New technologies are already changing the way we live and work – and there’s more to come. Mark Davison learnt more at IBM’s Think conference in San Francisco.


Digital Transformation .. now for Chapter 2

There was standing room only in Moscone West conference centre for IBM chairman, president and CEO, Ginni Rometty’s keynote address – and at multiple other venues around San Francisco, including the Metreon cinema complex, the Yerba Buena Centre and a block of Howard Street called Think Park where it was beamed live via satellite.

And the ever-popular executive had noticed the snaking queue around Moscone on her way to the venue. “Wow!” she exclaimed as she took to the stage. “I don’t know whether to apologise to you, or to thank you. Nobody could be more excited to be here than me. It’s probably the closest I’ve ever got to an iPhone launch.”

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10 out of 10 for 5 in 5

One of the most popular sessions at IBM’s Think conferences is the annual 5 in 5 predictions at its Science Slam – and this year’s event proved to be no exception.

The brainchild of senior vice-president of Cloud and Cognitive Software, Arvind Krishna, the 5 in 5 concept is that five IBM scientists and inventors have five minutes to present their research on technology they think is going to change the world within the next five years.

At this year’s 5 in 5, it came as no great surprise that at the top of IBM Research scientists’ minds is food security and safety, and recycling. They are topics that are seldom out of the news nowadays as the human race starts to realise just how fragile our existence is.

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New Accelerator drives faster machine learning training

It is a message that has been driven home constantly, almost mantra-like, at this year’s Think: There can be no AI (artificial intelligence) without IA (information architecture).

And, says Sumit Gupta, vice-president: HPC, AI and machine learning at IBM Cognitive Systems, enterprise leaders looking to drive business value from AI require an infrastructure composed of AI-optimised hardware and software that breaks performance barriers while also delivering AI insights when, and where, they want them.

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IBM makes Watson available anywhere

In line with what chairman, president and CEO Ginni Rometty said in her keynote about the world now moving into Chapter 2 of digital transformation, IBM is making its AI technology Watson available anywhere and on any cloud.

Watson Anywhere is designed to help businesses deploy Watson AI wherever their data resides – public, private or on-premises, or cloud vendor – and to accelerate their move to Chapter 2.

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