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Computing

Is IBM's 5 in 5 List Realistic?

Is IBM
December 18, 2013 1:39PM

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In its eight annual "5 in 5" list, IBM predicts that a new era in computing will lead to breakthroughs that will amplify human abilities, assist us in making good choices, look out for us and help us navigate our world in powerful new ways. As part of its 5 in 5 list, IBM said smarter computers will help us tackle "unsolvable problems."

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As it does each year around this time, IBM unveiled its eighth annual "IBM 5 in 5." It’s a list of innovations that Big Blue is betting has the potential to change the way people work, live and interact over the next five years.

This year’s IBM 5 in 5 explores the idea that everything will learn -- driven by a new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason and engage with us in a more natural and personalized way. These innovations are beginning to emerge enabled by cloud computing, big data analytics and learning technologies all coming together, with the appropriate privacy and security considerations, for consumers, citizens, students and patients.

“We know more now than any other generation at any time has known. And yet, we struggle to keep up with this flood of increasingly complex information, let alone make sense of the meaning that is inherent in the massive amounts of data we are acquiring at ever faster rates,” said Dario Gil, Director, Cognitive Experience Lab, IBM. “By creating technology that is explicitly designed to learn and enhance our cognition we will usher in a new era of progress for both individuals and for society at large.”

The Classroom Will Learn About You

IBM predicts the classroom of the future will give educators the tools to learn about every student, providing each student with a tailored curriculum from kindergarten to high school and on to employment.

“In the next five years the classroom will learn about each student using longitudinal data such as test scores, attendance and student’s behavior on e-learning platforms, not just aptitude tests,” the firm said. “Sophisticated analytics delivered over the cloud will provide decision support to teachers so they can predict students who are most at risk, their roadblocks, and then suggest measures to help students conquer their challenges based on their individual learning style.”

Buying Local Will Beat Online

Shopping online is a national past time. Online sales topped $1 trillion worldwide for the first time last year, and are growing faster than in-store sales. Nevertheless, IBM reports, in five years new innovations will make buying local de rigueur once again.

“In five years, retailers could rely on Watson-like technologies to equip sales associates to be expert about every product in the store,” the firm said. “With technologies such as augmented reality and the recently announced plan to open Watson as an app development platform, IBM is providing shoppers with better in-store browsing and buying experiences.” (continued...)

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