Letter from the Editor: Welcome to THINK

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Seven years ago IBM launched the Smarter Planet blog as a place to share stories from researchers, scientists, business leaders, academics and government officials about how each was leveraging innovation to create a more connected, intelligent, and instrumented world. A Smarter Planet.

Little has changed on the blog over the past seven years. Meanwhile, the world around it has evolved at a brisk pace. Just three years after the blog began, IBM Watson was revealed to the world, challenging and beating humans on the TV game show, Jeopardy! In the subsequent months and years since then, Watson technologies have been leveraged by everyone from doctors fighting cancer, to chefs looking for never-before created concoctions.

Today technical innovations around cloud, mobile, analytics, and the Internet of Things, are increasingly being combined with technologies such as Watson and building a new era of computing: Cognitive Computing. Cognitive Computing describes systems that are engineered to take in large volumes of different kinds of data and then “learn” from their interactions with the data and people. When that’s accomplished, the systems are able to automatically interact with people in ways that are more natural to humans.

As Dr. John Kelly III says in his inaugural post on this site, these systems and innovations aren’t designed to think for us, but to augment our thought processes, by doing things like unearthing and presenting alternative options to queries quickly, and often with a scale of probable accuracy, as well as supporting data.

As such, the cognitive computing concept is as much about advancing and accelerating human understanding, as it is about the technologies driving that augmentation. It’s the reason we have evolved the blog to center around the idea of THINK. In addition to holding a special place at IBM (it was the motto of the company’s original CEO, Thomas J. Watson, Sr.) the word THINK imbues cognition.

To that end, we will be committed to looking for and publishing insightful stories about how innovations are helping people make better sense and more thoughtful decisions about the information being generated and shared across this interconnected, intelligent and instrumented world.

Welcome to THINK.

Global Program Manager, Cloud Communications; Managing Editor, IBM THINK Blog

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