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IBM Watson

Scott Spangler, Principal Data Scientist, IBM Watson Innovations, demonstrates how IBM Watson cognitive technology can now visually display connections in scientific literature and drug information.  In this image, Watson displays protein pathways that can help researchers accelerate scientific breakthroughs by spotting linkages that were previously undetected. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

Scott Spangler, Principal Data Scientist, IBM Watson Innovations, demonstrates how IBM Watson cognitive technology can now visually display connections in scientific literature and drug information. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

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 »

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Eric Engquist, assistant VP, USAA

Eric Engquist, assistant VP, USAA

By Eric Engquist

When I left the US Army in 2005, it was an incredibly stressful experience. In fact, I tell people today that I’m the quintessential example of what not to do when you’re transitioning to civilian life.

From childhood, I had planned on serving in the military. It was a family tradition.  But after serving as an infantry officer for 8 years, including deployments to Kosovo and Iraq, I decided to leave the military, get married and start a family.

Problem was, I didn’t know what to expect after I exited the military. I didn’t have a career plan, or a financial plan or even a firm sense of where I would live. As a result, it took me nearly six months to land a job.

That’s why, as the assistant vice president in charge of military transitions at USAA, I am passionate about serving our military members and their families, and am determined to do everything I can to ease their journey. And, I’m happy to say that we’re getting help from IBM Watson—the cognitive computing system.

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Lynda Chin, Scientific Dir., MD Anderson Institute for Applied Cancer Science

Lynda Chin,  Chair of Genomic Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

By Lynda Chin

New technologies have their upsides and downsides.

High speed computing has allowed for rapid gene sequencing and a tremendous acceleration in scientific discovery.  The parallel developments of handheld computers and high-speed wireless networks have led to an amazing point in human history; one where several libraries worth of information can immediately be accessed from devices we carry in our pockets. Continue Reading »

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Xiaowei Shen, Dir., IBM Research China

Xiaowei Shen, Dir., IBM Research China

By Xiaowei Shen

China’s economic development story is truly incredible. With an average GDP growth of 10% over the past 30 years, China has emerged as the world’s second-largest economy and largest manufacturer.

But as a nation we realize that for China to sustain rapid growth some things have to change. One of the most central and widely discussed issues is ensuring growth while protecting the environment and the health of our citizens. We understand that our success should not come at the cost of future generations. Continue Reading »

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Steve Abrams, Dir., IBM Watson Life

Steve Abrams, Director, IBM Watson Life

By Steve Abrams

One of my all-time favorite activities is barbequing on my deck (and I mean real barbecue, not grilling). My favorite dish to make is beef brisket, which, if you’ll allow me to be immodest, reaches a pinnacle of perfection after 12 hours in the smoker.

Yep, I love to eat and I love to cook and I love to experiment. I almost never use a recipe exactly as I find it.

That’s why I’m so happy that my group at IBM has joined with Bon Appétit one of the world’s most respected food-media brands, to enhance culinary creativity and discovery with cognitive computing.

Today, Bon Appétit’s editors published a package of stories about a web-based cognitive cooking application that we’re developing, called “Chef Watson with Bon Appétit.” This has evolved from the same technology that we debuted at SXSW in Austin, Texas, a couple of months ago, serving Watson’s culinary creations from a food truck. But now, in collaboration with Bon Appétit, we’re introducing a limited beta of an application built around this technology, tailored to the needs of avid home cooks.

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Matt Gross, editor, BonApetit.com

Matt Gross, editor, BonAppetit.com

By Matt Gross

For nearly 20 years, I’ve observed the South by Southwest festival from afar, fascinated by the list of bands, movies, and tech companies coming every year to Austin, Texas—but frustrated beyond measure that I’ve never been able to go, catch a hot band on its way up, eat late-night migas, and feel like I was on the creative cutting edge. This past February, however, was particularly bittersweet. That’s because SXSW was host to something that seized my attention and wouldn’t let go: a food truck dishing up Austrian chocolate burritos and Belgian bacon pudding, recipes inspired not by an overly tattooed mad kitchen scientist but by Chef Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing system. Continue Reading »

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As cognitive computing advances, it’s becoming obvious that these new capabilities will ultimately touch nearly every aspect of life–augmenting human intelligence and spreading expertise. Watson’s newest focus is on the customer experience.

We have all faced frustrations when we’re trying to find just the right product or service, comparison shop or get something fixed or updated. We want personalized attention and quick and easy answers to our questions. A newly announced alliance of IBM and Genesys, a leading provider of customer experience and contact center solutions, aims to help companies serve their customers better. Here’s a scenario explaining how the services will work:

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FangBy Steve Hamm
IBM Writer

Fang, a cute plush toy who is much smarter than your average (stuffed) bear, is not something that IBM Watson Group had on its drawing boards. But the creative geniuses at a New York City startup, Majestyk Apps, dreamed up this novel way of using the power of Watson to delight and teach children.

Majestyk was one of three winners of the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, who were announced today. The others were GenieMD, of Pleasanton, Calif., a maker of mobile personal healthcare apps; and Red Ant, of London, England, a a provider of mobile technology for the retailing industry. Continue Reading »

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IBM_Watson_AvatarThe era of cognitive computing is upon us. Scientists and engineers are designing new systems that ingest vast amounts of information, learn from their interactions with people and data, reason, and help us make better decisions. The opportunities are vast, but so are the challenges. That’s why fulfilling the promise of cognitive computing will require contributions from a large number of people in industry, academia, government and civic life.

So please join the New York Academy of Sciences, ETH Zurich and IBM as they present a discussion between Lino Guzzella, president-elect of ETH, the MIT of Europe; and John Kelly, senior vice president and director of IBM Research, the largest corporate research organization in the world. They will speak about research and collaboration to advance cognitive computing. View the discussion on this Livestream site at 7 p.m. And join the Twitter conversation at #CognitiveComputing, #ETH and #ZHNY.

 

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Michael Rhodin, Sr VP, IBM Watson Group

Michael Rhodin, Sr VP, IBM Watson Group

By Mike Rhodin

The second in a series on the IBM Watson Platform, this blog explores the future of how computers relate to us.

For decades, moviemakers and TV producers have featured talking computers as futuristic props—whether it was Captain Kirk barking commands on the Starship Enterprise, Michael Knight talking to his car, K.I.T.T., on Knight Rider, or Theodore cooing to his smartphone operating system, Samantha, in the recent movie Her.

Yet, even though the way we interact with computers has come a long way since the days of punch cards, in large part we are still forced to deal with them mainly on their terms—and hampered by their limitations.

Not much longer.

An essential part of the third era of computing—cognitive computing—will be our ability to interact with smart machines in ways that are more natural to us.  Making them conversational is an important part of that effort.

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