What Does IBM Watson Look Like? Generated Art Face the Wave of the Future?

Image Credit:  From The Face of Watson video

Image Credit: From The Face of Watson video

Who knew that generative art would be the face of a Jeopardy champ?  For the Jeopardy competition in 2011 between IBM Watson and Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, IBM hired veteran digital artist Joshua Davis to create Watson’s face, a swirling electronic avatar based on IBM’s Smarter Planet logo.  Davis took the globe motif and added a swarm of particles — a single “leader” chased by the others — to spin around on the globe’s surface, indicating that Watson is “thinking.”  He also visually represents Watson’s level of confidence in an answer, based on complicated algorithms that boil down to 27 possible states that the avatar can be in.  Generally, when Watson is confident, the particles swarm to the top of the globe and glow green;  and when Watson is not confident, they flow to the bottom and glow orange.

Learn more:

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–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

#GreaterIBM Tweet Chat Preview: Augmented Reality to Engage the Connected Consumer on 2/6/2014 (#P4SPChat)

Image Credit:  Media Bistro

Image Credit: Media Bistro

The world is changing and so is the consumer.  Four out of five consumers use smartphones to shop, and mobile is predicted to overtake desktop usage by 2014 (source:  7 Mobile Marketing Stats That Will Blow Your Mind by Jay Baer).  Brian Solis predicts that the ‘Connected Consumer‘ will be prevalent in the next 10-15 years.  Who is the ‘Connected Consumer’?  They will typically have had a digital footprint by the time they were 2, and will be a savvy shopper who scans QR codes, shops for deals in real-time, and points their camera phone at an item to learn more about it via augmented reality (source:  Meet Generation C:  The Connected Consumer by Brian Solis and his talk on the topic at the 2012 Social Media Success Summit).  Augmented reality technology enhances the shopping experience by overlaying digital information such as images, text, audio or video onto an image that needs to be viewed through a smart device.  One study found that people who were exposed to augmented reality had a higher likelihood to buy and buy at a higher price in comparison to those exposed to traditional advertising, and they also spent more time in the advertisement (source:  Augmented Reality as a Marketing Strategy).

So how can brands best engage this new Connected Consumer?

Join the conversation as The Greater IBM Connection partners with IBM Smarter Planet  to host a Tweet Chat (#P4SPChat) on the topic of Augmented Reality to Engage the  Connected Consumer on Thursday, February 6, 2014 from 11am-12pm ET. (Link to join = http://tweetchat.com/room/P4SPChat)

Chat Recap

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Panelists

Our panelists for the Tweet Chat will be Dr. Dario de Judicibus and Scott Duby

Dr. Dario

Dr. Dario de Judicibus, Fashion Industry Leader for IBM Italy

Dr. Dario de Judicibus (@DdJ_at_IBM), is the European Fashion Industry Leader for IBM Smarter Commerce Italy, specializing in Business Strategy, Knowledge Management, and Social Networking.  He has written more than 250 articles in several magazines and newspapers, published 6 books, and speaks regularly at national and international conferences.  He is also a prolific IBM inventor with 7 patents to his name.  Learn more about Dr. de Judicibus in this interview and the links below:

Scott Duby

Scott Duby, IBM Global Retail Solutions Leader

Scott Duby (@Scott_Duby), IBM Global Retail Solutions Leader for Smarter Commerce, has more than 20 years in the retail and consumer products industry.  He brings a dynamic perspective having worked in various roles across the industry (retail, research analyst, consulting, and Fortune 500).  He often speaks at retail industry events, has appeared on television news as in industry expert, published white papers, and been quoted in major news publications.  In his current role, Scott leads the strategy, direction and management for the portfolio vision while overseeing operations related to solution development, strategic partnerships, and go-to-market business development activities.  He advises software companies in the domains of e-Commerce, Distributed Order Management, Merchandising, Price Optimization, and Forecasting and Replenishment.  Scott has US patents pending in the mobile shopping domain, and he was responsible for launching IBM’s Augmented Shopping Advisor application in partnership with IBM Research.  To learn more about Scott, see the links below:

So, please join the Greater IBM and Smarter Planet #P4SPChat Tweet Chat on 2/6/14 from 11am – 1pm ET as we discuss “Augmented Reality to Engage the Connected Consumer”. You can join at http://tweetchat.com/room/P4SPChat

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AUGMENTED REALITY MARKETING TO CONNECTED CONSUMER questions:

  • Q1: What’s new and different about the connected consumer?
  • Q2: What’s really ‘augmented reality’ shopping?
  • Q3: How can brands best engage with the connected consumer?
  • Q4: What type of technology, applications and skills are needed to enhance in-store shopping experience?
  • Q5: #IBM5in5 predicts buying local will beat online, how can technology help?

