IBM Midwest Key Enterprise, Startup and Academic Leaders December 2015 Cognitive Computing Update: CNNMoney New Watson Internet of Things (IOT) Global Headquarters, IBM Research The Cognitive Era, Your Cognitive Future Industry Perspectives, 2016 Chicago Bluemix Cloud Computing Meetups Scheduled

Greetings! If you joined us for some holiday fun and attended the Star Wars Premiere in Chicago or if you saw it at a different time with other family and friends I hope you enjoyed the movie as much as we did at the premiere.   As we look at the Force it focuses on the power of the mind which lead to today’s topic of cognitive computing.   Cognitive computing uses collective intelligence as well as key additional data that is not being utilized today.   Most of us use collective tools everyday to perform a task in a more optimum manner than we did as recently as 5 years ago.

I know how to get to downtown Chicago but tools provide additional information on new roads, construction site delays and accidents giving me options to stay on my standard route or select options as they become available to aid me in reaching my end point at my targeted time and then the all important tool to locate an open parking space.   It also tells me I need to leave at a certain time to make the start time on my calendar. Cognitive computing can enable doctors to analyze my files when looking at my health history (not just the data points I remember), ingest all the financial data when making decisions instead of replying on intuition, locate security anthologies in vast amount of data to identify and fix breaches and the active lane keeping assist are a few examples of why cognitive computing is the hot topic.   Let’s begin…

CNNMoney: IBM Opens Watson IoT Global Headquarters, Extends Power of Cognitive Computing to a Connected World

The investment of this “campus environment will bring together 1000 IBM developers, consultants, researchers and designers” in Europe on Internet of Things (IOT) technologies. “Munich, Germany will serve as the global headquarters for its new Watson IoT unit, as well as its first European Watson innovation center.” As we continue to see the power of the cognitive computing especially with device sensors that we have not yet begun to leverage this announcement and convergence of resources around this key area is a great lead into IOT for the future.

“There are more than 9 billion connected devices operating in the world today, generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily. Making sense of data embedded in intelligent devices is creating a significant market opportunity that is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2020. Yet without a proper infrastructure in place to analyze all of this data in real-time, its value is minimal.  Cognitive systems help overcome this challenge –learning at scale, reasoning with purpose, and interacting with humans naturally. In March 2015, IBM announced that it intended to invest more than $3 billion to address the needs of clients that are looking to capitalize on the increasing instrumentation and interconnectedness of the world driven by the Internet of Things.”

Frequently when talking about IBM and technology, the question is why did IBM buy the assets of the The Weather Company. This article starts to give insights into that business move. “Building on the investment, in October the company revealed plans to acquire the B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties of The Weather Channel. Upon completion, the combination of advanced cloud, analytics and security technologies and deep industry expertise is expected to serve as the foundation for the Watson IoT Cloud Platform as well as new services and offerings.”

The Cognitive Era

This link provides insights on what cognitive computing is today, how it has evolved to what is being defined as cognitive computing along with providing a short paper with two videos and if you are interested the link provides another 16 short videos on this topic driven through IBM Research and collaboration with universities and other key leaders in this area.

“By any measure, 2015 has been a landmark year for the discussion around artificial intelligence and its potential impact on business and society. Be part of the conversation as we explore a fascinating and diverse set of issues related to the powerful cognitive technologies that are emerging to augment human capacity and understanding.

IBM Research announced plans for a multi-year collaboration with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to pioneer new frontiers in the scientific field of immersive cognitive systems. The research collaboration will be housed in the newly established Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab at RPI’s Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. Read a complete recap of the day’s events, keynotes, and panel discussions, here.”

by Dr. John Kelly, Senior Vice President, Solutions Portfolio and Research, IBM

Host and Mashable Senior Editor Heidi Moore, with Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Dr. John Kelly, Senior Vice President, Solutions Portfolio and Research, IBM

IBM Institute for Business Value: Your Cognitive Future Industry Perspectives

Initially I tried to narrow this down to one industry on cognitive computing but decided that would be too limiting. By providing this link everyone can see specific industry studies as well as how the resources from one industry would be applicable in other industries to address a different set of issues. Here are the free studies and plans for additional studies, as referenced below, to be added shortly:

Download the industry reports

Banking and financial markets: Breakthrough banking (1.27MB)

Communications: Dialing in a new frequency

Government: Mission: Possible! (1.21MB)

Healthcare: A booster shot for health and wellness (225KB)

Insurance: Understanding customers and risk (249KB)

Look for upcoming reports on the opportunities that cognitive computing offers other industries:

  • Retail
  • Life sciences
  • Consumer products
  • Chemicals and petroleum

IBM Bluemix Cloud Computing & Internet of Things Resources Beginning With Sensors (a key basis for cognitive computing advancements)

Not sure how to begin, this link provides the first steps for new users to play as well as the advanced tools for the more advanced IOT experts to use the cloud and the IBM cognitive computing resources. Need more guidance on how to create in the cloud, try out this link: Here is a snapshot from this link to show it is a easy as 1, 2, 3 to get started:

Upcoming Chicago Bluemix Cloud Computing Meetups

As co-organizer of the Upcoming Chicago Bluemix Cloud Computing meetup, I encourage you to attend the Free business and technical meetup discussions on how to leverage cloud computing with hands on labs for attendees with business and technical expertise to lead the discussions and labs. Here are the meetups currently scheduled:


Harnessing the Power of Telematics with the Cloud Thursday, January 14, 2016 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

TeMeDa President and CTO Stew Skomra will be the guest speaker sharing his experiences working in Telematics – the monitoring and management of remote fixed and mobile assets using GPS tracking and wireless data services.

Using the Cloud to Improve Elderly Care Tuesday, January 19, 2016 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

Luna Lights CEO Donovan Morrison will introduce attendees to the solution that uses predictive analytics leveraging a cloud platform to help prevent and improve responsiveness to night-time falls.

Internet of Things (IOT) in the Cloud & Why Industries Care Wednesday, February 17, 2016 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

With all the discussion around Internet of Things (IOT) this meetup will focus on what IOT is, how it is different than using sensor technology in the past and walk-thrus with examples of how it is done. This meetup will focus on the business needs and a follow-up meetup will be for the developers to get hands on in the cloud as a foundation to develop the applications.

We have had fun at the Star Wars Premiere with a quick look at what some businesses are doing with the IBM Bluemix Cloud on December 18th(before the light sabers were un-leashed!). The summary of the new IOT announcement with Munich shows exciting plans for IOT in 2016. The link on the Cognitive Computing Era from IBM Research gives a view from IBM resource and university leaders on why this is an important era. The assets from IBM’s Institute for Business Value highlights why businesses are having these discussions at the most senior levels. The IBM Bluemix Cloud provides an environment for everyone to wade into the IOT space.

In 2016 the meetups will have a business leader as the speaker to be followed by a lab so we can combine the business and technology education. Uncover the business opportunity, build the skills to deliver and the opportunities will begin/continue to take shape.   In 2016 we will continue the fun and the advances that are being made possible now that cognitive computing is here and I have to say it, “May the Force Be With You!”


Twitter: @vscarbro, LinkedIn: Valinda Kennedy


IBM Chicago City Team and Events:

IBM Chicago Cloud (Free 30 days):

IBM Chicago Entrepreneur Cloud for Startups (Free up to 120K):

IBM Academic Initiative for Cloud:


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