Archive for the ‘IBM’ Category

IBM Helping Women Re-Enter the Tech World

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Fifty-two percent of women in science, tech, engineering and math quit their jobs mid-career. This happens for a variety of reasons, ranging from workplace culture to family responsibilities.

A new IBM program is helping to bring them back by restoring lost confidence and teaching new job skills.

The IBM Tech Re-Entry Program is a challenging 12-week internship for experienced technologists who are returning to work after an extended time away. Interns get the chance to work on high-level projects with a senior-level mentor.

In an interview with CNET, Jennifer Howland, executive of IBM’s Pathways Program, said the program helps make women returning to the tech world more employable.

“Most employers don’t look kindly on the fact that someone has not been doing work and someone has taken a career break for 15 to 20 years,” she said.

IBM isn’t the first company to help bring women back into the fold. Several companies in the financial sector—like Goldman Sachs, MetLife, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley—have rolled out similar programs.

World First: IBM Researchers Store Data On a Single Atom

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

IBM researchers have read and written data to a magnet consisting of just one atom for the first time ever. The company’s research results, published in Nature, prove that “the experiment truly creates a lasting, stored magnetic state in a single atom that can be detected indirectly,” TechCrunch reports.

“Magnetic bits lie at the heart of hard-disk drives, tape and next-generation magnetic memory,” said Christopher Lutz, lead nanoscience researcher at IBM Research Almaden in San Jose, California.

“We conducted this research to understand what happens when you shrink technology down to the most fundamental extreme — the atomic scale.”

Although right now the product is pure research, the density of atomic-level storage could substantially alter our relationship with data.

You can already fit your entire music library onto a storage device the size of a penny. IBM’s technique would allow you to fit 26 million songs — Apple’s entire music catalog — onto the same area.

In the future, this development could have significant implications for everything from personal devices and business records to artificial intelligence.

Innovator Insights from the #BCTech Summit

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Lots of amazing things happen when you pack 5,000 people in a conference hall to talk about technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

This week the #BCTech Summit took over Vancouver to celebrate the province’s exploding tech sector and the timing couldn’t have been better. The Global Startup Ecosystem Report named Vancouver Canada’s leading tech startup ecosystem — surpassing Toronto and Waterloo.

Here are some of the top trends and our favourite moments from innovators we spoke to:

Advice from a 13-year-old developer:

How one of the largest mobile handset makers in the world is driving Canadian tech R&D:

BC’s opportunity to become the #cleantech capital of the world:

How blockchain is transforming banks:

But for the blockchain ecosystem to be truly disruptive, it needs more developers:

And one of the most amazing stories we heard centered around IBM Watson’s role in cancer treatment:

IBM and Maersk Team Up to Bring Blockchain Tech to the Shipping Industry

Monday, March 13th, 2017

In the shipping industry, where a single container can go through dozens of people and organizations, effective record-keeping is crucial. IBM and Maersk are now collaborating to help shipping companies manage their massive paper trail with blockchain. Digitizing the shipping records process using blockchain technology is a move that could increase transparency and security in record-keeping, and potentially save the industry billions of dollars.

Several trading partners, government authorities and logistics companies are participating in the pilot, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“We believe that this new supply chain solution will be a transformative technology with the potential to completely disrupt and change the way global trade is done,” said Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, Industry Platforms, IBM.

IBM and Maersk expect to have the industry-wide system available later this year.

Northern Trust and IBM Team Up to Bring Blockchain to the Financial Sector

Monday, March 6th, 2017

In the first commercial implementation of blockchain technology for the private equity market, Northern Trust has collaborated with IBM to solve the problem of increasing transparency, efficiency and security in private equity administration.

The solution, a security-rich blockchain-based system, provides real-time insight to all parties, and has been designed to follow local regulations. It’s currently being used for administration of Geneva, Switzerland-based Unigestion, an asset manager with $20 billion in assets under management.

The private equity field has been historically slow to innovate, and both parties are confident that this collaborative solution will be a breakthrough. “Blockchain is an ideal technology to bring innovation to the private equity market,” says Bridget Van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Industry Platforms.

“This is an important first step to connecting participants much more effectively, including investors, managers, administrators, regulators, advisors, and auditors,” says Justin Chapman, global head of market advocacy and research at Northern Trust.

Treating regulators as partners is an essential part of innovating in this sector. Over at the THINK blog, IBM VP and Global Partner Financial Markets Kevin Pleiter offers insights on how this collaboration has the potential to transform the industry.

IBM Machine Learning Puts Watson’s Analytics Power Where the Data Lives

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

With the ability to process up to 2.5 billion transactions per day, IBM z Systems mainframes are data-generating powerhouses: that’s why they’re favoured by large-scale enterprises. But massive quantities of data without intelligent analysis is the equivalent of speed without control.

