Feeds

IBM to invest $100m and a decade into using Watson in Africa

Big Blue starts supercomputer project to help healthcare and education intiatives

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

IBM is planning to invest $100m and 10 years on getting Africa hooked on its Watson supercomputer system.

Big Blue said that it wants to use the system in "Project Lucy", named after the earliest known human ancestor, to help the continent in key areas like healthcare, education, sanitation and agriculture.

"In the last decade, Africa has been a tremendous growth story - yet the continent's challenges, stemming from population growth, water scarcity, disease, low agricultural yield and other factors are impediments to inclusive economic growth," said Kamal Bhattacharya, director of IBM research in Africa.

"With the ability to learn from emerging patterns and discover new correlations, Watson's cognitive capabilities hold enormous potential in Africa - helping it to achieve in the next two decades what today's developed markets have achieved over two centuries."

The project certainly has some humanitarian aspects to it, but IBM is no doubt also hoping that the investment will get companies and clients on the continent – where economies are growing – hooked in to a Watson-based ecosystem and prove the supercomputer's worth.

The firm said that it would be setting up a pan-African Centre of Excellence for Data-Driven Development and recruiting universities, development agencies, start-ups and clients to "help fuel the cognitive computing market and build an ecosystem around Watson".

IBM is attempting to put Watson, made famous by its win on quiz show Jeopardy! three years ago, at the centre of a new business unit. The supercomputer was originally designed to answer questions in natural languages and make judgements based on its gigantic data banks.

In Africa, Big Blue said that Watson could be put to use crunching big data like food price patterns and poverty numbers and extracting correlations that will help to plan for the future. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.