Watson, the same cognitive computing system that has been put to work in healthcare, insurance, and retail, and which debuted the world’s first cognitive cooking food truck at SXSW last year, will soon be coming to your kitchen counter in the form of a new cookbook put together by IBM and The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE).

The cookbook is a result of IBM’s two-year collaboration with culinary partner, ICE, to pair the recipe expertise of world-class chefs with the cognitive power of Watson to generate never-before-seen recipes, many of which will be included in the cookbook, available April 14. Continue Reading »

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Stacy Hobson, IBM Research

Stacy Hobson, IBM Research

One of our young inventors grew up in a small town in rural South Carolina; another came from Bangladesh; and a third got hooked on computers at age seven in Haifa, Israel. What these three have in common is their youthful optimism and their dedication to one of IBM’s core values: innovation that matters for our company and the world.

This is no empty slogan: Today, IBM announced that it received a record 7,534 US patents in 2014, marking the 22nd consecutive year that the company topped the list of US patent recipients. Amazingly, on average, we receive more than one new US patent for every hour of every work day.

Hidden behind the raw statistics is an exciting insight: IBM’s young scientists, software programmers and engineers are making important contributions to the company’s innovation achievements. (Thoughts? Tweet to #patent, #invent.)
Continue Reading »

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November 21st, 2014

Jeffrey Welser, Dir., IBM Research - Almaden

Jeffrey Welser, Dir., IBM Research – Almaden

By Jeffrey Welser

One of the watershed moments in the history of computing took place on Dec. 9, 1968. Douglas Engelbart and his team at Stanford Research Institute presented a technology demonstration that included the first public showings of the computer mouse, hypertext, dynamic file linking and shared-screen collaboration over a network. Those advances turned out to be essential building blocks for personal computing and Internet, and the event came to be called “The Mother of All Demos.”

While only history will say for sure, I think we saw the glimmer of a similar new beginning last week at IBM Research – Almaden, in Silicon Valley.  The IBM Cognitive Systems Colloquium signaled a shift from a singular focus on the von Neumann computing architecture, which has dominated computer science and the computer industry since the mid-1940s, to new architectures modeled on the human brain. Continue Reading »

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John Kelly, SVP, IBM Research

Dr. John Kelly III, SVP, IBM Research

By Dr. John E. Kelly III

The microprocessor was one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. Those chips of silicon and copper have come to play such a vital role that they’re frequently referred to as the “brains” of the computer. Today’s computer designs put the processor at the center.

But the needs of businesses and society are changing rapidly, so the computer industry must respond with a new approach to computer design—which we at IBM call data-centric computing. In the future, much of the processing will move to where the data resides, whether that’s within a single computer, in a network or out on the cloud. Microprocessors will still be vitally important, but their work will be divided up.

This shift is necessary because of the explosion of big data. Every day, society generates an estimated 2.5 billion gigabytes of data—everything from corporate ledgers to individual health records to personal Tweets.

Continue Reading »

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November 12th, 2014

SP Cog Coll 2014One of the most intriguing elements of the new era of cognitive computing is the development of brain-inspired technologies. Those are technologies that mimic the functioning of the neurons, axons and synapses in the mammal brain with the goal of interpreting the physical world and processing sensory data: sight, sound, touch and smell. Today’s IBM Research Cognitive Systems Colloquium at IBM Research – Almaden is focusing on this realm of the cognitive computing world. Please come back for frequent reports and updates, and join the conversation at #cognitivecomputing. Continue Reading »

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November 11th, 2014

SP Cognitive Computing ImageBy Jeffrey Welser

One of the most intriguing research projects at the Almaden lab over the past decade has been the development of a neurosynaptic microchip modeled on the workings of the brain. Funded since 2008 by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s SyNAPSE initiative, a team at Almaden led by Dharmendra S. Modha created not only a radically new chip architecture but a new approach to creating software applications.

Tomorrow, their work begins the transition from a science research project to a technology that’s on its way into the commercial marketplace. Continue Reading »

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Charity Wayua, Ph.D., IBM Research - Africa

Charity Wayua, Ph.D., IBM Research – Africa

By Charity Wayua, Ph.D.

I come from a family of educators. So when it came to choosing a career, it was natural for me to go into education. My vocation, though, is research. I study educational systems so that I can help re-imagine what they can be.

Few places can benefit as much from this kind of research than Africa, where I grew up and now work as a scientist at IBM’s new Research lab in Nairobi, Kenya. Africa is a paradox. It has seen tremendous growth during the past decade.

And yet half of the children in Africa will reach adolescence unable to read, write or do basic math. Two-thirds of those who don’t receive schooling are girls, because many of them have to stay home and take care of their younger brothers or sisters. Continue Reading »

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