Until now, companies that wanted to leverage the powerful analytics of IBM Watson had to first make the decision to move their data off-premise. Now, with IBM’s Machine Learning Platform, that compromise has been eliminated: all the necessary resources reside in the private cloud.

With IBM Machine Learning, data scientists can automate the creation, training, and deployment of operational analytic models that will support:

  • Any language (e.g., Scala, Java, Python)
  • Popular Machine Learning frameworks such as  Apache SparkML, TensorFlow, and H2O
  • Any transactional data type

Gone is the cost, latency, and any risk of moving data off-premise.

H&R Block and IBM Watson Team Up to Take On Tax Season

Monday, February 6th, 2017

From healthcare to education, IBM Watson is helping to shape the future of many data-rich industries.

Now, in partnership with H&R Block, the cloud-based cognitive computing system will bring its capabilities to a process that affects almost everyone—the tax preparation process.

With over 74,000 pages and thousands of yearly changes, the tax code contains a massive amount of data.

In the first phase of collaboration, IBM experts worked with H&R Block tax preparers to teach Watson the language of the tax code, and will use AI technology to draw connections between this data and the client’s statements, helping to deliver the best outcome for each individual return.

“By combining the human expertise, knowledge and judgment of our tax professionals with the cutting-edge cognitive computing power of Watson, we are creating a future where our clients will benefit from an enhanced experience and our tax pros will have the latest technology to help them ensure every deduction and credit is found,” said Bill Cobb, H&R Block’s president and chief executive officer.

H&R Block’s new proprietary client experience with Watson will be available at H&R Block retail locations beginning February 5.

Watch this video for visual insights into this exciting collaboration:

IBM’s Ginni Rometty Calls for Transparency and Ethics in AI

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Artificial intelligence has entered the mainstream. With the powerful technology beginning to show up in everything from toasters to cars, people and organizations alike are growing concerned that there may not be enough oversight to prevent AI from becoming a threat to jobs and privacy.

IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty, is well-aware of these concerns. At a talk reported on by ZDNet, Rometty noted that, “Cognitive systems will not realistically attain consciousness or independent agency.”

Still, IBM has created three core principles it will adhere to when it comes to AI, including:

  • Purpose: IBM’s development of AI is focused on “augmented human intelligence,” not artificial intelligence
  • Transparency: The company plans to publicize its AI work and the data it uses
  • Skills: IBM acknowledges that AI will create change and that deployments of the technology must consider the new skills that people will need

For more, read the full article on ZDNet.

IBM’s Innovators Broke the U.S. Patent Record in 2016

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Across agriculture, automotive, healthcare, and beyond, IBM’s inventors filed a record 8,088 patents in the U.S. in 2016, cementing the company’s top spot on the patent charts for the 24th year in a row.

For the record, that amounts to 22 patents granted each day.

More than 2,700 of these patents are related to cognitive computing, machine learning and the cloud – critical areas for the company behind Watson.

Of the over 8,000 patents, here are a few examples of what the IBM team came up with in ’16:

US Patent #9,447,448: A system to use drone vehicles to survey, analyze and measure microbial contaminations in farms and hospitals.

US Patent #9,384,661: A method of trip planning that accounts for your cognitive state. If you’re sleep-deprived or just stressed, it suggests a less road-rage inducing route.

US Patent #9,374,649: A smart hearing aid that adjusts to the user’s specific needs. For instance, it could be trained to amplify specific voices or crucial sounds, like a smoke alarm.

This push to innovation is only the beginning of what these new technologies will be doing in the enterprise space: watching makers use these patented technologies in exciting new ways is in the very near future.  

Watson Poised To Co-Pilot BMW’s New Driving Experience

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Cars are rapidly becoming one of the biggest components of the IoT. With their vast array of sensors and electronics, and inclusion of 4G data connectivity, they have become rolling data platforms.

Data can be sourced from a car’s mechanical components, such as brakes, transmission and engine, and also from the driver: seat position, mirror adjustments, steering wheel tilt, and so on. If analyzed, this data could lead to vast improvements in safety, comfort and performance.

That’s where IBM’s Watson comes in. “The driving experience will change more over the next decade than at any other time of the automobile’s existence,” said Harriet Green, Global Head of IBM’s Watson IoT business.

Thanks to the company’s new Watson IoT headquarters in Munich, IBM is now partnering with companies across all industries to explore how its cognitive platform can become the brains of the IoT. The first of these collaborations is with BMW. Four i8 Hybrid sports cars will serve as prototypes, enabling conversations in natural language between drivers and Watson on topics such as the weather, road conditions or even advice based on the car owner’s manual, which Watson has already memorized.

To learn more, click here.