By Dr. John Kelly III
World leaders from business, government and the non-profit sector are gathering this week in Nairobi, Kenya, for Global Entrepreneur Summit 2015, the first such summit to be held in sub-Saharan Africa. So it’s a good time to explore the potential for Africa and Africans to take advantage of the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to propel the continent forward.
IBM is committed to helping Africa fulfill it’s promise by providing information technologies to help address the continent’s challenges, through research collaborations with companies and universities, and by helping to foster innovation ecosystems in a number of cities. Continue Reading »
By Jamie Smith and Sky Matthews
Organizations in the industrial sector – energy, water utilities, oil & gas, manufacturing, mining and transportation – have a lot of pre-existing equipment that isn’t instrumented. Truth be told, the equipment is just old. According to a Wall Street Journal article citing Morgan Stanley, most of the industrial machinery in use is at least 10 years old. Not since 1938 have North American factories worked with such out-of-date equipment.
Industries with aging infrastructure but increasing demands need better monitoring and predictive technology. To address this challenge, IBM and National Instruments (NI) are teaming up to create an industrial Internet of Things testbed – a cloud-based platform that lets organizations better monitor and manage the health and performance of any connected device, machine or industrial equipment. Continue Reading »
By Hendrik Hamann
Five years ago, a few of my IBM Research colleagues and I played a hunch. Large-scale solar power was taking off, but we realized that for solar to fulfill its potential for helping to produce a more sustainable energy future, it would have to be integrated into electrical grids. For that to work, you would have to know ahead to time how much solar power would be generated when and where. That realization spawned our solar forecasting research project.
Today, we have shown that we can generate accurate forecasts of solar energy (from minutes ahead to many days ahead), which in turn can have a significant impact on the energy business – and on the future of sustainable energy. Our preliminary findings, including a test conducted at ISO-New England, the grid operator serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, show that our system can be 30 percent more accurate than other state-of-the-art approaches. Continue Reading »
By Evans Kidero
Next week, Nairobi will host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), attended by U.S. President Obama. This will be the first time that the GES takes places in sub-Saharan Africa bringing together emerging entrepreneurs and leaders from government, private companies and international organizations from across Africa and around the world.
This is a proud moment for Nairobi and for me as its first governor. This city, which started out as a railway depot more than a century ago, today accounts for nearly 50 percent of Kenya’s formal employment and generates more than half of the country’s GDP.
Nairobi is now recognized as a trailblazer in Africa for its efforts to modernize its economy and city services. Our thriving tech scene is seen as a leader on the continent, giving rise to Kenya’s “Silicon Savannah” moniker and the strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that we are becoming recognized for globally. Continue Reading »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »