#GreaterIBM Tweet Chat Preview: Smarter Machines #P4SPChat on 10/31/13

brain in boxHow smart can machines get?  Can they think like humans?  What’s the science behind it and what are the implications?

Chat Recap Here

Join the conversation as The Greater IBM Connection (#GreaterIBM) and People for a Smarter Planet (#P4SPChat) host a Tweet Chat on the topic of Cognitive Computing on Thursday October 31, 2013 from 12pm-1pm ET.



Our panelists for the Tweet Chat will be Steve Hamm and Dr. Dharmendra Modha.

Steve Hamm, IBM Communications Strategist and Co-Author of Smart Machines: IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing

Steve Hamm, Co-Author of Smart Machines

Steve Hamm, IBM Communications Strategist, has co-authored a new book, Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Systems with IBM Research Director John E. Kelly III.  It’s the second book that Steve has co-authored at IBM; the first was IBM’s Centennial book, called Making the World Work Better.  Prior to joining IBM in 2009, Steve worked in journalism for 30 years, as a technology writer and editor at San Jose Mercury News, PC Week, and BusinessWeek. He also wrote two additional books, Bangalore Tiger (2006), on the rise of the Indian tech industry, and The Race for Perfect (2008), on innovation in mobile computing.  Learn more about Steve.

Dharmendra Mohda, IBM Research Senior Manager, Cognitive Computing.  Photo Credit:  Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

Dharmendra Mohda, IBM Research Senior Manager, Cognitive Computing. Photo Credit: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

Dr. Dharmendra Modha is the founder of IBM’s Cognitive Computing group at IBM Research – Almaden and the principal investigator for DARPA SyNAPSE team globally. In this role, Dr. Modha leads a global team across neuroscience, nanoscience and supercomputing to build a computing system that emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action, and cognition – all while consuming many orders of magnitudes less power and space than today’s computers.  Learn more about Dr. Dharmendra Modha.

So, please join the #GreaterIBM and People for a Smarter Planet (#P4SPChat) Tweet Chat on 10/31/13 from 12pm – 1pm ET as we discuss “Where Will Smarter Machines Take Us?”.  You can join at twubs.com/P4SPchat



  • Q1: What’s new and different about cognitive computers?
  • Q2: What are some of the major applications and benefits of cognitive computing?
  • Q3: Can computing systems emulate a living brain’s computing efficiency & power usage?
  • Q4: Can computing systems emulate a living brain’s intuition and creativity?
  • Q5: How will cognitive computers and humans collaborate together?


#GreaterIBM Tweet Chat with IBM People for a Smarter Planet (#P4SPChat)

Date: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Time: 12pm – 1pm US ET
Join the Tweet Chat: twubs.com/P4SPchat
Hashtags to follow & engage in the conversation in real-time: #GreaterIBM, #P4SPChat


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.


Additional Resources:

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

IBM Technology To Help Critically Ill Children Around The World

Every year, nearly 7 million children under age 5 die from preventable causes. The medical knowledge to treat these children exists, yet the delivery of effective care is impeded by the global shortage of 4 million medical workers (1.5 million in Africa alone).  While the traditional approach to medical education has brought world-class care to many patients, Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) recognized a need to extend medical knowledge beyond the walls of medical institutions and schools.

OPENPediatrics1Partnering with IBM, BCH has pioneered the world’s first cloud-based social learning platform — OPENPediatrics — which aims to connect physicians and nurses from all resource settings across the world around the sharing of best practices in the care of critically ill children. The platform, which includes IBM’s social networking, cloud, data analytics, video, and simulation technologies, will be made available at no cost to any interested clinicians around the globe.  Today, over 1000 doctors and nurses are testing OPENPediatrics in 74 countries (343 hospitals) around the globe.


To Learn More:

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

Where Will Smart Computers Take Us? Sneak Preview of IBMers’ New Book

smartmachinesbookcoverWhat is the real science happening today behind  artificial intelligence? IBM Communications Strategist and former business and tech journalist Steve Hamm has co-authored a new book on the topic, titled Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Systems.

Co-authored by IBM Research Director John E. Kelly III, the book will be published by Columbia University Press on October 15. It lays out IBM’s vision of the next era of computing, the cognitive era, which we believe will be as different from today’s computing as this period was from the tabulating era.

The book describes what’s happening in cognitive computing, how it’s happening, and what impacts it will have on the economy, business, individuals, and society. It’s a call to action for technologists, scientists, universities, government leaders, tech industry companies, and students to get involved and help to usher in the new era.

