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Dr. Katie Zhu,

Dr. Katie Zhu, Medical Lead, Wellness Management, IBM Research

Dr. Katie Zhu is the medical lead of wellness management and a member of the Healthcare Industry Engagement team in IBM Research. In her four years at IBM, Dr. Zhu has challenged obesity risk factors and questioned the future capabilities of technology in the healthcare industry. Recently the Smarter Planet blog caught up with Dr. Zhu for insight into her work, as well as what attracted her to the corporate world.

Smarter Planet: What got you interested in combining computer science and medicine?
Katie Zhu: Imagine that you are a doctor and you need to understand how past patients coped with a certain condition in order to provide the best treatment plan possible for a current patient. You’ll need a digital patient database. Or maybe you are a surgeon and need ventilators to run on autopilot to control patients’ respiratory parameters. You’ll need innovative technology in the surgery room. With the help of more advanced technologies, physicians can do a lot of things that were once extremely difficult or just impossible. Technology is transforming medicine – I am excited to be a part of this transformation. Continue Reading »

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A military analyst manipulates multiple data sources in a single interface, including static and live video feeds and real time human intelligence, using software from Mission Control Technologies.

A military analyst manipulates multiple data sources in a single interface, including static and live video feeds and real time human intelligence, using software from Mission Control Technologies.

By Kevin Parent

I’ve devoted my career to telling stories with technology. Part of that decades-long work has focused on improving the ways in which humans interact with machines. Along the way, two things have become clear.

First, the things that computers and humans are good at are complementary, not duplicative. While machines are steadily improving in their ability to carry out complex automated processes, there are classes of decisions that will always need to be made by humans. Continue Reading »

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Paul Brody, Global Industry Leader, Electronics, IBM

Paul Brody, Global Industry Leader, Electronics, IBM

By Paul Brody

As the Internet of Things starts to accelerate, the practical realities of running networks of devices that number in the billions and tens of billions are becoming a major focus.

We are already churning out more than a billion new smartphones every year and in all likelihood we will soon be faced with the task of managing more than 100 billion connected devices sometime in the next decade or so.

Future Internet of Things networks will have many more devices connected and interconnected and they’ll likely last for much longer periods of time than current ones. Also, more sophisticated than sensors, future devices will be asset management tools and active participants in all kinds of online market places. In short, the Internet of Things doesn’t just mean contending with more devices, it means dealing with increasing amounts of work being executed on those devices, as well. Continue Reading »

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(Photo: Graciela Pierre)

(Photo: Graciela Pierre)

By Eric-Mark Huitema

In order to transform transportation systems, we must first commit to fully understanding them and their millions of data points in constant motion.

Rebuilding the transportation infrastructure from scratch isn’t feasible. Rather we must improve upon existing systems using the multitude of data our industry generates; reconciling information such as what, where and when we move; how a particular model of vehicle performs in a variety of environments; and how many cars versus public transport options are on the road at any given location or any given time.

All of this must then by synchronized in real-time, no small task given that there are more than one billion vehicles on the road in the world today. That’s why while walking the show floor at the World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems this week I was encouraged to see a unified vision and passion to make every aspect of transportation more intelligent. Continue Reading »

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Sean Hogan, General Manager, Vice President, Healthcare, IBM

Sean Hogan, General Manager, Vice President, Healthcare, IBM

By Sean Hogan

If you or someone you know has ever been diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer or heart disease, you know what a life-changing experience it is. In that moment, the availability of effective treatment options and the pace of medical research become crucial determinants in successfully fighting the disease.

But before any new treatments become available, it must first be tested in rigorous clinical trials – the “gold standard” of medical evidence. In the U.S., $95 billion is spent on medical research each year, yet only 6% of clinical trials are completed on time, according to the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Michael Haydock, IBM Fellow, Data Scientist, Global Business Services

Dr. Michael Haydock, IBM Fellow, Data Scientist, Global Business Services

By Dr. Michael Haydock

It’s that time of year again – the back to school season. Summer is coming to a close, days are getting shorter and parents are sending their kids back to the classroom. But what does that mean for retailers?  My quarterly retail forecast shows a strong back to school season and parents with bigger, more confident wallets.

The economy is continuing to improve, slowly but steadily, with the unemployment rate decreasing at around 6 percent, although not yet reaching pre-recessions levels. Consumer confidence in the third quarter is the highest it’s been in eight years – people are confident in their future, income, and prospects – which means they are more likely to spend at the store. Continue Reading »

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September 3rd, 2014
18:52
 

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Michael Dixon, General Manager, Smarter Cities, IBM

Michael Dixon, General Manager, Smarter Cities, IBM

By Michael Dixon

Since the earliest days of humanity, dealing with waste has been a fundamental requirement of our existence. However our underlying and very successful technique over the eons has been straight forward: take it away from here and bury it somewhere else.

While that remains the dominant practice throughout the world today, some cities have sophisticated the technique so the approach is now: burn what we can, and take the rest away from here and bury it. But times are changing. While sustainability has become a powerful force in modern societies, everybody now readily understands that burying waste is just such, well, a waste. Continue Reading »

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August 29th, 2014
17:50
 

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Twilight on the streets of Sao Felix do Xingu, Brazil. (Photo: Steve Hamm)

Twilight in Sao Felix do Xingu, Brazil, a frontier town of the Rainforest. (Photo: Steve Hamm)

By Steve Hamm, IBM Writer

(SAO FELIX, Brazil) The Internet takes a torturous route to get to Sao Felix do Xingu.

A private company has built a series of radio signal repeater towers, powered by solar panels, which bring the Net 400 kilometers from a neighboring state to downtown Sao Felix.

Once it gets there, it stays put. There’s very little connectivity elsewhere in a municipality that’s the size of Portugal. For those who have it, mainly government offices and businesses, it’s expensive and slow: $500 a month for 1 megabit-per-second service, or $100 for 128 k speed. Continue Reading »

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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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Matt Gross, Edtior, Bon Appetit

Matt Gross, Edtior, Bon Appetit

By Matt Gross

It was the middle of summer and all I could think about were – tomatoes. They’d just started coming into farmers’ markets en masse and I was eager to start eating them atop toast in the morning, sliced with cucumbers into salads, and chopped into sweet-spicy salsas.

But I wasn’t supposed to be thinking about tomatoes. The IBM and Bon Appétit teams were supposed to be planning the next phase in the development of Chef Watson, our cognitive-cooking system. We’d recently begun a beta test with people pulled from the ranks of our readership in which we issued a challenge. In my mind, there was only one challenge that made sense.

“Tomatoes,” I said. “Tomatoes in anything—anything but salad.” Continue Reading »

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