By Arvind Krishna
Over the past two decades, the Internet, cloud computing and related technologies have revolutionized many aspects of business and society. These advances have made individuals and organizations more productive, and they have enriched many people’s lives.
Yet the basic mechanics of how people and organizations forge agreements with one another and execute them have not been updated for the 21st century. In fact, with each passing generation we’ve added more middlemen, more processes, more bureaucratic checks and balances, and more layers of complexity to our formal interactions–especially financial transactions. We’re pushing old procedures through new pipes.
This apparatus–the red tape of modern society–extracts a “tax” of many billions of dollars per year on the global economy and businesses.
What can be done? One potential solution is an intriguing technology called blockchain, which is little understood outside a small fraternity of computer scientists. Blockchain provides the technology underpinnings of Bitcoin, the crypto currency that has been the subject of much interest and speculation within the technical, business and law enforcement communities, and in society at large. (IBM is not involved in cryptocurrencies.)
By Nirmit Desai
Sharing photos, videos and one-liners on Instagram and Twitter was a major part of the fun of last week’s MTV’s Video Music Awards. Pop stars traded gibes and images faster than VMA host Miley Cyrus changed outfits–and fans watching from around the globe joined in.
But that kind of willy-nilly sharing isn’t a good fit for every event and venue. The United States Tennis Association, for instance, focuses on providing ticketholders with a rich multimedia experience on site at the US Open in New York, which is building to its crescendo this week.
So, to enrich the fans’ enjoyment, IBM Research scientists are testing a new service at the Open we call Simulcastr. Fans at the tennis center who download the US Open app to their iPhones can choose real-time video feeds from various parts of the venue–anything from scenes of athletes heading for matches to shots of the queues at the refreshment stands. Unlike with the popular video streaming service Meerkat and Periscope, the videos can’t be seen by anybody outside the tennis center.
By Pat Toole
In the next few years, hundreds of billions of objects will be connected to the world’s information technology systems via the Internet of Things. That includes everything from the sensors on electricity grids and factory equipment to the fitness monitors we wear on our wrists and food items in the grocery store.
Yet, already, the vast quantities of data flowing from IoT devices are overwhelming the ability of many organizations to capture and make use of it.
That’s why the time has come to make the Internet of Things ready for business. By that I mean building an enterprise-class infrastructure capable of handling all this data and turning it into actionable insights when people need them.
The Weather Company delivers, on average, 15 billion weather forecasts to consumers and businesses every day. That’s an increase of more than 25-fold in the past five years, says Mark Gildersleeve, president of the business division of The Weather Company, which also owns the Weather Channel. The Weather Company is partnering with IBM to deliver those forecasts in real-time for 2.2 billion locations across the globe – a feat that would have been unthinkable without the recent advancements in cloud, mobile and data analytics. The Smarter Planet caught up with Gildersleeve to talk about how these new tools and technologies have improved forecasting and changed his business. Continue Reading »
By Noah Syken
It’s that time of year again: the US Open begins today in Queens, and tennis fans — and New York City — may be buzzing even more than in years past.
This year is Serena Williams’ year to write history. She’s going for a calendar year Grand Slam and her 22nd Grand Slam title, which would tie her with Steffi Graf for most wins in the Open era.
IBM, the long-time technology partner of the U.S. Tennis Association, and other Grand Slams, has been there to help fans watch and enjoy “Serena Slam,” in which Williams has won the past four Majors, starting with the 2014 US Open. Along with ESPN, another USTA partner, we’ll be part of action over the next two weeks, using our technology to enrich tennis fans’ knowledge and appreciation — no matter where they are in the world. Continue Reading »
by Guillermo Cecchi
Patterns are everywhere. Benoit Mandelbrot found them in nature, and gave us fractals. And now computer systems and algorithms find them in data, like how Watson teases out relevant information in just about anything. Machines can even find patterns in speech to accurately predict psychosis onset in high-risk youths, as colleagues and I explain in a recent Nature Publishing Journals – Schizophrenia article, Automated Analysis of Free Speech Predicts Psychosis Onset in High-Risk Youths.
About 1 percent of the population between the age of 14 and 27 is at clinically high risk, or CHR, for experiencing a psychotic episode at some point in their lives. One percent might not sound like much, but a statistically significant 30 percent of those known CHR individuals will have an episode. This led me to work with academic and clinical psychiatrists to apply machine learning to the data – in the form of transcribed interviews – to find patterns that would accurately predict that 30 percent. Continue Reading »
To hear Dr. Norman Sharpless tell it, it’s time to open a new front on the war on cancer. That front, he says, will match the latest cancer treatment advances and lab breakthroughs with big data analytics to help determine the best treatment options for patients. According to Dr. Sharpless, oncologists and molecular biologists are drowning in data. The Smarter Planet blog caught up with him recently to discuss his ideas for overcoming the challenge.
Smarter Planet: The World Health Organization predicts that the number of new cancer cases will grow 70 percent within two decades. It’s no wonder many of us believe we’re losing the war on cancer.
Dr. Norman Sharpless: Cancer is not one disease. That misconception dates back to the Nixon administration. Maybe we should have said back then we’re launching a war on cancers. Each cancer requires different treatments. Each has different causes. And because every cancer is different you really can’t talk about a one-size-fits-all approach. What is needed is personalized care. Continue Reading »
By Tom Rosamilia
Fifteen years ago IBM did what must have seemed to some people like the unthinkable. We started shipping mainframe computers running Linux, the open source operating system.
It was a major step forward for the open software movement, and, for IBM, it marked a significant expansion for the mainframe–helping to establish it as a backbone of the digital economy.
Today, we’re launching another major advance. IBM is going all-in for open software on the mainframe, which is now called z Systems.
This expansion strategy has many moving parts, but the key thing is that it provides entrepreneurs and businesses that are building the future of computing with a powerful, secure and flexible platform for developing and running cloud services and mobile apps.