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Building a Smarter Planet. A Smarter Planet Blog.


 
July, 11th 2015
8:00
 

Roman Vaculin, PhD, IBM Research staff member

Roman Vaculin, PhD, IBM Research staff member

by Roman Vaculin

Want to know how far Novac Djokovic ran in his second-round match against Jarkko Nieminen? IBM’s SlamTracker knows (1,647.9 meters). While SlamTracker keeps up with every bit of on-court action at Wimbledon, this year my team at IBM Research added analysis of what happens online, off the court – even what’s going to happen – as part of the All England Club’s digital experience.

Our analytics, which is part of the Wimbledon Social Command Center, now pulls in social media data and identifies in real-time the most engaging and influential voices around Wimbledon and tennis. And our predictive analytics, using keywords, hashtags, and other online sources, helps us understand the effectiveness and the topics of content fans find most interesting, and also helps the All England Lawn Tennis Club and Wimbledon content creators proactively, and effectively target their online communications. Continue Reading »

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Guru Banavar

Guru Banavar, VP, Cognitive Computing Research

By Guruduth Banavar

With thousands of scientists, engineers, and business leaders focused on cognitive computing across IBM Research and the IBM Watson Group, IBM is pursuing the most comprehensive effort in the tech industry to advance into the new era of computing. Nobody has more people on it, a broader array of research and development projects nor deeper expertise in so many of the most significant fields of inquiry.

Yet we understand that to accelerate progress in cognitive computing, we can’t do this alone. That’s why IBM has been pursuing a strategy of forming deep collaborative partnerships with academic scientists who are among the leaders in their fields as well as opening Watson as a technology platform for others to build on. Continue Reading »

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July, 10th 2015
13:42
 

Yoshua Bengio, Professor of Computer Science, University of Montreal

Yoshua Bengio, Professor of Computer Science,
University of Montreal

By Yoshua Bengio

Humans have long dreamed of creating machines that think. More than 100 years before the first programmable computer was built, inventors wondered whether devices made of rods and gears might become intelligent. And when Alan Turing, one of the pioneers of computing in the 1940s, set a goal for computer science, he described a test, later dubbed the Turing Test, which measured a computer’s performance against the behavior of humans.

In the early days of my academic field, artificial intelligence, scientists tackled problems that were difficult for humans but relatively easy for computers–such as large-scale mathematical calculations. In more recent years, we’re taking on tasks that are easy for people to perform but hard to describe to a machine–tasks humans solve “without thinking,” such as recognizing spoken words or faces in a crowd. Continue Reading »

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In the IBM fab.

In the SUNY NanoTech Complex fab.

By Mukesh Khare

It’s an important moment in the history of the electronics industry. Researchers from IBM Research, SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanotech Science + Engineering and partners including GlobalFoundries and Samsung have produced advances that will enable the semiconductor industry to pack about twice as many transistors on the chips that power everything from data-crunching servers to mobile devices.

Working together, we achieved an industry first–producing working test chips at New York’s SUNY NanoTech Complex near Albany whose smallest features approach 7 nanometers. As a result, the industry will be able to place more than 20 billion tiny switches on chips the size of a fingernail.

Continue Reading »

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Simone Ficarelli, head of external marketing at Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano

Simone Ficarelli, head of external marketing at Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano

Italians call Parmigiano Reggiano – or, simply, parmesan – the king of cheeses. Once a staple in the royal courts of Europe during the Renaissance, today it represents a $2.6 billion industry. To better satisfy growing global demand and improve quality, Parmigiano Reggiano producers have turned to data analytics. Using an IBM system, producers are tracking the production cycle and for the first time have a new real-time view of inventory. Simone Ficarelli of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano, which represents the 350 Italian dairies authorized to make the cheese, says the goal is to track the entire supply chain from the cow to store shelves to protect the brand and stand out amid a confusing cast of knock-offs. The Smarter Planet recently caught up with Ficarelli for more. Continue Reading »

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Komminist Weldemariam helping students at Nairobi’s Riara School with Watson Cognitive Tutor.

Komminist Weldemariam helping students at Nairobi’s Riara School with Watson Cognitive Tutor.

Komminist Weldemariam grew up in Arba Mich, a small town in Southwest Ethiopia. Even though he wouldn’t see his first computer until college, the future computer science PhD knew at the age of 11 that math and science, along with intuition, could solve problems. Today, after studying and teaching in cities all over the world for almost a decade, Weldemariam is back in Africa to apply cognitive computing to education. His work developing online learning systems at IBM Research-Africa’s lab in Nairobi, Kenya, recently led to him earning a Next Einstein Forum Fellowship. The Smarter Planet caught up with Weldemariam recently to talk about his education technology projects, like Watson Cognitive Tutor. Continue Reading »

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Prof. Lee Jackson, University of Calgary; Scientific Director, Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets

Prof. Lee Jackson, University of Calgary; Scientific Director, Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets

By Lee Jackson

As water travels through and across a watershed, its quantity and quality changes dramatically based on human activities and the things – usually chemicals – that we add to it.

Understanding the increasing pressures on watersheds has been the work of the Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA) and IBM Alberta Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS). The partnership, which just celebrated its 10 anniversary, brings together the latest data tools to tackle one of the biggest challenges in managing water – ensuring that people across the watershed have a fuller understanding of what is taking place. Continue Reading »

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Rick Relyea, left, director of the Jefferson Project at Lake George; and Harry Kolar, IBM Distinguished Engineer and associate director.

Rick Relyea, left, director of the Jefferson Project at Lake George; and Harry Kolar, IBM Distinguished Engineer and associate director.

By Harry Kolar

New York’s Lake George is a pristine, 32-mile-long lake in the Adirondack Mountains that is noted for its water quality and clarity. While the lake is very clean, it faces multiple anthropogenic threats, including road salt incursion and several invasive species.

The Jefferson Project at Lake George, a joint research collaboration involving Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research, and the FUND for Lake George, is focused on protecting the lake and helping address the world’s looming freshwater supply challenges.

The project involves more than 60 scientists around the world (four IBM Research labs are involved), including biologists, computer scientists, physicists, engineers and chemists. Working as a virtual team, we’re pushing the boundaries in Internet-of-Things sensors, data analytics, and modeling of complex natural systems. Continue Reading »

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Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary for Global Markets, U.S. Department of Commerce

Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary for Global Markets, U.S. Department of Commerce

By Arun Kumar

As a former entrepreneur and management consultant with deep roots in Silicon Valley, I understand from experience the importance of innovation to fostering economic growth and dynamism.

This week, I’m accompanying Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on a U.S. trade mission to Africa to assist U.S. companies with doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa.

During the past week, I have seen first-hand how the spirit of entrepreneurship is thriving across the region – from South Africa, to Mozambique, to Kenya where I am today. Dozens of tech hubs are popping up in African cities. Continue Reading »

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(Source: MagicEyes)

(Source: MagicEyes)

By David Sawatzky

A star athlete wearing a new brand of headphones during practice prompts millions of fans to go to a retailer’s website to buy them. A sleeper movie hit suddenly sparks sudden interest in the novel on which it was based. A young celebrity wears an affordable dress on the red carpet and creates a surge in orders.

While overnight sensations like these can be boons for business, they often catch suppliers and retailers off guard, especially online retailers.

Sudden influxes of online shoppers can, and do, bring down commerce sites – sometimes at the very moment the retailer is counting on big sales. The situation is untenable. Today’s websites look beautiful and feel seamless, but behind the state-of-art facade they are often interacting with applications that may have been developed decades ago. Continue Reading »

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