Cognitive Computing

The Promise of Cognitive Cities

Share this post:

Imagine a city in which cognitive systems – tools to gather and analyze massive amounts of data from such sources as embedded street sensors, traffic cameras power grid usage indicators – will augment human capabilities to aid decision making. In this type of Smarter City, municipal authorities will be able to improve traffic flow, entrepreneurs will be better able to understand and mitigate risk, and ordinary citizens will be able to interact with (and benefit from) their cities as never before.


Imagine also that cognitive technologies like those in the IBM Watson system that won on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! will enable new levels of sophistication and effective service from civic organizations, nonprofits and skilled volunteers – not to mention disaster preparation and recovery. These are just some of the promises of cognitive cities.

It may sound like science fiction, but the movement already has begun. Read my recent Forbes article “New Tech Will Change the Way Cities and Businesses Solve Problems” for a deeper explanation of how cognitive systems will transform life in the world’s smarter cities. Then check out the references below to see what mayors and other city leaders are saying about how IBM technology and expertise is making their cities smarter…today.

Katharine Frase, Ph.D., is Chief Technology Officer of IBM Smarter Cities.

Related Resources:

Learn more about cognitive systems. Download a free chapter from Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing (forthcoming)

Find out more about the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

Read what mayors are saying about the Smarter Cities Challenge program

More Smarter Cities Challenge stories

Doing Well by Doing Good

Communities around the globe face an overwhelming number of intractable problems –from income inequality to climate change, to job creation and the spread of deadly and incurable diseases. No one sector – whether government, business, academia or civil society – can tackle today’s challenges all by itself. All sectors must work together, and all must […]

Continue reading

IBM Supports UN Goals to Close the Global Skills Gap

As the United Nations General Assembly wrapped up its 72nd Regular Session, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel with several other international corporate representatives to discuss the unique role of global business in advancing the United Nations’ 2017 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While these goals, ranging from ending poverty to protecting our […]

Continue reading

New Leadership for IBM Corporate Citizenship

I am honored to begin serving as IBM’s new Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and President of the IBM Foundation, and excited for the work ahead. First, I’d like to congratulate Stan Litow on his retirement and thank him for his inspired leadership. At the onset of his two dozen years leading IBM Citizenship and the […]

Continue reading