The Today and Tomorrow of Cognitive Computing from a Global View

The reach of cognitive computing with IBM is visible with KPMG and Hilton and Sesame Workshop and in the new collaboration between IBM and the University of Illinois for the next generation of platforms needed to power the cognitive computing world. The geographic use of cognitive computing globally is demonstrated by Cognitive Science and Technology: Decision Making for National Security and the IBM X-Force Security team summary of 2015 Breaches without Boarders. Cognitive computing is at our fingertips and changing our lives. The interest in cognitive computing is growing everyday and so is the technology.   Let’s begin….

IBM Watson CTO on What’s Ahead for Cognitive Computing April 7, 2016 by Nicole Hemsoth

With so much changing to have an opportunity to get direction from IBM Fellow, VP and CTO Watson Rob High on the future direction for IBM’s Cognitive Computing Watson that is the beginning for this update. A quote from the article gives insight into new areas planned for Watson for the industries where IBM already has a cognitive presence as well as for additional industries where ideas are being developed, ” This next stage of what he terms “emotional analysis” will add the critical human factor to AI, and will power one of IBM’s research efforts—Watson Robotics. Partnering on the robotics hardware side, the goal is to create robots that are tuned to the humans they are speaking with, to pick up on their emotions, and to use the vast knowledge base to provide personalized answers. In short, making Watson more human.”

rob high

Cognitive Science and Technology: Decision Making for National Security

As taught in Maslow’s hierarchy of need, safety is one of the fundamental needs we have as humans—immediately after food, shelter and clothing. Leveraging cognitive technology to improve and provide safety quickly becomes an area of interest because of the breath of risks and data that can be analyzed.     In reading the title of this section most would think is an article about the United States. Many outside of the United States have probably seen a title similar to this in their own press. Once you see the website address or click the link most are surprised to see this page and title is from the Sandia National Laboratories not America’s National Laboratories. The fact that our national laboratories across the globe are bringing together geographic and cross-geographies expertise to leverage cognitive computing for national security demonstrates the power of this platform.

The X-Force title for 2015 summaries the point perfectly, Breaches Without Boarders: 2015 Year in Review and here is the link to download the complete report:

The Era of Cognitive Mobile and IoT is Upon us by IDG Contributor Network Jesus Rodriguez CIO | Jan 15, 2016

As we move from national laboratories to the technology we carry around in the palm of our hand or on our wrist, the world of cognitive computing is fast making mobile and the Internet of Things the expected interface for cognitive computing. “Cognitive computing provides enterprise mobile solutions with interfaces for interacting with voice, video, and audio programmatically. Beyond the example of mobile digital assistants that everyone is familiar with, mobile cognitive computing is relevant in almost every industry. Imagine an insurance mobile app that allows clinical personnel to collect pictures and text to describe a medical condition and use cognitive APIs to analyze the data real time and provide recommendations of actions that should be taken. Similarly, in many verticals, such as construction or public safety, voice interfaces are a more natural way to interact with mobile applications than touch interfaces.” This transition from technology that many of us are using today to examples of how this technology could significantly change how we communicate critical life changing information is why cognitive computing is become a key topic for individuals, industries and enterprises.

How Sesame Street And IBM Watson Can Help Re-Revolutionize Preschool Learning Forbes Brand Voice contributed By Doug Hunt, Global Business Leader, IBM Watson Education

From enterprises to individuals to cookie monster that’s when you know the technology is here to stay. Most of us have seen children still learning to walk and talk demonstrate amazing expertise with a smartphone or tablet because it is a part of their daily life. Since it is such a recognized tool in their daily lives a logical step would be to leverage that resource to improve the learning process to enable new generations to receive personalized targeted learning similar to the personalized experience they have already come to expect from the device for communications with loved ones, entertainment and watching their favorite cookie monster on Sesame Street.

New Cognitive Computing Institute for Business Value Studies: Consumer Products, Life Sciences and Retail

Speaking of cookies, in today’s world most user’s are aware they are giving up some amount of information for some additional degree of ease of use or some other perceived benefit, The system cookies track our every move–unless prevent by laws or specific actions we take to prevent the sharing of our clicks.   When we decide to maintain an account instead of signing in as a guest we are giving permission for some of our information to be captured and stored for future use. When we make a purchase and receive an offer for a future discount if we will write a review, again we are giving up some information for something else we value. Last year in the December 2015 update, I referenced the IBM Institute for Business Value Studies for Retail, Consumer Products and Life Science would becoming shortly.   They are now available and here is a quick snapshot from the Life Sciences study on how cognitive is impacting that industry:

From the Prescribing a Digital Transformation for Life Sciences Study: Your Cognitive Future in Life Sciences Industry Study

Life Sciences Blog April 206 pic

 IBM and the University of Illinois to Pioneer Next-Generation Cognitive Computing Systems

As the visions continue to grow, previously unimagined potential for solving problems with cognitive computing is requiring the infrastructure needed to run these systems to be pushed to new limits and beyond. Those boundaries are being challenged everyday and the new announcement between the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and IBM is one example of industry and education working on exceeding those limits at the speed of light.   ““IBM’s collaboration with the University of Illinois will help our researchers to extend the boundaries of cognitive computing and Watson even further,”said Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President and Director, IBM Research. “The cognitive era of computing is going to be marked by a full range of disciplines coming together, advancing in parallel to help solve the world’s most challenging problems.”” The world’s most challenging problems that were once considered a death sentence now are being seen as potentially solvable in our lifetime. The partnerships being formed are removing these hurdles by factors of time that could save generations.

Academic Initiative Cognitive Computing Educator Guide

As generations will be impacted it makes sense that today’s generations are pushing industry, education and government to give them access to the resources to solve the problems.   The main vehicle IBM uses to provide at no-charge access to IBM resources for teaching and non-commercial research is the IBM Academic Initiative. The IBM Academic Initiative provides software, courseware, educator guides, studies and a repository of resources to enable faculty and students to get access to industry tools. This link is for the IBM Academic Initiative Cognitive Computing Educator Guide which is a summary of resources compiled for faculty to open the vault even further for faculty and students to take advantage of IBM’s investment and assets in cognitive computing.

Academic Cloud Cognitive Services

One of IBM’s key investments is the repository of cognitive computing services that can be found in the IBM Bluemix Cloud (Select Catalog then select Services then select Watson). Faculty have the ability, at no-charge to incorporate these services into their curriculum. Faculty access is for 12 months which is available to be renewed annually, similar to the IBM Academic Initiative access for 12 months which then has to be renewed. Once faculty determine they want to use it with their students, faculty then have the ability to give their students access for 6 months.


The Watson Tone Analyzer is a new Watson Service in Beta you might want to investigate. A fun test could be to determine how students feel about cookies(your choice of which one). Here is snapshot of some of the resources available in the cloud around the Beta Watson Tone Analyzer Service:

Bluemix Tone Analyzer

April was a busy month. To keep our university partners informed, our academic leaders are adding new content to the IBM Academic Initiative Blog.   Cognitive Computing, Security, Big Data/Analytics, Commerce, Cloud, Z & Power Systems and others across IBM are updating the IBM Academic Initiative Blog and Events tabs in the IBM Academic Initiative website: to share updates and news with you–our key academic leaders. Share your views and start a dialogue with our leaders by adding your comments to the blog–we want to hear from you. Thank you for the amazing discussions around the globe as we work together to build relationships between our institutions as well as between technology and humanity to solve complex challenges. We will know it will have been well worth it when future generations cannot even remember a time when these challenges existed!


Valinda Kennedy

twitter: vscarbro


Valinda Kennedy


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