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Greater IBM #P4SPChat Tweet Chat

Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Time: 11am – 12pm US ET
Join the Tweet Chat: http://tweetchat.com/room/P4SPChat
Hashtags to follow & engage in the conversation in real-time: #P4SPChat

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About #GreaterIBM

The Greater IBM Connection is IBM’s global business and professional network that brings together current and former IBMers around the world. As the evolving technology industry increasingly calls for relationship led sales, marketing, branding, and recruiting, The Greater IBM Connection provides a tremendous opportunity to stay connected and engaged with market influencers. We hope you join and contribute today!

About #P4SPChat

Are you interested in talking about building a Smarter Planet? Join us and discuss how businesses, governments and entire industries are adopting technologies to become efficient and effective. Follow the hashtag #P4SPchat.  Tweet Chats are held on an adhoc basis, as scheduled.

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Additional Resources:

–By Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

IBM Alumni: Big Data Expert Gretchen Gottlich on Meeting Mandelbrot & other Tech Career Wins

Gretchen Gottlich, Enterprise Information Executive

Gretchen Gottlich, Enterprise Information Executive

IBM Alum: Gretchen Gottlich

IBM Tenure: 3 years

View Gretchen Gottlich's LinkedIn profileView Gretchin Gottlich’s profile

View Gretchen Gottlich on TwitterView Gretchin Gottlich on Twitter

Gretchen is currently an independent consultant running her own company, Wallace Rose Investments, LLC, specializing in leading the development and deployment of Big Data solutions across many industry sectors.
She also founded and maintains the @5280BigData Twitter site which provides a global Social Media distribution channel for the wealth of Big Data thought leadership, mind-share, start-ups, tools, and solutions in the Boulder/Denver region.   Gretchen also has a legal background and worked as a Regulatory and Compliance Manager in the Healthcare and Financial sector.   In her spare time Gretchen is finishing up her second Master’s degree in Communication and Technology management.  This semester she is studying Global Internet Law and thus being re-acquainted with her love of the rigors and cerebral machinations of law she is now also studying for her LSAT exam.   Her dream is to study Intellectual Property law at UC Berkeley on scholarship.

Gretchen has degrees from University of Maine, University of Arkansas, Indiana University, Denver University. She has also done executive MBA program work at UC Berkeley, College of William & Mary, University of Portland.

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When did you join IBM, and what led you to join the company?

I joined IBM January 1997.  My father worked as an engineer for GE and traveled around the world building Nuclear Power Plants.   When I “grew up” I wanted to be just like my Dad and travel around the world and “do important stuff” only  I wanted to work for IBM (How I knew this in first grade I don’t know ;).  Later after NASA ,a short stint at Fruit of Loom (designing, building and deploying their first intranet), and being a founder of an Internet start-up I decided my intellectual home was to work in “Information” and IBM was of course at the top of list.

What was the workplace like when you joined, and how did it change over time?

Back in 1997, I am not sure IBM the entire company had truly embraced the significantly disruptive effects of the Internet, the huge opportunities that would become available, and, specifically, how FAST products and services would need to be available to go to market.   From a strategic perspective, IBM totally “got it.” I was working at the Hawthorne lab at that time and lots of work on the WOM was going on (the ore-cursor to WebSphere).  Some part of the business understood the speed of change, but some still had yet to learn.

But very quickly under the leadership of Lou Gerstner, all IBM quickly “got it” and came up to speed in the global marketplace.  IBM is huge, and it was really something to see a Fortune 500 company move so quickly. One could say nimble.  And there again is another strength of IBM, the company can come together and move as “one.”

What did you like most about your career with IBM?

