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 »
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 »
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:
By Manny Schecter
The U.S. has endured numerous economic eras — farming, machines, manufacturing, transportation, and so on. Why has the U.S. economy survived and, more importantly, thrived throughout these periods? Were we just inherently gifted farmers? Were we all mechanically inclined? Are we experts at efficiency? If not, what then?
Our economy has proven flexible enough to successfully transition from one era to the next, but how? The answer lies not in details about the eras themselves, but in the innovation that enabled and sustained them. That is, the U.S. has been a leading innovator in each economic era. We are curious. We are creative. We are inventive. And this innovative spirit has been the common thread throughout.
Another reason why our nation has successfully navigated numerous economic eras is we have the most robust patent system in the world. The patent system is an engine for innovation. Specifically designed to promote innovation, the patent system provides the protection needed to ensure creative endeavors are not misappropriated by others who have not shouldered the same development expense. To allow otherwise would advantage copycats over inventors. Continue Reading »
By Pat Toole
Jovanna Marquez was a Florida high school student who was contemplating a career in criminal justice when a teacher convinced her to take a computer science class and then introduced her to IBM’s Master the Mainframe Contest.
It changed her life. Ms. Marquez is now studying computer science at the University of Central Florida and credits Master the Mainframe with helping her develop technical chops and find her true career path. Call it “Millennials Meet the Mainframe.” Or, “zEnterprise for Generation Z.” It’s a story about how a new generation of students are finding great career opportunities working with the IBM mainframe, which continues to advance as one of the world’s most dynamic and vital computing platforms. Continue Reading »
By Manoj Saxena
I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I love to shepherd businesses from concept to reality. Earlier in my career, I launched, built and sold two technology companies.
One of those companies was purchased by IBM, which launched the next phase of my career, when I became an intrepreneur. At IBM I was tapped to lead the team charged with turning Watson from a Jeopardy-playing experiment into a set of technology solutions capable of transforming industries. During our short three year effort, we’ve applied Watson to a variety of industry challenges, from health care to financial services and retail, and demonstrated the power of the new era of computing where cognitive systems think, improve by learning, and discover insights in massive amounts of data. Continue Reading »
By Sander Dolder and Devin McIntire
During a recent World Environment Center roundtable in New York City, it became clear that modern challenges including urbanization, climate change and economic woes are forcing the public and private sectors to revamp their thinking about infrastructure.
Opportunities abound for successful and sustainable infrastructure projects. For example, designing an enduring vision, establishing an effective communication plan, and embracing data that will measure real value, are all things that can influence behavior and drive better decision making. But to do it right, businesses of all sizes must consider three key issues: resiliency, behavior and Big Data.
Resiliency is the ability for a system to recover, adapt, and grow in the face of unforeseen changes. Companies can use the concept of resilience to help grow or transform their business, including things like where to locate, where to source materials, or what energy systems to invest in that would optimize their adaptability to climate change. 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 »