By Jeff Schick
For more than 30 years, email has been stuck in a rut. It’s still basically a list of messages that we plow through all day, every day—in our private and professional lives. The important stuff is hidden among the trivial and the routine. Sure, you can fiddle with rankings and do rudimentary searches, but, for all the time we spend dealing with our email, it’s one of the least-evolved computer activities around. Think of it as a tax on your brain.
I probably speak for many people when I say that the first word that comes to mind when I think of email is “frustration.” Actually, the word that comes to mind is less polite than that. That high level of collective frustration is what drove a talented team of software engineers and user experience designers at IBM to reimagine the domain—putting people and relationships at the center of things. Continue Reading »
By Michael Nova M.D.
To describe me as a health nut would be a gross understatement. I run five days a week, bench press 275 pounds, do 120 pushups at a time, and surf the really big waves in Indonesia. I don’t eat red meat, I typically have berries for breakfast and salad for dinner, and I consume an immense amount of kale—even though I don’t like the way it tastes. My daily vitamin/supplement regimen includes Alpha-lipoic acid, Coenzyme Q and Resveratrol. And, yes, I wear one of those fitness gizmos around my neck to count how many steps I take in a day.
I have been following this regimen for years, and it’s an essential part of my life.
For anybody concerned about health, diet and fitness, these are truly amazing times. There’s a superabundance of health and fitness information published online. We’re able to tap into our electronic health records, we can measure just about everything we do physically, and, thanks to the plummeting price of gene sequencing, we can map our complete genomes for as little as $3000 and get readings on smaller chunks of genomic data for less than $100.
Think of it as your own personal health big-data tsunami. Continue Reading »
One 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 »
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 »
The world is in the early stages of a major shift—from the programmable computing era to the era of cognitive systems. Today at IBM Research, we’re convening our second-annual Cognitive Systems Colloquium. We’ll be hearing from some of the smartest people in the tech industry. Please return throughout the day for frequent updates. And join the discussion at #CognitiveComputing.
9:10 Zach Lemnios, vice president research strategy and worldwide operations:
We’re here to bring together researchers, clients, students, young entrepreneurs. We want to highlight the work of the past year and look at the challenges before us, and help to build an ecosystem to drive innovations in cognitive computing. How do we scale up this enterprise—how do we create ways for people to use these systems in ways that are very easy to use.
By Alistair Rennie
Each day, Twitter users press the button on about 500 million Tweets. That tsunami of 140-character messages spans the range of human interests and activities—from raves about recent purchases to exhortations to rally behind social causes.
Personally, I use Twitter as a sort of market-intelligence radar. I follow very smart people to see what they’re reading and thinking.
Now, for the first time, business leaders will be able to tap into the Twitter stream in powerful new ways to harvest insights that help them understand customer sentiment more deeply, develop hit products and services, and anticipate sudden shifts in moods and markets.
By Bernard Tyson
Since shortly after Kaiser Permanente’s launch in 1945, this organization has been at the forefront of using technology to improve patient care. We started collecting large amounts of data about patients and treatment outcomes long before electronic medical records and “big data” became hot topics. And, today, we remain one of the early adopters of cutting-edge technology in the healthcare industry.
Like other healthcare organizations, we take advantage of technology to make our operations more efficient and to help deliver superior care. But I believe that information technology can play an even more important role in this industry: It can help us transform from focusing on healthcare to focusing on health.
What do I mean by that? To me, the term healthcare connotes being reactive to problems. That’s not enough. An organization that focuses more broadly on health itself can help people extend their lives and live healthier lives. Continue Reading »
By Terry Jones
My first job when I got out of college in 1971 was as a receptionist at a travel agency in Chicago. In those days, believe it or not, we used telegrams to make international reservations.
It’s amazing to think how far travel has come since then—and the role that information technology has played in those changes.
Today, the travel industry is primed for yet another revolution. This time, cognitive computing is the agent of change, and my company, WayBlazer, is one of the industry pioneers.
WayBlazer taps into the power of IBM’s Watson to help Web sites create travel experiences that fit the interests and budgets of individual consumers. It’s a step towards a time in the future when, I believe, computers will serve as truly personal travel advisors—enabling people to do everything from arranging the perfect vacation to making last minute-changes with the minimum of fuss.
By Michael Rhodin
It’s hard to believe it’s only been 10 short months since the IBM Watson Group was announced. We talked of bringing together a unique group of people – incredibly talented professionals from across IBM – into a new unit.
This included the single largest movement of IBM Research personnel in our history, along with 10 – 12 startups worth of new cognitive technologies that would help define the Watson team. Individuals and core capabilities from our software business would join into the fray.
A new approach to engaging the market would be created from talent across IBM’s sales, marketing, services and consulting organizations. A new cloud delivery organization would be formed out of our services teams to serve this market – all brought together with a single purpose: to usher in a new era of computing. Continue Reading »
By Michael Rhodin
When IBM’s original Watson computer competed and won on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!, it demonstrated to an audience of millions how a computer could understand the rules of a game and quickly retrieve facts from a vast storehouse of information.
That question-answering skill is a key element of what we call the era of cognitive computing. It is already beginning to impact whole domains of human endeavor, starting with the way physicians treat diseases. And it’s improving the productivity of business—by beginning to transform online shopping and customer service. Continue Reading »