Showing posts with label IBM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IBM. Show all posts

Oct 30, 2015

Weather Patterns

As we begin another change of season, the weather changes dramatically from day to day. Seems like many of us check the weather to see what to wear, should we take an umbrella, etc. The Weather Company owns the fourth-most used mobile app in the U.S., and their cloud handles 26 billion requests a day.

IBM just made a bid to buy the digital assets for a few billion dollars and will feed the info into Watson for even more analysis.  IBM said, "Weather is probably the single largest swing factor in business performance - it impacts 1/3 of the world's GDP and in the US alone; weather is responsible for about half a trillion dollars in impact." Next spring we might see a battle between Punxsutawney Phil and Watson.

Mar 6, 2015

IBM Watson Update

During the three years since the Jeopardy match on TV, Watson has become 24 times smarter and faster, improved performance by 2,400%, and is 90% smaller. IBM says it has shrunk Watson from the size of a master bedroom to the size of three stacked pizza boxes.

IBM says, "What we believe is happening right now, is that the amount of information being produced in the world is overrunning the ability of humans to consume it. When these kinds of things have happened in history, new tools emerged that helped humans deal with scale, such as in the industrial revolution." "I think as we look at knowledge-based professions today — health care, law, teaching — they're all being overrun with information. It's very difficult for people to keep up — and that leads inventors to come up with ways to help humans deal with that overload."

Aug 30, 2014

Super Computer TrueNorth

This month, August 2014, IBM unveiled "TrueNorth". It is the most advanced and powerful computer chip of its kind ever built. This neurosynaptic processor is the first to achieve one million individually programmable neurons, sixteen times more than the current largest neuromorphic chip. It is designed to mimic the structure of the human brain and is uniquely different from other computer architectures.

TrueNorth is the largest IBM chip ever fabricated, with 5.4 billion transistors at 28 nanometers (A human hair is approximately 80,000- 100,000 nanometers wide) and it consumes orders of magnitude less power than a typical modern processor. IBM hopes this combination of ultra-efficient power consumption and entirely new system architecture will allow computers to far more accurately emulate the brain.

TrueNorth is composed of 4,096 cores, with each of these modules integrating memory, computation and communication. The cores are able to continue operating when individual cores fail, similar to a biological system.

Apr 11, 2014

Twelve Patent Facts

On March 19, 1474, Venice passed the world’s earliest known law to grant and protect patents.
Around 50,000 patent applications were made from UK inventors in 2013. That is about one new British invention every 10 minutes.
The Japanese submit more than 470,000 a year.
US patents during 2013 464,573.
The second patent in England was for a monopoly on representing an image of the King.
The musical fly swatter was patented in the US in 1994. It played one tune when turned on and another when it hit something.
IBM has gained more patents than any other company in the US for the past 21 years.
US patent number 5528943, issued in 1996, was for a pregnant female crash test dummy.
Thomas Edison accumulated 2,332 patents worldwide for his inventions.
In 1998, the European patent office reported that the patent visitors most often wanted to see was one for sardine-flavored ice-cream. This was because nobody believed it until they saw it.
Abraham Lincoln was the only US president to hold a patent. It was for a device to lift boats over sandbanks.
There are 52,438 US patents for measuring and testing.

Feb 7, 2014

Moravec's Paradox

Hans Moravec, adjunct faculty member at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, pointed out that machine technology mimicked a savant infant. Machines can do long math equations instantly and beat humans in chess, but they can't answer a simple question or walk up a flight of stairs (until recently). He, along with many others has been working to solve that paradox and help computers evolve on their own.

Early artificial intelligence (AI) researchers believed intelligence was characterized as the things that highly educated scientists found challenging, such as chess, symbolic integration, and solving complicated word algebra problems. They thought, if those could be done so easily by computers, things that children of four or five years could do effortlessly, such as visually distinguishing between a coffee cup and a chair, or walking around on two legs, or responding to words would be infinitely easier for computers to learn.

Computers/robots are finally beginning to move and think like people. Narrative Science can write earnings summaries that are indistinguishable from wire reports. We can ask our phones, 'I'm lost, help.' and our phones can tell us how to get home. (The smartphone was introduced in 2007, just seven years ago.)

Computers that can drive cars were never supposed to happen and ten years ago, many engineers said it was impossible. Navigating a crowded street requires a combination of spacial awareness, soft focus, and constant anticipation. Yet, today we have Google's self-driving cars and they have been approved by some states as allowable on city streets. Ten years from impossible to common.

