This series showcases some of IBM's brightest thinkers as they share insights into emerging subject areas and technologies. Their thoughts will help to understand the topics–such as smarter cities, the cloud, big data and more–that are changing our world.
Railroads chug down the smart track
Considered by some a smokestack industry, in reality railroads have embraced 21st Century technology and are continuing to become smarter in operations, safety and customer service. Keith Dierkx, IBM’s global leader for railroads explains what’s happened and future possibilities for a network that moves 40 percent of U.S. freight. Read more.
“It’s a very innovation-intensive industry, where wheels meet steel.”
More explanations on other topics
Perform good deeds with your idle bytes
World Community Grid uses the downtime of thousands of personal computing devices for research that fights diseases and betters the environment. IBM’s Sophia Tu explains how it works and how easy it is to join the project. Read more.
"World Community Grid is inspiring researches to think big and tackle research at a scale that never seemed possible before, with incredible results"
Tiny sentries to watch over food
David Chambliss is part of a team working on a new approach to food safety. The goal of the multi-year project is to have microbes, some of the very organisms behind many food-borne illnesses, become tiny sentries in the battle for food safety. Read more.
“We’re trying to do something that’s never been done before in metagenomics.”
Security in the age of the cloud
Cloud computing opens up new security issues, but it’s also engaged in securing those issues as well as security problems outside of the cloud. IBM security specialist Nataraj (Raj) Nagaratnam explains how that works and more. Read more.
“The cloud is an opportunity to rethink security.”
The unseen evolution of the smarter city
Cities have been using information technology to improve everything from water management to public safety. Now, explains Michael Dixon, IBM general manager for smarter cities, they are doing more with their technology--and each other. Read more.
Super potential for super power
Graphene, only one atom thick, has lots of amazing properties. But many of them are proving elusive for real world applications. Shu-jen Han, an IBM researcher, tells how his team has demonstrated a graphene circuit that could vastly improve cell phones. Read more.
Working with more than gut instinct
As the pace of change accelerates and data increases exponentially, gut instinct is no longer enough for good decisions. Brenda Dietrich, an IBM Fellow and vice president, talks about how analytics is helping to make decisions in almost all aspects of modern business and why that’s important.Read more.
Watson cooks up computational creativity
The cognitive computing system Watson went to work developing new recipes. But its contributions won’t stop with food. Lead software engineer Florian Pinel says “computational creativity” can be applied to such diverse industries as travel, financial management and manufacturing. Read more.
From features-first to user-first
Customer expectations for software design have changed drastically over the past few years, and satisfying a list of desired features is no longer enough to gain loyal customers. Phil Gilbert, general manager of IBM Design, says everyone in the development process should make the user their "north star."
Opening up the world to everyone
As computers and the Internet become more and more central to daily life, the need for accessibility becomes increasingly important. IBM Fellow and research scientist Chieko Asakawa, herself blind since the age of 14, talks about this vital need.
I’ll take ‘Business and Medicine,’ Alex
Two years after its resounding victory on Jeopardy! the cognitive computer Watson is hard at work helping cancer treatment and research and engaging customers in new ways. Rob High, an IBM Fellow, vice president and chief technology officer for Watson, relates the details. Read more.
Rajasekar Krishnamurthy on finding water's real cost
Around the world there is a backlog of some $1 trillion worth of water projects. One reason for that log jam is the difficulty in obtaining financing for water projects, in part because no one knows the real cost of water in a given area. Developed by IBM, the Water Cost Index is designed to fill that gap. Rajasekar Krishnamurthy explains how it works and why it’s important. Read more.
How can we put 'A Boy and His Atom” to work?
Being able to move individual atoms and switch their magnetic polarity holds great promise for increased computer efficiency and storage, says IBM staff scientist Chris Lutz. Read more.
Matt Berry talks about the growth of mobile technology
Mobile technology is already transforming the way we work, shop and socialize. That trend will only accelerate; soon connected devices will outnumber Earth's population. Matt Berry, director, Demand Generation and Client Experience for IBM MobileFirst, tells what else to expect. Read more.
David Puzas on preserving reputations
When information technology fails or suffers a security breach, it can cripple production, sales or even accounts payable. But David Puzas, IBM's worldwide marketing executive for enterprise and workplace services, says it can also eviscerate a company's reputation. That's an expensive—and often prolonged—injury.
Guru Banavar on smarter cities
Already home to more than half of the world’s population, cities are expected to house almost 5 billion people by 2030. Guru Banavar wants to make those cities smarter. As IBM vice president and chief technology officer for the Global Public Sector, he works to make urban areas more efficient, safer and easier to navigate. Read more.
Sara Weber on social business
Social media is already going way beyond posting baby pictures on Facebook. Sara Weber, who heads a team that uses emerging technologies to improve the way IBM gets things done, sees a future that will help colleagues find expertise within their organization. Companies will have closer ties to their customers, and human resources departments could be largely automated. Read more.
Dario Gil on smarter energy
Just how broad is the term “smarter energy”? Dario Gil, director of energy and natural resources at IBM Research, explains. It encompasses smart grids that give new versatility to electricity distribution, the emergence of electric vehicles, even more efficient ways to find and extract oil and natural gas. Read more.
Chris Dotson on the cloud
The cloud is already ubiquitous thanks to consumer applications like Facebook and Gmail, and it's increasingly critical to business. Chris Dotson, a senior technical staff member in the IBM CIO Security office, discusses different approaches to using the cloud, including security issues. Read more.
Jeff Jonas on big data
What is big data, and what makes it different from regular data? How do organizations deal with it? Jeff Jonas, an IBM Fellow and Chief Scientist of the IBM Entity Analytics Group, goes behind the buzz. Read more.
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