Category Archives: IBM Watson

IBM’s Watson takes aim at cybersecurity

Anonymous unrecognizable man with digital tablet computerIBM has launched a new cloud-based version of the company’s cognitive technology to tackle the rising challenge of cyber security.

The company’s R&D team have recently completed a year-long research program to teach Watson to understand the nuances of security research findings, which can be used to realize patterns and uncover evidence of hidden cyber-attacks which could have been missed. IBM plan to move the security-version into beta test later this year.

Watson’s new capabilities builds on the skills gap within the security job market, but also the idea that big data in a security perspective is too vast for human capabilities. Like other areas of the cloud industry, simple tasks are being automated, allowing employees to concentrate on the more critical areas of the business. IBM claim the average organization deals with 200,000 pieces of security event data per day, with enterprises spending $1.3 million a year dealing with false positives alone.

“Even if the industry was able to fill the estimated 1.5 million open cyber security jobs by 2020, we’d still have a skills crisis in security,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, GM at IBM Security. “The volume and velocity of data in security is one of our greatest challenges in dealing with cybercrime. By leveraging Watson’s ability to bring context to staggering amounts of unstructured data, impossible for people alone to process, we will bring new insights, recommendations, and knowledge to security professionals, bringing greater speed and precision to the most advanced cybersecurity analysts, and providing novice analysts with on-the-job training.”

The new offering is built on Watson’s ability to learn and reason from unstructured data, 80% of which cannot be processed by non-cognitive tools, and IBM claim the offering will learn from a number of different sources including blogs, articles, videos, reports and alerts. The company believe only 8% of this unstructured data is being utilized currently, making the concept of secure almost impossible. Once Watson for Security is released it will provide customers insights into emerging threats, as well as recommendations on how to stop them.

To further enhance the offering, the team have also announced eight partnerships with various universities to train Watson on the language of cybersecurity. The universities include California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Pennsylvania State University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; New York University; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); the University of New Brunswick; the University of Ottawa and the University of Waterloo.

Pfizer utilizes IBM Watson for Parkinson’s research

healthcare ITIBM and Pfizer have announced a research collaboration with the intention of improving how clinicians deliver care to Parkinson’s patients.

The collaboration will be built on a system of sensors, mobile devices, and IBM Watson’s machine learning capabilities, to provide real-time disease symptom information to clinicians and researchers. The team aim to gain a better understanding as to how the disease progresses as well as how patients react to certain medications, to design future clinical trials and also speed up the development of new therapies.

“We have an opportunity to potentially redefine how we think about patient outcomes and 24/7 monitoring, by combining Pfizer’s scientific, medical and regulatory expertise with IBM’s ability to integrate and interpret complex data in innovative ways,” said Mikael Dolsten, President of Pfizer Worldwide R&D.

According to the World Health Organization, neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s affect almost one billion families around the world, Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, and an estimated seven to 10 million people suffer from the disease globally.

“The key to our success will be to deliver a reliable, scalable system of measurement and analysis that would help inform our clinical programs across important areas of unmet medical need, potentially accelerating the drug development and regulatory approval processes and helping us to get better therapies to patients, faster,” said Dolsten.

The collaboration seeks to create a holistic view of a patient’s well-being by seeking to accurately measure a variety of health indicators. Data generated through the system could also arm researchers with the insights and real-world evidence needed to help accelerate potential new and better therapies.

“With the proliferation of digital health information, one area that remains elusive is the collection of real-time physiological data to support disease management,” said Arvind Krishna, SVP at IBM Research. “We are testing ways to create a system that passively collects data with little to no burden on the patient, and to provide doctors and researchers with objective, real-time insights that we believe could fundamentally change the way patients are monitored and treated.”