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Analytics & Data Business Society

Endless Questions on AI at a Techonomy Dinner

How big an impact will artificial intelligence have on business and society? Should we fear it? What will it mean for jobs? At a recent Techonomy salon dinner discussion on AI, top leaders from Accenture, IBM, SAP, and Verizon, among others, gave some fascinating answers.   More

Finance

The Key to Blockchain Adoption: Make It Cheaper

Blockchain—the technology behind (or interwoven with) BitCoin—is the main story. The "cryptocurrency" is almost a distraction, a sideshow to the real deal. Blockchain is a public ledger, a record against which anyone can see whether a transaction contained therein is valid. The applications may be mind-boggling.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy

China Targets IBM in Foreign Tech Crackdown

The latest reports that Beijing is pressuring Chinese banks to stop using high-end servers from computing giant IBM don’t come as a huge surprise, amid escalating tensions between China and the U.S. over cyber spying. This particular development is just the latest in a series of similar moves that dates back to last year, when Beijing began quietly pressuring many big state-run firms to stop using U.S. tech products following revelations from the Edward Snowden cyber-spying scandal. The ironic element of Beijing’s anti-foreign tech campaign is that it could actually make the nation’s technology networks and systems even more vulnerable to spying, since most domestic products are far less sophisticated than their foreign counterparts.   More

Analytics & Data Bio & Life Sciences

How IBM’s Watson Will Advise Oncologists on Patient Care

Scientists at the New York Genome Center announced Wednesday that they would collaborate with IBM to test "a unique Watson prototype designed specifically for genomic research" that has been under development for the past decade in IBM’s Computational Biology Center at IBM Research. Will oncologists trust IBM Watson's cognitive abilities enough to rely on it as an advisor? It's likely they will if the supercomputer proves it can produce in seconds actionable information about an individual's cancer that would take a dozen doctors weeks or months to discover.   More

Business

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty at Mobile World Congress

It is an exciting time, it is a disruptive time. So says the CEO of IBM, who believes “everyone in every industry” will be affected by today’s changing tech industry. Ginni Rometty appeared onstage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday, marking the first time for a CEO of IBM to attend the world’s largest mobile exhibition and conference. In her keynote, hosted by Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick, Rometty discussed the main shifts taking place in today’s enterprise ecosystem, identifying three important trends: data, cloud, and engagement.   More

Security & Privacy

Ray Kelly’s Tech-Centric War on NY Crime

In the waning days of Bloomberg's New York, I threaded my way past multiple checkpoints and up a private elevator in Police headquarters to visit Ray Kelly, who leaves office December 31 along with the mayor. I wanted to understand how he'd used tech during his 12 years as Commissioner of Police, during which city crime dropped 40%. "When the administration came in, this department was the world's largest user of carbon paper and whiteout," is the first thing Kelly said. His apocryphal claim foreshadowed the rest of the interview.   More

Business Global Tech

Lenovo, Huawei Both Eye BlackBerry; Lenovo Could Buy It

As we get bombarded with a slew of quarterly reports from the likes of NetEase and Tencent about their health in the present, I want to turn my attention to the future with a look at an interesting report on potential Chinese suitors for tumbling smartphone maker BlackBerry. The report that caught my attention mentions PC giant Lenovo and telecoms equipment maker Huawei as two leading candidates to buy BlackBerry, which formally put itself up for sale earlier this week.   More

Internet of Things

How to Take the Internet of Everything Mainsteam

The big challenge ahead for the Internet of Everything (IoE) is to bring it to the mainstream—and a couple of keys to that transition are the proliferation of smart phones and wearable devices, said a panel of technologists and investors at the Techonomy Lab: Man, Machines, and the Network conference on Thursday in Menlo Park, CA. “For generations, Hollywood taught us what mainstream was, and now Silicon Valley is showing what mainstrem will be,” said Frank Chen of Andreessen Horowitz. The IoE will do that by bringing computing and programming into everyday intimate life.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

Do We Get Sick Like Rats? A New Philip Morris Prize Asks the Crowd

It might be surprising to hear a tobacco giant described as a tech innovator. But Philip Morris researchers are pioneering new territory with a crowdsourced approach to checking the accuracy of life sciences data. In partnership with computational biologists at IBM’s Watson Research Center, Philip Morris's so-called sbv IMPROVER project creates open challenges to encourage scientists to augment traditional peer reviews of research data. On Monday, Philip Morris launched its Species Translation Challenge, which will award three $20,000 prizes to teams whose results best define how well rodent tests can predict human outcomes.   More

Internet of Things

Everything Changes with the Internet of Everything

If you get lost, your sneakers could help find you. The coming age of the Internet of everything promises radical shifts in how we live, how we solve problems, and how we recover from difficulty. The technology industry is racing to instrument and connect a vast range of things and processes in the physical and digital worlds. Several big companies have identified it as a giant opportunity—Amazon, Cisco, Ericsson, GE, IBM, and Qualcomm among them. They all believe that what many call the Internet of everything (or IoE) could have an even bigger impact on the world than the Internet we had on the world that preceded it.   More

Business

Why Summly Matters: Software Will Become Your Research Assistant

When a company like Yahoo buys a web widget company for a few tens of millions, nobody usually pays much attention. This week, however, Yahoo’s purchase of Summly is making international headlines, but for all the wrong reasons—reasons that entirely miss why Summly is exciting. Most of the stories focus on the fact that Summly’s CEO, Nick D'Aloisio, is 17 years old, and sold the company for as much as $30 million. Other than stirring feelings of tremendous inadequacy in most of us, that story will get boring in a few days.   More

Jobs Opinion

The Real Key to Innovation: A Great Place to Work

In the echo chamber of discussion since Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer ordered her employees to end telecommuting and move back into the office, there’s been a general consensus that telecommuting may make employees happier, but it’s not always good for the company or—especially—innovation at a company.   More

Jobs Opinion

How Technology Has Failed Remote Workers

A 94-second Walter Cronkite video from 1967 has been making its way around Facebook and Twitter. Cronkite stands by a desk bristling with a half-dozen computer-ish devices and talks about the “home office of the twenty-first century.” We’ll be connected by video. It will almost match being in the office. “We may not have to go to work—work will come to us,” the newsman tells us. Well—here we are, still waiting. The home office experience doesn’t replicate the actual office experience. Like flying cars and refrigerators that order more milk on their own, the technology has so far failed to meet the vision.   More

Security & Privacy

Technology Helps Germany Reconstruct Its Painful History

The Stasi, the police arm of the East German government that crumbled in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall, attempted to destroy millions of documents chronicling decades of spying on its own citizens. While many of the files are unrecoverable, Germans still want to know as much as much as they can about what they contained—over 70,000 have applied for access to the Stasi archives, prompting an effort to reconstruct shredded files. As reported by NPR's Philip Reeves, the German government is using technology to piece together the remnants, many of which were torn by hand in the last panicked days of the East German regime.   More