VIDEO: Cognitive music

Behind the scenes

VIDEO: Alex Da Kid + IBM Watson

A Musical Collaboration

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Join in and discover a wealth of stories on Museum Night

Cognitive artwork in the Mauritshuis

A painting often conceals a whole world of stories. Take Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, for example, which is on display at the Mauritshuis in The Hague. Who are these men working there? What is happening on that dissection table? And was this even allowed when the painting was made? Lots more questions could be asked to asked help us understand the painting in all sorts of contexts. An expert would be on hand to answer all these questions. But maybe there is another way. What about an cognitive computer system, like IBM Watson?

On Museum Night on October 29 in The Hague you are welcome to come and ask all your questions about The Anatomy Lesson. That way you’ll learn something yourself and help us train Watson to get even smarter.

Smoothie Experience: the taste of a new cognitive era

How does answering four simple questions help to compose the perfect smoothie for you? And what’s so special about that? The Cognitive Smoothie Experience at IBM’s and Axian’s Smoothie Bar at the Glamour Health Challenge was more than just a gimmick. André Hendriks, Director of Axians explains how IBM Watson’s cognitive computing was used there, and why it’s so revolutionary.

What appeals to you more, a circle or a triangle? Are more than 10% of your LinkedIn contacts from abroad? Do you speed up or brake at an orange traffic light? And what do you do on Sunday morning at 8.30 – take a walk or sleep in? The questions that Watson asked for advice on the best personalized smoothie may not have seemed very relevant to you.

“What we wanted to do, is show in a simple way just how Watson works. It communicates with you by asking questions in natural language, analyzes the responses in real-time and comes up with personal advice by reasoning the way humans do. What makes it really special is that Watson is self-learning. The more data it gets, the more accurate it can be in making predictions and giving advice. This can be any data, from videos to chats on social media, you name it. Watson can analyze it at an amazing speed. To give you an idea: it can read 800 million pages of unstructured data in one second.”
- André

What can cognitive do for you?

Imagine a computer that can help you work better, dress better, cook better, play sports better ? in fact do anything better. Wouldn’t that be great? It’s here today and it’s called IBM Watson. Watson is a cognitive system. It can understand, reason, learn and communicate just the way we humans do. A big pro is that it can analyze enormous amounts of any type of data in seconds – far more than we can. That makes Watson really smart. Whether it comes as an app on your smartphone or computer, or as a cute robot (think Stars Wars, R2D2), it’s the perfect digital assistant, making life easier and healthier!

IBM dared to outthink at Darefest!

The old, somewhat run-down storehouse that harbors the Born in Antwerp HQ creative hub provided a quirky backdrop for the Darefest event near the end of August during a stifling heat wave. Although it is not the kind of venue you would immediately associate with IBM, we were out there, outthinking all kinds of technologies. The event describes itself as a place where you can “explore what it means to be human today, tomorrow, one hundred years from now” and where you can “experience new ways to compete harder, work smarter, and live better.” Needless to say, then, that IBM had to be there as well! In what follows, we give you a short overview of IBM’s multi-facetted presence at the event.

IBM dared to outthink at Darefest!

The old, somewhat run-down storehouse that harbors the Born in Antwerp HQ creative hub provided a quirky backdrop for the Darefest event near the end of August during a stifling heat wave. Although it is not the kind of venue you would immediately associate with IBM, we were out there, outthinking all kinds of technologies. The event describes itself as a place where you can “explore what it means to be human today, tomorrow, one hundred years from now” and where you can “experience new ways to compete harder, work smarter, and live better.” Needless to say, then, that IBM had to be there as well! In what follows, we give you a short overview of IBM’s multi-facetted presence at the event.

On Wednesday the 24th of August, IBM’s Petra Hoeksema, Isabelle Oliva Garcia van Gool and Stephane Massonet were on fire (also literally – yours truly noted a temperature of 35°C) in a workshop that was aimed at getting the attendees familiar with the principles of IBM Design Thinking. Although design thinking is not a new concept, IBM did reimagine the whole process, so that not only the traditional target public of design thinking (smaller organizations like agencies or startups) can benefit from the approach. By explicitly focusing on the end user throughout the process, for instance, larger companies can also effectively leverage design thinking – and that’s what we wanted to convey in the workshop. On this blog you can read more on the workshop from the perspective of one of the attendees.

Thursday not only was the warmest day of the event, it also was the one with the most IBM sessions. In the morning, Anna Van Wassenaer talked about how creative sectors, like the fashion industry, can also benefit from technology – and, more particularly, from cognitive technology. Case in point: the cognitive dress that IBM designed together with fashion house Marchesa. Needless to say that for a sector for which social listening and trends prediction are so crucial, cognitive can help with a lot more than the design of dresses solely.

In the afternoon, Ronald Teijken presented two sessions. In the first one, on blockchain technology, Ronald explained how blockchain technology is much more than just blockchain or a technology for financial applications. Ronald proved the added value of the technology for sectors and application areas as diverse as supply chain management and intellectual property rights. Furthermore, Ronald also emphasized the role of IBM in the Hyperledger Project, a cross-industry, collaborative effort to create a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers.