What I liked most about my career at IBM was demonstrating the embodiment of what it was to be an IBMer.  There was something enjoyable to me to know I was on “that” team and it challenged me every day to be the best that I could be as researcher and as a consultant.  You don’t hire IBM to not get top-line results. You hire IBM to get “it” done well and know that you have a technical team that will support you 24/7. The customer meant something.  The customer, that relationship was everything.

What were some of your more interesting roles and what did they entail?

IBM offered me many wonderful roles and opportunities.  However, I think two of best engagements.

I was an Asia/Pacific Senior. Enterprise Architect Consultant (Global Services) and worked in Canberra, Australia for one of the Government Ministries.    I led a team that in expanding the account by 17% within six months by implementing $1M USD web services integration architecture to support outsourcing efforts, utilizing COGNOS BI and performance management solutions.  We sold and delivered this solution using an “Agile like” methodology.  This was before the published draft of the Agile Manifesto in 2000.  This Agile like methodology was something I had created and fined tuned while at NASA and leading the Internet effort there.

The second exciting project was when I worked with the NA Transportation Global Services team.  I was on the team that did the “Watershed Study” which provided research and forecast how the Internet was going to completely distribute the Travel Industry sector.  The team interviewed research scientists at MIT and also traveled to London, Stockholm, Singapore, and Paris to interview corporate leaders in Travel Industry around the globe.  Those were some very exciting times when the Internet was “very young”.

“Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules…repeated without end.” - Benoit Mandelbrot

“Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules…repeated without end.” – Benoit Mandelbrot

And I have to add a third.  This memory is very close to my heart.  I was at the Hawthrone Lab in New York and was sharing with a colleague that I had just finished The Fractal Geometry of Nature by Benoit Mandelbrot and that I had found it quite fascinating.  My colleague calmly replied, “Oh yes Dr. Mandelbrot he is upstairs on the second floor.” I was so excited I believe I forgot excuse myself from the conversation before I flew upstairs, raced down the hallway looking at the name tags on the doors and when I found this cerebral GOD I tapped lightly on the door and asked if I could come in.  I believe all I could do was just gush like some silly teenage girl meeting Justin Bieber.  One of the richest rewards with working for IBM was being able to meet incredible minds that were contributing to Research and Development.

What has been your experience working as a woman in the technology industry?

It has had its ups and downs.  I can’t say any one region was more challenging than any other.  Issues that many women face in the workplace are perhaps more to do with a particular someone’s viewpoint and not geography.   I have worked for many large IT companies and I will say that although IBM is fantastically large there was always a sense that you as a person and an employee were cared for.  And I put person first there deliberately.  There was always this wonderful pride of being an IBMer.  We all were/are professionals.

What characteristics, skills, or attitudes set you apart and helped you be successful?

I have a very good ability to see the strategic business value of a technology.  I am also extremely adept at listening to the customer and understanding (really hearing) the pain the customer is having.  One thing that I believe set me apart from others early in my career at IBM is that I quite readily reached out to others, companies, scientists, business owners and asked lots of questions.  I wasn’t afraid to not know the answer and ask the questions.  The value of this came into play with program management.  I get things done.  Period.

What were some of the most important lessons you learned – from both successes and failures? Who/what were the most influential to your careers?

Oh, wow I have far more failures in my career than successes =).

  1. Define the requirements not the solution. It’s important to listen to the customer and understand what the customer requires/needs and not jump into an immediate solution.  For example a customer might require/need transportation from point A to B.  The customer might think they need a car, when in fact Light Rail might fulfill the need especially if maintaining a small carbon footprint is also a requirement/need.
  2. The relationship with customers is built on trust. Trust is EVERYTHING.
  3. Professionally, when you do what you truly enjoy, energy is infinite and the resulting value is magnified.   It’s the best feeling in the world.

Major influencers on my career range from Einstein, Mandelbrot, Mrs. Goggins my third grade school teacher, Carnegie, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in Alien(s), the original Star Trek series, and TQM Training.

What advice would you give to Greater IBMers to help them be successful in their career? And is there anything specific to women? 

My advice to up and coming IBMers is to learn all you can both technically and business-wise with the wealth of resources that IBM offers.  Remember it’s an honor and a privilege to be part of IBM and you’re in good company. (All double entendres intended).

