IBM Computer Creativity: 3 Things You Never Knew – Movies, Cooking, Books

Image Credit:  Lord of the Rings movie trilogy

Image Credit: Lord of the Rings movie trilogy

This is Part 2 of the IBM Creativity Series – Part 1 covered 3 Things You Never Knew About IBM Creativity – Games, Art, and Music. This post will cover 3 things you never knew about IBM computer creativity.

In addition to IBM driving innovation and creativity for 102 years, as IBM CEO Ginni Rometty recently shared, IBM computers have also long been used to help spur the creative process.  Here are few of the more notable examples of how IBM computers and technology played a critical part in the creative process.

Category 1 (Movies):  

Lord of The Rings Trilogy:  IBM supplied digital effects facility Weta Digital, Ltd., with 150 IBM® IntelliStation® workstations, running Linux®, for the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Weta created effects, from digital horses to Gollum, a character in the series.  Weta and its sister company, Weta Workshop, won two Oscars for their digital effects work on the first “Lord of The Rings” trilogy.  To learn more:

Image Credit:  IMDb

Image Credit: IMDb

Despicable Me:  IBM provided an iDataPlex system to Illumination Entertainment to help it meet the massive production requirements involved in creating the computer-animated 3-D feature film, “Despicable Me”, released in 2010.  The animation process to produce the film generated 142 terabytes of data — an amount roughly equivalent to the traffic generated by over 118 million active MySpace users or 250,000 streams of 25 million songs.  The iDataPlex solution also included a water-cooled door that allows the system to run with no air conditioning required, saving up to 40% of the power used in typical server configurations for this type of production process.  To learn more:

Image Credit:  Fast Company (Italian grilled lobster, with a complex set of pairings including salt, pepper, saffron, green olives, tomato, pumpkin, mint, oregano, white wine, water, macaroni, orange juice, orange, bacon, and oil. )

Image Credit: Fast Company (Italian grilled lobster, with a complex set of pairings including salt, pepper, saffron, green olives, tomato, pumpkin, mint, oregano, white wine, water, macaroni, orange juice, orange, bacon, and oil. )

Category 2 (Cooking):  When you think of the creative things that humans do, cooking comes to mind as one creative outlet that appeals to many.  After winning at chess and Jeopardy, taking on large databases of information to cook up something creative for dinner seems like a logical step.  After all, while most chefs may only consider pairings of hundreds of different ingredients for the evening meal, there are probably unlimited possibilities of pairings that might taste good.  So, the IBM flavorbot is looking to put together underrated highly flavorful ingredients, unusual but tasty flavor pairings, and bring them all together into whole recipes.  To generate leads, the flavorbot looks at three databases of information – recipe index, hedonic psychophysics (quantification of what flavors people like at the molecular level), and chemoinformatics (connecting what foods the molecular flavor is actually in).  To learn more, see the links below:

Category 3 (Books):  Ever heard of “Abechamycin”?  It’s not a new antibiotic….but it may be one day.  At Pfizer in 1956, an IBM 702 helped create a 198-page, 42,000 word book of potential chemical names as a way of spurring and accelerating the naming process for the many new drugs the firm introduced on an annual basis.  Learn more.

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Related:

- By Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection, and Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist

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The October 2013 theme for The Greater IBM Connection is ”creativity and innovation”, and The Greater IBM Connection will be sharing various tips, tools, and resources on this topic.

3 Things You Never Knew About IBM Creativity – Games, Art, and Music

smarter ideaIn IBM’s 2010 Global CEO study of over 1,500 corporate heads and public sector leaders across 60 nations and 33 industries, creativity was touted as being the most important leadership quality for success, outweighing even integrity and global thinking.

So how much creativity and innovation can the world’s 13th largest employer inspire?  Apparently, quite a lot, as the following list shows.  So here is today’s list of cool things you never knew about IBM creativity, focusing on Games, Art, and Music.

1. IBM and Serious Games

You may have heard of Zynga when it comes to games, but did you know that FastCompany listed IBM as one of the Top 10 Companies in Gaming due to our work in serious games?  IBM has been investing in serious games since 2000 and has made advances in performing key research, prototypes, and/or complete games in these five areas – technical training, leadership skill-building, marketing, talent on-boarding, and productivity building.  Watch the trailer below and learn more about IBM and Serious Games here.

