By Uyi Stewart
In an interview with Wired magazine, the English musician, Brian Eno, complained that there is not enough Africa in computers.
“How does one Africanize…or otherwise liberate a computer?” he wanted to know.
Maybe Brian would like to visit us at our new research laboratory in Nairobi, because this is more or less what we are doing. Although our focus is not to build computers, per se, we are building technology solutions for Africa— with uniquely African flavour. Africanized solutions, if you like.
IBM Research—Africa, officially opens its doors next week. It’s our 12th global research laboratory, and the first in Africa. It feels like a pivotal moment. It certainly is for me. Continue Reading »
By Paul Papas
Earlier this week, IBM and Boston Children’s Hospital offered a glimpse into the transformative potential of social networking technologies with the unveiling of OPENPediatrics, the world’s first social learning platform designed to connect clinicians from around the world to share knowledge and best practices in the care of critically ill children – all supported on the cloud.
It was a single phone call to Dr. Jeffrey Burns that became the genesis for OPENPediatrics. After helping a pediatrician in Guatemala successfully treat a young girl with a life-threatening blood disorder, all by using a video link, he aspired to bring world-class critical care to other pediatricians and their patients in every corner of the world. Continue Reading »
By Andrew Nichols, IBM Communications
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 »
By John Hearne
I recently read a story about an elderly woman with a heart condition. She lives in a building without air conditioning and there was concern that a hot and humid day in July could easily put her health at risk and possibly lead to a costly ER visit.
As the story pointed out, the reality is that a few hundred dollars for an air conditioner could solve the problem before it ever happened.
Of course, to case workers at social services agencies around the world, the difficulty of identifying interventions before situations become critical is not news.
In a perfect system, an individual’s health needs would be understood not only medically, but also in the context of their lifestyle, living environment, family conditions and other social factors. Making this information readily available to health and case workers would help them spend more time in the field where they are needed the most. Continue Reading »
By Manoj Saxena
Social and technological shifts are driving rapid change, altering ways in which individuals interact with one another, learn, and attend to their personal and business needs. These shifts offer the potential to strengthen the relationships between companies and their customers—enabling more individual and directed communication and allowing organizations to cater to individual needs. Yet, for many, today’s online customer experiences lack personalization, timeliness and trust.
But what if companies could offer their customers the kind of personalized and knowledgeable assistance when they’re online or on the phone that people have come to expect from top-flight customer service delivered in person? Continue Reading »
By Laurie Williams
According to a recent IBM Tech Trends report, both educators and students view security as extremely important. In fact, 56 percent of students and 44 percent of educators ranked it as one of the top three issues the IT industry will face over the next two years. In addition, a UK government report said that it may take 20 years to address the current cybersecurity skills gaps.
To help try and change that, North CarolinaStateUniversity is partnering with IBM to help better prepare the next generation of engineers with a secure-by-design focus and curriculum.
Why dedicate so many resources to building cybersecurity skills? The world operates with interconnected systems and as technology progresses these systems will only proliferate. The linchpin to success in securing these systems is in the design stage – not at the end of the process. Continue Reading »
By Matthias Kaiserswerth
Steve Jobs famously lured John Sculley from a soda pop company to Apple in 1983 by saying, “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?” In today’s business environment, the comparable challenge to a young engineer or computer scientist would be: “Do you want to create the next mobile app that makes your friends look like zombies or do you want to help transform the world of computing?”
That, in fact, is the challenge that we’re issuing today. IBM and ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, have assembled what some call a dream team of scientists to create a next-generation computing system capable of handling the ultimate big data challenge. Our project, called DOME, is a system for handling the deluge of data that will be created by the Square Kilometre Array, a radio telescope made up of more than half a million individual antennas that are to be scattered across southern Africa and Australia. When the SKA is completed in 2024, it is expected to process 14 exabytes of raw data per day. The data collected by the SKA in a single day would take nearly two million years to play back on an iPod.
We’re in the process of recruiting more than a half-dozen PhD.-level students to help staff the project–and we’re staging a virtual job fair to engage prospective employees. If you’re interested and qualified, visit the job fair Web site on March 26 at 5 p.m. Central European Time (Noon US Eastern Time). Only top students with huge ambitions should apply.
By Dr. James Hendler
Every single student in the Department of Computer Science here at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the potential to revolutionize computing. But with the arrival of Watson at Rensselaer, they’re even better positioned to do so.
Watson has caused the researchers in my field of artificial intelligence (AI) to rethink some of our basic assumptions. Watson’s cognitive computing is a breakthrough technology, and it’s really amazing to be here at Rensselaer, where we will be the first university to get our hands on this amazing system.
With 90 percent of the world’s data generated in the past two years, the ability for people and even traditional computing systems to make sense of this data has grown complex. The addition of Watson to our campus is very timely considering the growth of what some have termed “Big Data.”
In 1976, Joseph Weizenbaum, a leading computer scientist, wrote a book called Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgement to Calculation, in which he criticized the field of AI for trying to replace human creativity and thought with the power of computers. He suggested that humans and computers were inherently different, and that trying to get computers to think like humans was an insurmountable task, if it was possible at all. Continue Reading »