For women, the fact that Ginni Rometty is now CEO and Chairman I believe says it all.  Our time is now. Go make it happen.

Why did you move on from IBM and do you stay connected – with the business or your colleagues?

I moved on from IBM because I was in a hurry to reach for the brass ring and I felt I needed to advance faster. In hindsight, I left too soon and/or I never should have left. I sometimes think I wish I knew then what I know nowJ. I do stay in contact via some Linked In sites but not so much at a personal level.

Tell us about your work today and what you’ve taken from your experience at IBM to this role.

My work day is much like any consultant’s work day: there is a mission, there are planes to board, hopefully there is a road-map, there are politics to manage, and internet services to implement and integrate to meet customer requirements.  I do whatever it takes to get the job done.

What I took away from IBM was “knowing” with complete confidence what it was to be and equally important how to be an exemplary consultant with professional integrity.

What do you see are the major upcoming trends in your field and how do you stay attuned?

Big Data and all that fits under its umbrella.  I host a Twitter site called @5280BigData. The purpose of @5280BigData is to promote Big Data concepts, tools, and services developed in the Denver/Boulder metro region among global Big Data Research and Development and business communities. Companies I interact with a regular basis are Hitachi Data Systems,  SendGrid, Precog, FUSE, GNIP, Unvirsity Colorado Denver/Boulder, Tagwhat, Trueffect,  Techstars and Big Data organizations in London, UKI also write and present papers at conferences. A couple of my favorite available online:

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Related:

Posted by Jessica Benjamin, Brand System and Workforce Communications, IBM CHQ

How Many Times Should You Try Before Success? (Infographic) – No 1 Top Tweet

Image Credit:  Anna Vital

Image Credit: Anna Vital

Have you heard that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to really become good at something?  Or that the first book by beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss was rejected 27 times by publishers before it finally achieved success?  Our number one top Tweet for 2013 was this infographic by Anna Vital that demonstrates how many times should you try before quitting in order to achieve success.  It’s much higher than you might think.

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- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

(Replay) IBM Launches New Watson Group in Silicon Alley

51 Astor (Image Credit:  IBM)

51 Astor Avenue, NY (Image Credit: IBM)

On January 9, 2014, IBM announced the launch of the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit that will be focused on delivering cloud-based cognitive innovations. The move is part of IBM’s commitment to accelerating the marketplace for the era of cognitive computing and will include a new class of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning, and discover answers and insights to complex questions from massive amounts of Big Data.

As part of the announcement, IBM unveiled three new Watson services delivered over the cloud. The first, Watson Discovery Advisor, is designed to accelerate and strengthen research and development projects in industries such as pharmaceutical, publishing and biotechnology. The second, Watson Analytics, delivers visualized Big Data insights, based on questions posed in natural language by any business user. The third offering, IBM Watson Explorer, helps users across an enterprise uncover and share data-driven insights more easily, while empowering organizations launch Big Data initiatives faster.

IBM will invest more than $1 billion into the Watson Group, focusing on development and research and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market. This will include $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM’s recently launched ecosystem of start-ups and businesses that are building a new class of cognitive apps powered by Watson, in the IBM Watson Developers Cloud.

Replay of Launch Announcement Event on Jan 9

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–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

Top 10 Skills To Survive in the 21st Century (Infographic) – No 2 Top Tweet

Image Credit:  eLearning Infographics

Image Credit: eLearning Infographics

Our number two top Tweet for 2013 was this infographic by eLearning Infographics that demonstrates the type of skills needed to survive in the 21st century.

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- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

IBM Connect 2014 – Energizing Life’s Work

ibmconnect2014v2

Companies are changing the way they work today. The combination of social, collaborative and mobile technology infused with behavioral science and analytics is incredibly powerful – especially when it is delivered in the cloud.  IBM Connect 2014 will provide insights on how to apply these principles to your business.

dilbertAs an added bonus for Dilbert fans, Dilbert creator Scott Adams will be speaking at the event.

Register now

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Kevin Cavanaugh, Vice President of Engineering Smarter Workforce at IBM, shares his thoughts on why you should attend IBM Connect 2014

And if you aren’t able to be in Orlando, don’t let that stop you from joining in the conversation – learn more about how to get social

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–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection