“In Africa, it’s not a matter of taking a slice of the pie. You have to help make the pie first.”—Quote by Anthony Mwai, general manager of IBM East Africa found in Smarter Planet blog post by Steve Hamm "IBM Brings its Smarter Planet Agenda to Africa"
The University of Maryland School of Medicine is helping to educate a new student: a computer that gained fame on the TV quiz show, “Jeopardy.”
n mid-February, Watson, an IBM computer capable of answering verbal questions posed in natural language, appeared on “Jeopardy” and defeated champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
Now, the University of Maryland medical school has joined IBM, software developer Nuance and Columbia University Medical Center to apply Watson’s technology to medicine.
The University of Maryland secured a grant from IBM for initial development about one year ago, said Dr. Eliot Siegel, professor and vice chairman of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology. The university is suggesting medical literature for Watson to “learn” and is teaching it about unusual cases dealing with rare diseases or unexpected symptoms.
The hope, say those involved with the project, is that doctors could eventually use it in hospitals to assist with diagnoses or to answer verbal questions - elevating it beyond the more typical reference tool that computers have served as in the past.
According to research firm IDC, the global mobile phone market ballooned in the first quarter of this year, growing 19.8 percent year-over-year, mostly due to the meteoric rise of smartphone shipments, especially in emerging markets. According to the firm’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 371.8 million units in Q1 2011 compared to 310.5 million units in the first quarter of 2010.
IDC posits that smartphone growth worldwide, particularly in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan, due to the impact of the earthquake and tsunami), Middle East, Africa and Latin America, helped lift the overall market to a record first-quarter high.
Topic: Companies increasingly need to transform functions from operations to customer care via new digital techniques and technologies. But can they do this fast enough, and far enough, to keep pace with the growing power of their connected customers?
Ragna Bell - (moderator) IBM Institute for Business Value, Strategy & Transformation Leader
“Imagine a world where no one ever gets stuck in traffic — where cars have built-in sensors that can predict where and when future accidents will occur, keeping commuters out of harm’s way. That’s never going to happen. But IBM, Caltrans, and the University of California at Berkeley are working on the next best thing: personalized commuter forecasts that analyze the traffic on individual routes, warn drivers of the rush-hour madness to come before they leave the house, and suggest new travel plans (including alternative forms of transportation).”
The agreement between Congress and the White House to virtually eliminate money for high-speed rail is harebrained. France, China, Brazil, even Russia, understand that high-speed rail is central to future development. Not Washington.
There is no moral impetus to radically change transportation in the US. The transition will not happen until the price tag for updating the existing road infrastructure mounts, because so much maintenance is being deferred. At some future date it will be cheaper to build high speed rail than to increase highways. Until then, forget it.
Cities are trying to tap into information generated by mobile phones, but that approach threatens to leave poor people behind.
Citizens are becoming the source of a lot of information that helps cities improve how they provide public services. For example, Boston just unveiled an iPhone app that uses the device’s accelerometer to detect possible potholes in city roads. Housing officials in South Africa use information from mobile phones to track conditions in temporary settlements. But although these technologies can help direct officials’ attention to problems they need to address, designing government initiatives around them could fail to account for the people who lack the latest devices.
“Customers use social networks, mobile devices, Web sites and influencers to make buying decisions today. These businesses must connect to these customers where and how they prefer to buy to be successful. At the same time, they need to make sure they have the means of effectively managing their supplier and trading partner network to ensure they have the products at the right time and place to meet this new customer demand.”—Quote from Craig Hayman, General Manager, IBM Industry Solutions, found at IBM Unveils Smarter Commerce Software and Services Offerings
For more than a decade, I.B.M. has delivered gains in earnings per share of more than 10 percent, while revenue has increased about 3 percent a year.
Cost cutting and share buybacks are part of the answer, analysts say, but so is the steady move into higher-margin businesses and new markets. These include applying research and computing to help governments tackle challenges like traffic management, water conservation and energy use. Last week, for example, I.B.M. announced a deal with the California Department of Transportation to build systems for predicting and managing traffic.
“Unlike existing traffic-alert solutions, we’re helping take the guesswork out of commuting. By actively capturing and analyzing the massive amount of data already being collected, we’re blending the automated learning of travel routes with state-of-the-art traffic prediction of those routes, to give travelers timely information that can help them make decisions about the best way to get to their destination.”—
A new European project enables high effective networking based on cheap wireless sensors in a wide range of business applications — from more comfortable and energy-efficient environmental controls to precision monitoring of agricultural resources.