Download a free chapter of the book from Columbia University Press

Pre-order the book from Amazon.com

Order directly from Columbia University Press to get a 30% discount – use the discount coupon code SMART.

Read the free chapter and be sure to share it with your social networks!

To learn more about author Steve Hamm, read his interview with The Greater IBM Connection.

In addition, stay tuned for details on a Tweet chat we’ll be hosting with Steve and Dharmendra Modha on Thursday, October 31.



– Posted by Julie Yamamoto and Regan Kelly

Nothing to Sneeze at: IBM supercomputer takes on the common cold

australia common cold2

An illness like the common cold has widespread health and social impacts. Indeed, the Human Rhinovirus (HRV), the most frequent cause of colds, is believed to exacerbate asthma in about 70 percent of cases; and in Australia alone, the common cold costs employers around 1.5 million workdays, or $600m in lost productivity per year.

In conjunction with researchers at the IBM Research Collaboratory for Life Sciences–Melbourne, scientists from St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research and the University of Melbourne are now using IBM supercomputing technology to simulate the common cold at the molecular level to build a fully atomistic, three-dimensional simulation of HRV.  This will allow researchers to gain a more precise picture of how a drug attacks rhinovirus at the molecular level, and potentially lead to future treatments for other viruses as well.

Read more about it in this Smarter Planet blog post by Dr. John Wagner, Manager, IBM Research Collaboratory for Life Sciences-Melbourne, Australia

Also check out this infographic on the common cold

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

Smarter Collaboration – The Doctor’s Prescription

By Ron Gutman Founder & CEO, HealthTap

Imagine a world where you speak a health-related question into your phone and get a doctor’s quick response, a list of relevant doctors in your geographic area (and when they might be free to see you), medical research regarding the topic, and related questions others have asked. All that, in less than a second!

This is an example of the kind of change that is coming to healthcare and the way social collaboration will democratize the availability of health information.

At HealthTap, we’re creating a vast repository of trusted content, contributed from more than 14,000 U.S.-licensed doctors. Here’s how it works: Once a doctor joins the HealthTap community, he or she can answer real user questions, and see how his or her peers address the same issues. Doctors can “Agree” with one another’s answers in a visible way, allowing users and other experts to see what the expert community as a whole thinks about the quality of a certain answer. This peer review impacts the answering doctor’s DocScore (a FICO-like rating that measures a doctor’s credentials, engagement and reputation among other medical professionals).

The DocScore is visible to doctors and users alike, providing an additional measure of confidence in the content that’s created.

Users can also give personal feedback about doctors’ responses by clicking a “Thanks” button next to an answer, letting other users know that they found the information helpful. Unlike doctors, patients cannot “Agree” with doctors’ answers because they don’t have the same depth of medical knowledge required to provide peer reviews. Instead, these transparent mechanisms used to express gratitude help doctors build a relationship with users (and potential new patients), while managing their online reputation, and providing feedback for physicians about the helpfulness of their responses.

This system has the potential to create a significant global impact. By providing a comfortable, secure public forum for doctors to lend their expertise, HealthTap is democratizing doctors’ knowledge and making it freely available beyond closed-doors, and to millions of users everywhere. It’s clear that technology and artificial intelligence (AI), and even a human-powered approach that mixes ever-evolving human wisdom and cutting edge technologies (which I’ve nicknamed  “AAI” – Artificial Artificial-Intelligence) will not completely replace the need for in-person care. Our goal is to complement in-person care by building technology platforms and applications that can effectively harness the collective knowledge of medical professionals and help get people access to the most relevant and highest quality information that fits their needs best when they need it most. Think of the power of combining expert-community created and curated content (like HealthTap) with machine learning and natural language processing algorithms (such as IBM Watson) and with powerful user interfaces to deliver information seamlessly to users anytime, anywhere.

In a world of Smarter Healthcare, patients will be able to interact instantaneously with the best experts and with others who are experiencing similar health issues; doctors will be able to receive advice quickly from peers, and to develop customized care plans for their patients. This is a powerful vision of not just a better world, but one where life expectancy and the quality of life can be dramatically improved.

What’s the most exciting aspect of this futuristic vision?  That much of it exists today. What remains is to make it well-orchestrated and evenly-distributed. So let’s continue working towards a future where, with the push of a button, a mobile device, and an Internet connection, everyone will have access to the best health information and the care they need, no matter where they live. While we are not yet 100 percent of the way there, we’re moving quickly on the right path.