IBM, working with Memorial Sloan-Kettering cancer information is using its computers to diagnose diseases and the Cleveland Clinic to help train aspiring physicians. It just invested a billion dollars to set up 'Watson' into a separate business unit for medical and other complex decision making activities.

Bottom line, we are experiencing solutions to the paradox and it is very exciting, although I am not sure machines will ever replace the following or that we will ever want to.

May 14, 2013

Interesting Internet Tidbits

According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more information now crosses the Internet every second than the entire Internet stored 20 years ago. It says, every hour Wal-Mart Stores Inc. collects 50 million filing cabinets' worth of information from its dealings with customers.

Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, process data, and run applications, rather than a local device. The services usually charge monthly fees.

Microsoft has unveiled a system that can translate what you say into Mandarin and play it back in your voice.

The Google Now personal assistant can tell you if there's a traffic jam on your regular route home and suggest an alternative.

Apple's Siri can reschedule an appointment.

IBM's Watson supercomputer can field an awkwardly worded question, figure out what you are trying to ask, and retrieve the answer for you.

Oct 9, 2012

Smaller is Better

Here’s a challenge: envision a trillionth of something. You might think of one penny compared to 10 billion dollars.

Now you can add one more thing to the list, thanks to researchers in Zurich: a picometer, or a trillionth of a meter, is around the smallest distance that humans can resolve with a microscope. A team from IBM has refined their method to precisely measure the structural details of a single molecule. That is  3 picometers or 0.000000000003 meters. That’s one-hundredth the diameter of an atom.

Apr 6, 2012

Watson and Cancer

Not quite robot technology, but IBM and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center are adding the latest in oncology research, and the hospital's accumulated experience to Watson's vast knowledge base, and keep updating it. They said the result should help the hospital diagnose and treat cancer more quickly, accurately, and personally. "The capabilities are enormous," said Dr. Larry Norton, deputy chief for breast cancer programs at Sloan-Kettering. "And unlike my medical students, Watson doesn't forget anything."

If successful, the finished product could be used anywhere in the world to aid cancer treatment.

Watson won fame by beating the world's best "Jeopardy!" players. Last year Watson also began work for the health insurer Wellpoint Inc.

Jan 31, 2012

Elementary My Dear Watson

IBM's Watson supercomputer, like the one that was used on the TV Show Jeopardy, will be used to evaluate cancer treatment options for Wellpoint, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's largest health plan. It will be used as an adviser for oncologists at Cedars-Sinai's Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute in Los Angeles.

Cedars-Sinai's historical data about cancer, as well as its current clinical records, will be fed into a version of Watson that will reside at WellPoint's headquarters in Indianapolis. WellPoint will work with Cedars-Sinai physicians to design and develop applications that will help doctors prescribe specific treatments for patients.

Aug 13, 2011

IBM PC Anniversary

Today in 1981, IBM introduced the Model 5150 PC (personal computer). The IBM PC ran on the Intel 8088 microprocessor at 4.77 mHz with one or two 160K floppy disk drives. It had 16 kilobytes of memory, no built-in clock, no built-in serial or parallel ports, and no built-in video capability -- it was available with an optional color monitor. Prices started at $1,565. Thirty years ago it forever changed the face of computing and the changes keep coming.

Sep 3, 2009

Seeing Molecules

Scientists at IBM Research in Zurich have, for the first time, made an atomic-scale resolution image of a single molecule, the hydrocarbon pentacene.

Atomic-force microscopy works by scanning a surface with a tiny cantilever whose tip comes to a sharp nanoscale point. As it scans, the cantilever bounces up and down, and data from these movements is compiled to generate a picture of that surface. These microscopes can be used to "see" features much smaller than those visible under light microscopes, whose resolution is limited by the properties of light itself. Atomic-force microscopy literally has atom-scale resolution.

Until now it hasn't been possible to use it to look with atomic resolution at single molecules. Researchers overcame this problem by first using the microscope tip to pick up a single molecule of carbon monoxide, which they used to make an image of pentacene. They hope that looking this closely at single molecules will give them a better understanding of chemical reactions and catalysis at an unprecedented level of detail.

Jun 8, 2009

Speak to Me

IBM has developed a computer application called Watson that will play Jeopardy!, the popular TV trivia game show, against human contestants. Demonstrations of the system are expected this year, with a final televised matchup, hosted by Alex Trebek, sometime next year. Questions will be spoken aloud by Trebek, but fed into the machine in text format during the show.

The company has not yet published any research papers describing how its system will tackle Jeopardy!-style questions. IBM's end goal is a system that it can sell to its corporate customers who need to make large quantities of information more accessible.