IBM’s Watson Challenge: Future Computing

Posted by Dr. James Canton on November 18, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

My friends at IBM research invited me and small group to the latest Watson Challenge at UC Berkeley and Stanford this week. I had a deep dive into the computing technology behind Watson and it was a exceptional.

Watson, named for the founder of IBM, was the computer that beat the World chess champ and recently became the winner over the humans on Jeopardy. Now Wellpoint the health care provider to 60,000 patients wants to hire Watson to do decision analysis.

I know what your thinking–HAL from 2001, the Matrix and Terminator’s Skynet cannot be far off. If we have Angry Birds will we have Angry Computers? This is a fair question. Luddites don’t unite just yet. There are legitimate concerns about supercomputers running our world in ways that humans do not approve of where humans are oppressed by computers. We are not there yet.

What the folks at IBM do get credit for is experimenting with inventing new ways to intelligently use data and computing to maybe, just maybe make the planet and our future a better place. Other then just making a commercial product they are making a profound contribution to computing technology but also are doing some Big Thinking about how we can use computers in health care, security, transportation and safety to better meet grand planetary challenges.

For this I give them lots of credit, willing to think big and apply computing to larger more holistic frameworks. If we are going to face the big challenges of our day and the future, Watson and computers and AI’s like Watson, who become, even evolve into true thinking machines with IDH Intelligence Different then Humans will make the difference.

Watson is a learning computer operating at 80 terabytes of power and 15 terabytes of memory. What makes Watson interesting is not the techno data but the combination of machine learning, natural language processing and reasoning programming. Watson is the beginning of a new more powerful era of thinking machines.

Is Watson a true AI, an artificial intelligence I asked the IBM team, is “he” capable do you think one day of self-awareness? maybe even consciousness? They don’t think Watson now or in the future will achieve self-awareness and after the deep dive into the technology behind Watson I agree.

AI, once known as the fifth generation of computing project ran into many barriers over the past 30 year of computing. Theoretically AI, thinking machines are possible and likely but not based on the still rudimentary computer tools we have today.

What future does Watson point to? Intuitive computing based on nanoscience-based computer chips, software that is genetic-inspired, Cloud Computing networks, quantum information systems and synthetic biology when mashed up will offer new hardware, software and computing ontologies that will transform the future of computing.

So real AI, that can advise us and invent new solutions for a planet in conflict dealing with poverty, explosive population, war, climate change and business requires a new computing model well beyond where we can can envision today. Are we there yet? No but we are on the way.

The exploration of evolutionary biology, as a computing platform is a direction I am interesting in exploring. Computers that use GA and GP, genetic programming and algo’s may hold the key to future computers.
Computing that is based on network cloud deployed anywhere AI, cloud based intelligence, with a personality, now that is coming.

If we are really going to make a better world we need next gen tools like Watson to help us get there. When Watson builds the next Watson then we will perhaps discover a new generation of post-human computing, built by computers that can help the humans figure this all out.
Stay tuned.

Cloud Computing Futures and Big Data: What’s Next

Posted by Dr. James Canton on May 25, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Your going to hear more about cloud computing and big data impacting every organization and industry, especially government. This is the next evolution of network applications, mobile transactions and agile software services. The entire idea of information architecture, in a cloud computing future is coming very fast.

I have just given a series of keynotes to Cisco, EMC, IBM, Disney and Digital River. Everyone is embracing a cloud based strategy, why? cost-effectiveness of their IT spend and agility.

Business agility cannot evolve without IT agility. Write once, use everywhere. App’s that can be easily developed, deployed and delivered are the future and the future is now.

Now onto Big Data. I wrote a forecast on my website www.Futureguru.com about the coming Digital Tsunami, the convergence of tech and applications, from media to logistics to health care to personal genomics–an explosion of data–100 exobytes is coming FAST. Are you ready? No one is.

The storage, use, distribution and capture of 100 exobytes is insanely huge. Pardon the Apple pun. Being a former Apple executive is part of my DNA. but Big Data is the use of huge peta and exabytes of data to better serve customers, find value, develop products, feed the planet, protect the environment–you name it.

So our future is the Cloud.
For more see www.Futureguru.com

The Top 7 Strategies That Should Drive Cloud Computing

Posted by Dr. James Canton on April 23, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Recently I gave back to back keynote presentations to Disney, Cisco and soon IBM. Cloud computing was on the agenda. A few things to help you think strategy about the Cloud. For more on this see my website and on the home page I have a Future of Cloud Computing thought leadership article for you at www.Globalfuturist.com

1. Consider a rationale and low impact transition strategy from your legacy infrastructure to the Cloud.
2. You have to be clear about the ROI on Cloud, why are you embracing this now/ What is the ROI?
3. I support Cloud Strategies but they must support and be driven by sound business strategy–not the other way around.
4. Keep in mind that a Cloud strategy should also support or better enable where you are going–how will the Cloud drive future value for customers, employees etc. You got to have a clear mission that validates the time, cost and resources.
5. The Cloud must support a mobile strategy which is essential to your future.
6. The Cloud must support a rich social media platform.
7. The Cloud must support security in the Cloud.

Get these right and you will be on your way to having a viable and rational Cloud strategy.

Stay Tuned