Research

Guided by a sense of purpose

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Author: David La Rose, Managing Director at IBM Australia and New Zealand

I felt particularly proud to be an IBMer when I sat down to watch the ABC’s Catalyst Program talking about the advances we are making in robotics and the impact it’s having on the lives of so many Aussies.

On the show, Dr Nikki Stamp met with people whose lives are being transformed by artificial body parts and explored the cutting-edge work scientists are doing to merge biology with technology – IBM scientists here in Australia were among them.

Master Inventor and Head of Brain Inspired Computing Research in IBM Australia, Stefan Harrer and Umar Asif another of our leading research scientists, were both interviewed and conducted a neurobionics demo.

For the first time, the team demonstrated an end-to-end proof-of-concept of a brain-machine interface that combines custom-developed AI code with low cost, off-the-shelf technology, that could be one day capable of enabling natural control of artificial limbs.

For people who have suffered from conditions like stroke or spinal cord injuries, this interface could allow them to use the brain to translate and execute actions for a robotic actuator.

It’s an inspiring look at the value AI can bring to people’s lives and I believe demonstrates the true promise of cognitive technology and the positive impact it can have on society.

Companies today are transforming huge amounts of data into actionable insights –here in Australia IBM is embedding AI systems in applications as diverse as melanoma diagnosis and the prediction of epileptic seizures. Meaningful work that changes lives.

David La Rose and the Research team in Melbourne.

David La Rose and the Research team in Melbourne.

The surge in AI adoption has been met with excitement, amazement and for some, fear. I believe as long as there is transparency and principles in place to guide the use of data, the potential far outweighs any fear or hesitation.

Having had the pleasure of sitting down with our team of researchers in Melbourne and learning more about the advancements they are making, it reaffirmed what I have always known – IBM is guided by a sense of purpose, and that purpose is driven by some of the smartest minds in the IBM business.

Keep up the great work!

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