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IBM’s 5-in-5 Vision for Changing the World
2017-01-10 09:20:00
Fabian Rivera

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IBM has identified a set of five technologies with the potential “to change the way people work, live, and interact” over the next five years.

The company’s “5 in 5” vision is intended as a snapshot of the state-of-the-art in promising technologies and as in inspiration to researchers who are at work on the next generation of world-changing technologies.

First among IBM’s world-changing technologies is speech analysis software that can help intelligent systems diagnose illness.

Researchers note Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and other disorders have a neurophysiological basis that can affect the language-processing centers in the brain.IBM is using artificial intelligence to study what patients say and write to identify patterns that can help doctors pinpoint these diseases before they are detectable via other means.

Speech-detection apps in smartphones could help doctors monitor illnesses and their treatment or detect the onset of a disorder.

Innovation number two is “hyperimaging,” which combines ordinary vision with information from across the electromagnetic spectrum.

For example, car windshields could include infrared detection systems that make black ice visible on the road ahead.

A smartphone app could analyze the nutrition content of the food you’re about to eat.

IBM’s third big idea comes from the application of Big Data analysis to the tens of exabytes of data being generated each month by intelligent devices: appliances, remote sensors, cell phones, wearable devices, satellites, and more.Intelligent aggregation and analysis of this data could help software predict weather, for example, or slow the spread of epidemics.

Number four on IBM’s list is miniature “labs on chips” that can be installed in handheld diagnostic devices.

Many medical instruments could be combined in a single battery-powered device that could provide early detection of diseases and help medical professionals monitor the effects of drugs and other therapy.

IBM says a simple device that helped students and workers determine when they’re too contagious to leave home could save millions or billions of dollars in the global economy.

Finally, IBM is at work on networked sensors for detecting leaks of pollutants and communicating information to cleanup and repair crews.

Currently, it can take weeks to detect and locate a methane leak from a natural gas pipeline, for instance.Inexpensive sensors deployed along the pipeline could detect the leak in seconds and alert repair crews.

When used in combination with satellite images and other real-time data, intelligent software could quickly determine which populated areas have potentially be affected by a toxic spill or leak.

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