By Michael Karasick
As a computer scientist and director of one of IBM’s global research laboratories, I find it fascinating to trace the repeated patterns in the history of computing. Typically, the Next Big Thing spends years in incubation, either as military initiatives (the first electronic computers), consumer phenomena (the PC) or science projects (the World Wide Web). But, ultimately, these advances are adopted by business enterprises, where they’re deployed at massive scale to make organizations more efficient and effective—and, ultimately, to drive growth and dynamism in the global economy. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
Picture yourself entering a popular e-commerce Web site or opening a mobile shopping app and being greeted immediately by a virtual shopping assistant that’s every bit as helpful as the best clerk you ever met in a brick-and-mortar store. Actually, better. This assistant knows everything there is to know about the store’s merchandise and the situations in which it’s used. But it’s also the ultimate personal shopper. It knows who you are and what you like, and it learns more from interacting with you and presents you choices in a visually engaging way.
That’s just the kind of experience that Fluid Inc., a San Francisco-based digital commerce company, plans on offering through its many e-commerce clients, starting with TheNorthFace.com.The technology underlying the service is IBM Watson, which created a splash two years ago when it defeated two grand-champions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! Embedded within e-commerce Web sites, Watson has the potential to transform the online shopping experience.“Watson is a turning point in technology,” says Brooke Aguilar, vice-president for Fluid’s Watson application strategy. “It shows how consumers will engage with computers in the future.” Continue Reading »
By Mohamad Makhzoumi
I’ve spent much of my life surrounded by doctors. Literally. Both of my parents are physicians. One of my sisters is a doctor; the other is studying to become one. So it’s no wonder that I was bitten by the medical bug. I, however, gravitated toward the business and company-building side of healthcare, where I have spent my entire career.
Today, I co-head the healthcare IT and healthcare services investment practice at global venture capital firm NEA (New Enterprise Associates), which has been investing in healthcare companies for 35 years. We back companies with the goal of transforming the healthcare system by improving access, increasing quality, and reducing costs. We currently have more than 10 active companies in the healthcare IT and services space with more than $250 million of committed capital. I work directly with these innovative companies. Continue Reading »
By Dr. James Spohrer
It’s no longer a question of if or when. The age of Big Data is here.
Look no further than the fact that a full 90 percent of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years and some 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day.
And while the pace of data isn’t about to slow down — in the healthcare industry alone the average data per hospital will increase from 167 TB today to 665 TB in 2015 — the good news is that the data deluge is rife with opportunity. Just ask the public agency seeking to alleviate gridlock traffic by studying a stream of data from electronic sensors; or, the medical facility searching for new ways to cure diseases by combing through clinical trial results. Big Data is the new “natural resource” and both public and private entities can play essential roles in transforming that opportunity into reality. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
Charity Wayua grew up in rural Kenya and did not use a computer till she was 17. Through hard work, Charity excelled academically and landed a scholarship from the Zawadi Africa Education Fund, which provides support for disadvantaged African women pursuing university educations. She got her undergraduate degree from Xavier University and a PhD in chemistry from Purdue University, both in the United States. Now she’s back in Africa—a fresh hire at the newly opened IBM Research lab in Nairobi.
She always planned on returning home after completing her studies. “I wanted to come back to be part of creating solutions for the continent, doing work that would make a difference for people here,” she says. Continue Reading »
By Jonathan Batty
IBM and His Excellency, the President of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, officially opened the first commercial technology research facility in Africa at an inauguration ceremony in Nairobi today.
The lab is IBM’s 12th global research lab and is supported by the Kenyan ICT Authority. Located at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, the lab will conduct applied and far-reaching exploratory research into the grand challenges of the African continent with the goal of delivering commercially-viable innovations that impact people’s lives.
The 2000m2 facility features one of Africa’s most powerful, cloud-enabled computing hubs giving IBM researchers the ability to analyse and draw insight from vast amounts of data in the search for solutions to Africa’s most pressing challenges such as energy, water, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, financial inclusion and public safety. Continue Reading »
By Adam Cutler
“Good design is good business.” — Thomas J. Watson, 1956
Sixteen years before Thomas Watson Jr. told this to students at the University of Pennsylvania, he hired Eliot Noyes to create IBM’s first corporate design program. Noyes and other design leaders, such as Paul Rand, Charles and Ray Eames, and Eero Saarinen, collaborated to craft IBM’s identity—from the Selectric typewriter to the Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.
IBM used good design to demystify technology in a technically immature world. Today, good design helps tackle a different, but no less acute, problem caused by technology overload.
This week, we dedicated a new IBM Design Studio in Austin, a strong initial step to drive a company-wide effort to put humans at the center of our products. Human-centered design requires a high degree of interaction between people who use the solution and those who build it. Continue Reading »
The first era of computing was defined by simple calculations. The second era, beginning in the 1940s, introduced us to programmable systems. Now we’re entering the era of cognitive computing. In this era we will have machines that will learn, reason, sense, predict and interact more naturally with human beings. IBM Watson is a significant step in that direction and is currently working with doctors to fight cancer.
By Dr. Courtney DiNardo
A few weeks ago, after I started one of my leukemia patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center on a standard course of chemotherapy, my patient developed a potentially life-threatening complication that sometimes occurs during leukemia treatment. It’s called tumor lysis syndrome. If not treated proactively, it can cause kidney failure, a heart attack and even death. A computing system based on IBM’s Watson technology that we’re currently piloting alerted me to the situation. I took action immediately. He’s okay now.
At an advanced cancer treatment center like MD Anderson, we likely would have spotted my patient’s problem early enough to respond in time without the help of a computer. However, in a community hospital, physicians who don’t see as many leukemia patients or have our expertise might not have noticed in time. The technology will definitely save lives. Continue Reading »
By Richard Ware
I have always been healthy and active, so I was stunned earlier this year when I was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of leukemia I was referred to a cancer treatment center in Utah where I felt rushed into a treatment that was presented as the only option. I contacted MD Anderson for a second opinion and higher level of competence and a new, cutting-edge treatment option for my condition.
They recommended that I try an experimental chemotherapy treatment regimen that had shown positive outcomes for otherwise healthy middle-aged people like me. I began chemotherapy in September and have already seen positive results. Dr. Courtney DiNardo is my primary physician. Continue Reading »