2. IBM and Art

Image credit:  Hermitage Museum

Image credit: Hermitage Museum

Of course, there is a lot of very creative IBM advertising art to be found as the quick list below shows.  But there are a number of other ways that IBM has had a connection to art.  For example, in 1997, IBM built the online Hermitage Museum for Hermitage in Russia which was touted as the “World’s Best Online Museum” by National Geographic Traveler.   IBM was also a major collaborator on the Eternal Egypt project and website, with the goal of bringing to light more than 5000 years of Egyptian civilization to help preserve it for tourists, students and scholars.  More recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York worked with IBM to install a wireless sensor network to help preserve the works of art in its world-renowned, encyclopedic collection.  Works of art are very sensitive to fluctuations in temperature, relative humidity, and other environmental conditions.  IBM’s sensor network is enabling the museum’s scientists to monitor and analyze the reaction of art objects to environmental changes that will help them to develop predictive models for art preservation more accurately.  Learn more about IBM and art here.

Other IBM Art Related

3. IBM and Music

IBM Orchestra in 1944 - courtesy of IBM Archives

IBM Orchestra in 1944 – courtesy of IBM Archives

IBM has a long history with music.  Did you know that there was even an official company song book, published in the 1930s, called Songs of the IBM?  It started in the earliest years of the company’s history with a 32 member employee band, which was followed by a variety of other employee musical groups — an orchestra, singing groups for men, for women, for men and women, even for children.  Soon, singing and instrumental performances spread to other IBM sites and groups, and many IBM meetings would start with employees singing various “fellowship songs”, such as “Ever Onward” (the IBM rally song).  However, IBM’s connection to music was just not limited to employee musical groups.  Much like IBM’s modern-day creativity often manifests itself in the form of leveraging technology to create something very cool like the world’s smallest movie made from atoms, there were early creative efforts to create music from mainframes as the stories below show.  Learn more about IBM and music here.

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Related:

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

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The October 2013 theme for The Greater IBM Connection is ”creativity and innovation”, and The Greater IBM Connection will be sharing various tips, tools, and resources on this topic.

Quit Thinking So Positively (+ 4 Other “Good” Habits It’s Time to Ditch)

Productivity is an ever-evolving study of what works and what doesn’t. And the way we work can change quickly: what was once accepted as a best practice can now do you more harm than good, writes Sean Blanda in this top story from lifehacker.com.

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18cila2itlr4vjpg/original.jpg

Here are a few creative insights that weren’t taught in school which, sometimes, means that it’s time to unlearn habits previously perceived as being “good.”

Read these thought-provoking tips that go against the grain of the more typical productivity advice.

Have You Heard of Coursera.Com? Top Universities Offering Online Classes for Free

coursera2Have you heard of Coursera.org?  They have partnered with 33 leading universities around the world, including Duke, Vanderbilt, Stanford, University of London, to name a few, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.  Their vision is to provide everyone in the world with a world-class education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.  Here are some of the upcoming classes that Greater IBMers may be interested in:

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

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The January 2013 theme for The Greater IBM Connection is ”leadership”, and The Greater IBM Connection will be sharing various tips, tools, and resources on this topic.

Is Your Job Search Making You Look Out of Date? 5 New Rules You Need to Know

by Susan P. Joyce, career expert, Work Coach Cafe

I hear from many “older” job seekers these days who are frustrated with today’s job search process.  They are convinced that their “advanced age” (30, 40, 50, 60, or more) is causing them problems.  I think they could be right, but NOT, perhaps, for the reason they think…

Although I do not doubt that age discrimination exists, I know that other things could be negatively impacting these people.  It basically comes down to looking – and being - out of date, using old-fashioned job search techniques.

job hunt 685x1024 Top Job Hunting TipsIf you are over 40 or it has been more than 3 years since your last job hunt, you are probably unaware of how much recruiting and hiring practices have changed recentlly, particularly with the growth of social media and also with the tough job market we have been experiencing.

The 5 New Rules of Job Search

Regardless of age, being out-of-date is a very common problem and not, fortunately, an insurmountable one.  Here are some things you can do to address the issue, and become more up-to-date for your job search and your job.