In the second session, Ronald Teijken took the STORM Project, in which students travel around the world in 80 days on the first-ever fully electric motorcycle, as an illustration of what Internet of Things is. IBM is involved in this project with The Weather Company – sensors on the motorcycle gather all kinds of weather data. This data can help getting insight in how electric and connected vehicles react to different weather conditions. As with blockchain technology, Ronald again emphasized the importance of cross-industry collaboration to establish a solid ecosystem that, in the end, is beneficial to everyone.

Friday marked the end of an intriguing three days. Michel Van Der Poorten gave a presentation on how cognitive technology could help businesses be future-ready by making them think about how they can use the three main principles of cognitive – ‘understand’, ‘reason’, and ‘learn’ – in their own business processes. Michel wasn´t on the stage alone, he got the help of a Watson-powered NAO robot, who stole the show by having a chat with Michel before dancing to Michael Jackson – illustrating just one of the many interfaces through which Watson technology can be made tangible for a bigger audience.

During the course of the event, our very own Internet of Things foosball table managed to incite quite some interest as well – we’ve come to see it as a perfect conversation starter, and a good way to connect with the young, creative, tech-savvy audience at Darefest. In all, this event helped demonstrate the very wide range of technological developments IBM is involved in, and Darefest helped in our efforts to show how IBM has been evolving over the past few years. I hope you’re as eager as me to discover what exciting subjects will be discussed during the next edition!

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Cognitive at Glamour health challenge

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Fighting children’s cancer and predicting the weather

How can you help a cognitive system find a treatment for a form of children´s cancer we can’t cure yet? And how do clever new weather stations and data analysis make it possible to better understand and predict the weather in Africa? At Lowlands, you could see it first-hand – and make your own contribution.

Help find a cure for brainstem tumors

We can put people on the moon, but we haven’t managed to cure children with brainstem tumors yet. That type of treatment requires extensive research, funded in part by Stichting Semmy. At Lowlands you could contribute to this vital research by helping teach a cognitive system how to analyze MRI scans of similar tumors. IBM is developing this system especially for Stichting Semmy, as part of its corporate responsibility program. The great thing is that you were able to help train it without knowing anything about medical diagnostics yourself.

“Training the cognitive system how to read MRI scans is an important step in finding a possible breakthrough in curing pediatric cancer in the brainstem. MRI scans of brainstem tumors and other forms of cancer are currently analyzed visually by doctors, which takes a lot of time and expertise. We want to make the system an expert in neuro-radiology. In order to do this, we need to teach it to recognize unusual patterns by feeding it a massive amount of data. One way to collect this data on a large scale is by asking untrained observers to look at MRI scans and answer a few simple questions about what they see on the screen,” explains Robert-Jan Sips. He leads the IBM Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) in the Benelux. This IBM research group works closely with the academic world.

Understanding and predicting African weather

At Lowlands you could discover just how versatile cognitive systems actually are. In collaboration with Delft University of Technology, the Weather Company, an IBM business, installed smart weather stations at the festival site. They make it possible to predict the weather at micro-level. The same weather stations are used in Africa to collect and analyze climate data, as part of the university’s TAHMO project. Every five minutes, these solar-powered systems sent data to the IBM stand at Lowlands, transmitting it via a mobile network.The stations have no moving parts, are cheap and easy to use, and can help understand and predict the weather better in sub-Saharan Africa. Perfect for Africa and for Lowlands Paradise – you just checked the Weather Underground app and you knew right away if you should be preparing for an orange-peel battle or an awesome muddy slide at the festival site.

Live changing

Axians is an IBM Business Partner, working at the forefront of technological innovation. It’s convinced that cognitive systems are the next big thing in computing. Andre: “Systems like Watson will have a big impact on our daily lives, both personally and professionally. You can use them for all kinds of purposes. Not just for fun things like shopping or cooking, but to improve the way we do business, care for our environment or practice healthcare. For example, Watson can help doctors make the right diagnosis and decide on the right treatment, or find cures for diseases like cancer or multiple sclerosis. With Watson we’re really entering a new, amazing era.”

Learn about cognitive

See the things cognitive can do
Discover why Watson makes robots cry
Join the new cognitive era

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Tone analyzer

Experience how Watson helps discover, understand, and revise the impact of tone in content.

Personality insights

Gain insights into how and why people think, act and feel the way they do. Enter some text and let Watson identify your personality.

News explorer

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Taste Watson’s delicious smoothies

Want to have a taste of what Watson can do? Try out one the smoothie recipes

  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach
  • Half a handful of grapes
  • 125 ml soy milk
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 250 ml orange juice
  • 1 banana
  • 3 pineapple rings
  • 250 ml soy milk
  • 125 ml pineapple juice
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful of blueberries
  • 300 ml orange juice
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 squeeze of honey
  • 400 ml fresh orange juice
  • 8 pieces of papaya, mango, melon and some grapes
  • 400ml fresh orange juice
  • 8 blueberries, black currents and red currents
  • 5 raspberries and 5 blackberries

Executive report: New CFO horizons

The dawn of cognitive performance analytics

VIDEO

Watson at Work: engineering

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Tone analyzer

Experience how Watson helps discover, understand, and revise the impact of tone in content.

Personality insights

Gain insights into how and why people think, act and feel the way they do. Enter some text and let Watson identify your personality.

News explorer

Discover a new way of understanding the news.