By Steve Hamm
IBM hosted the Cognitive Systems Colloquium at its famed IBM Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., on Oct. 2, 2013. The all-day event brought together leaders in science, technology and psychology to discuss the coming era of cognitive computing and to craft a shared agenda among industry, academia and government.
The following is a time-stamped stream of live updates and insights from the event from presenters including, Nobel Prize laureate Daniel Kahneman, A.I pioneer Danny Hillis, Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Visiting Professor, MIT and Imperial College, and others. Continue Reading »
By Brian Cotton
Last week my company, Frost & Sullivan, hosted a panel discussion in Silicon Valley called, “Smart Cities Solutions,” as part of our Global Growth, Innovation and Leadership exchange. Comprised of municipal government officials and corporate executives, the panel spent 90 minutes discussing the process of building smart cities. Ironically, it wasn’t until the last few minutes of the session that they got around to talking about the citizen.
This got me thinking. As a consultant in the Smart City industry, I have a behind-the-scenes perspective on the development of Smart Cities. And building a successful SmartCity takes time, money, political will, and above all citizen support. Continue Reading »
By Amitabh Kant
By John Tolva
When I left IBM just over two years ago to become the first Chief Technology Officer for the City of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave me clear marching orders. I was to take the lead in setting high standards for open, participatory government to involve all Chicagoans. At the time, Chicago lagged behind other American cities in open data access and other digital city initiatives.Thanks to a lot of work and creativity by Chicagoans in government, non-profits, businesses and community groups—not to mention individuals–we have more than caught up. We achieved great progress in making city data available to all, in catalyzing an app economy and in improving digital literacy. Yet I feel that we have just scratched the surface of what’s possible when it comes to fostering participatory democracy. Continue Reading »
By Martin Fleming
In a recent New York Times article, reporter James Glanz asks: “Is Big Data an Economic Dud?” Mr. Glanz seems to answer his own question skeptically. The “data era,” he suggests, will not match the earlier revolutions in manufacturing, domestic life and transportation.
In addition, the Wall Street Journal posted a blog discussing that Big Data is at, or near the peak of the Gartner “hype cycle” and “big data technologies are now soon to be due for a fall into the ‘trough of disillusionment.’” Continue Reading »
By Dr. Jochen Schmidt
New Zealand’s farmers and growers are in constant combat with the country’s variable and often extreme weather.
Many important operational decisions – when to fertilize, irrigate, spray or move stock, for example – hinge on knowing precisely what the weather is going to do. Extreme events like floods, frosts, snowstorms and droughts can have a devastating effect on productivity and profitability.
So being prepared is key.
Standard public weather forecasts generally fall far short of what farmers and growers need. So at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) we used our high-resolution forecasting capability to launch a new subscription service called NIWA forecast to generate predictions tailored to their specific needs. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Katharine Frase
The urbanization age is upon us. While the estimates vary of what percentage of population will live in cities by 2020, 2050, or even 2015 for that matter, what remains constant is the undeniable pace of change cities are already facing – change that will only accelerate.
Cities around the world, whether big, mid-size or small, are reaching their limits from growing and aging populations, strained infrastructures and a constant need to do more with less.
To reinvent themselves for the 21st century – “the New Era of Smart” – cities are turning to data. Using and analyzing information in new ways is enabling them to anticipate problems in real time, or better yet, before they happen. In addition, the knowledge and insight is crucial for city officials to make better decisions and swiftly resolve the issues that are most pressing for citizens. Continue Reading »
By Frances West
When we hear the word “accessibility,” most people assume it has to do with providing equal access to people with disabilities.
But accessibility is much broader in scope and has become a societal issue that can impact us all.
Today, creating an inclusive, accessible world is about meeting the broad range of individual human needs so that everyone – including people with disabilities, the aging population, novice technology users, and people with language, learning and literacy challenges – can live to the best of their ability.
And it’s smart business, too. Accessible technology systems enable differentiated customer experiences for every user on any device – anytime and anywhere – and create a competitive advantage for those businesses deploying them. Continue Reading »
Rachel Haot is the chief digital officer for New York City, heading the NYC Digital program. Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed her to the newly-created post in 2011. Previously, Haot founded GroundReport, a crowdsourced news Web site based in New York. She recently answered some questions for the A Smarter Planet blog about what it takes to make a digital city. Here’s an edited version of the interview:
A Smarter Planet: Why did you accept Mayor Bloomberg’s offer to become New York’s first chief digital officer?
Haot: I had always been interested in the intersection of technology and government, so I saw his offer as a phenomenal chance to serve the greatest city on earth and to help to galvanize the momentum that I already saw building. Our goal at the start was to create the first digital roadmap that any city has produced, and to use that roadmap to make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers.
Here’s Haot talking about how to run a successful hackathon:
By Dr. David Sinclair
What skills will tomorrow’s city leaders need?
This is a very broad question, but it has a specific set of answers. Tomorrow’s urban leaders must organize, analyze and understand the resource that is Big Data. They will need to be able to use the sea of data pouring into their systems to predict how the city will operate and then build adaptable and informed plans to deal with the inevitable disruption and change. This set of skills fall under the heading of data analytics.
It is with these skills in mind that we have designed a Data Analytics Master’s programme at Dublin City University in partnership with IBM Research Dublin. The goal of the programme is to provide future planners with a deep understanding of the issues, as well as the techniques and tools needed to explore large amounts of raw data and extract meaningful conclusions from it. With such a skill set, tomorrows’ urban leaders will be positioned to build smarter, sustainable cities. Continue Reading »