1. Focus!

One of today’s “problems” is too many opportunities!  Studies have shown that we humans are almost paralyzed when we have too many choices – which TV show to watch (when you have hundreds of channels), which coffee to order (when it comes in dozens of variations), and on, and on, and on…

Going to a job board and entering only the location is asking for over-load.  Waaayyy too many choices!  I just typed “Chicago” into Indeed, and it showed me 57,000+ jobs!  Yikes!

To make your job search more effective, focus on 1 or 2 job titles you really want and the employers you would like to work for.

2. Bring Your “A” Game!

The way you handle this whole process of applying and interviewing for a job is viewed as an example of your work – which it is!

Use great care with all of your interactions with an employer or recruiter.  Take the time to craft your best response rather than hurriedly attaching your resume to a one-sentence email with a subject that simply (and very unhelpfully) says, “Resume Attached” or “Applying.”

Standing out from the crowd in a positive way is NOT optional.  Leverage the technology currently available, and you will also prove that you are not out-of-date.

  • Resumes
    Resumes have changed substantially with the availability of technology.  An old-fashioned resume stamps “OUT-OF-DATE” on your forehead! Most employers expect that you can use word processing software well enough to customize your resume and cover letter specifically for them.   Generic work-history resumes don’t often work well today.

  • Networking
    Studies show that the person who is referred by an employee is hired 5 times more often than the stranger who simply applies.  So, focus that networking on your target employers (or a class of employers).

    Find those former colleagues who you worked with well in the past.  Or that great boss you had 2 jobs ago.  Where are they working now?  Are they hiring?

  • Interviewing
    Be very well-prepared.  Expect to be asked, “So, what do you know about us?” and have a good answer ready based on your research on the employer’s website as well as what Google and LinkedIn show you.

  • Prepare positive answers to unusual interview questions, particularly for any “soft spots” you have, like gaps in your employment history, being fired, or anything questionable about your recent work history that could raise concern for an employer. Also, of course, have answers ready for the standard interview questions, like “Why do you want to work here?”  ”Why should we hire you?”

3. Be Visible!

Being invisible is like another OUT-OF-DATE stamp on your forehead!  Employers use search engines to research job applicants more than 80% of the time, according to recent studies.  They are looking for “social proof” that you are who you say you are, have done what you say you have done, would fit in well, and understand how to use the Internet for business.  If they don’t find that corroboration, they move on to the next candidate.

If you Google your name and find nothing about you on the first page or – at a minimum – the first 3 pages, this is a problem! Yes, it is better than having photos of you drunk at a party, but a lack of online visibility brands you as out-of-date (unless you are in some sort of super-secret profession, like spy).

It also makes you vulnerable to mistaken identity.  Oh, that person who has the same name you have and stole money from his or her last employer isn’t you?  An employer doing a quick Google search would not know it wasn’t you, and, most likely, they would not take the time to find out.

4.  Join LinkedIn!

LinkedIn is an excellent venue for managing professional/work visibility.  LinkedIn is usually # 1 – or very near # 1 – on any search of a person’s name on a search engine.  And, YOU control what it tells the world about you!  Your LinkedIn Profile needs to be 100% complete (LinkedIn guides you through that process), and then it will provide much of the “social proof” most employers are seeking.

LinkedIn will help you reconnect with those former colleagues, co-workers, and bosses, and give you opportunities, through Groups and Answers, to demonstrate what you know.

The Greater IBM Connection on LinkedIn

5.  Pay Attention!

Set up a Google Alert on your name.  Pay attention to what is visible about your name when someone does a search.  When something bad appears, you can bury it with other positive content, or you may be able to get it taken down.  If something can’t be removed, be prepared to address it in an interview or, even, in a cover letter or your resume, if appropriate.

Onward!

Catch up with these New Rules so you don’t look out-of-date because looking out-of-date is probably hurting you more than your age.  The good news is that by becoming more up-to-date for your job search, you’ll be more up-to-date for your job!  So, you should be more successful once you land.  We’re never too old to learn something new – it keeps us young!

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Greater IBMers, what would you add to this? Share your lessons learned in the Comments.