IBM's Jeopardy! master robot Watson may not be a judge anytime soon, but he has gotten his first job: as a diagnostic whiz, like we expected. (Note: We will refer to Watson as a "he" and not an "it" until he stops being more charismatic than most humans we know.) According to the Wall Street Journal, IBM and health insurer WellPoint have agreed to use Watson to "help suggest treatment options and diagnoses to doctors." Congratulations, Watson! Don't blow your first paycheck on anything frivolous! [WSJ]
The Yale Law Journal's Betsy Cooper wrote an essay examining our favorite Jeopardy! champion (and new medical diagnoser) robot Watson, but from a new angle: Could Watson help judges make legal decisions?
Researchers at IBM's Almaden, California research lab are building what will be the world's largest data array--a monstrous repository of 200,000 individual hard drives all interlaced. All together, it has a storage capacity of 120 petabytes, or 120 million gigabytes.
IBM, with help from DARPA, has built two working prototypes of a "neurosynaptic chip." Based on the neurons and synapses of the brain, these first-generation cognitive computing cores could represent a major leap in power, speed and efficiency
Since 2007, IBM has been working with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to construct the world's fastest academic supercomputer. This week we learn that work has been mysteriously halted by IBM, which is taking back the parts it recently delivered to the school, giving U. of Illinois its money back, and ceasing work on the project just months before the massive computer is slated to be completed.
IBM researchers have built the first integrated circuit based on graphene, a breakthrough the company says could herald a future based on graphene wafers instead of silicon. The circuit, a 10 gigahertz frequency mixer, could give wireless devices greater range. At higher frequencies, the technology could someday allow law enforcement and medical personnel to see inside objects or people without the harmful effects of X-rays, according to IBM.
In Rio de Janeiro, when a massive storm comes in off the Atlantic, like one did a couple of years ago, hundreds of lives and thousands of homes can be lost in a single afternoon. But in a new state-of-the art command center, a kind of municipal war room dedicated to making the entire city more efficient, supercomputers are monitoring the weather via high-powered weather models custom engineered by IBM. Deep Thunder, as the weather-modeling project is known, keeps city leaders and regional agencies abreast of what the skies have in store, square kilometer by square kilometer, both in real time and 48 hours into the future.
When Watson was competing on Jeopardy!, its massive databanks were filled with encyclopedias, novels, film scripts, and history books. These days, Watson is more into medical journals and misspelled Yahoo Answers blog posts about weird rashes and vague abdominal pains. Watson is maturing, and prepping for his first non-trivia, real-world application: medical diagnoses. He's all *sniff* grown up!
As someone who was born in the year 1986, I belong to the last generation of people who remember life before computers became an everyday necessity. At the same time, I'm too young to recall machines that lacked Internet access, a mouse, and a monitor. Most people my age or younger tend to assume that even the most rudimentary computers contained these elements, but a peek in our archives says otherwise.