IBM delivers cognitive computing to healthcare and weather forecasting. Google launches a new machine learning research center. GE uses machine learning to restore a power plant in Northern Italy. Microsoft acquires one of the big contributors to big data open source software. Those are the highlights of this week's Big Data Roundup.
Artificial intelligence is advancing rapidly and poised to change the status quo in any number of industries, including healthcare. A recent report by Frost & Sullivan predicts the AI market in healthcare will reach 6 billion by 2021, up from just 600 million two years ago. With the shift to a value-based reimbursement model, ushered in with the Affordable Care Act, hospitals and providers are looking for new ways to increase efficiencies and improve patient outcomes. Cognitive solutions such as IBM's Watson system can assess huge amounts of patient data, provide guidance and decision support, and improve clinical workflow. The goal is to support the physician, not replace him or her, said Anil Jain, vice president of IBM's Watson Health and an internist and medical informatics specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dell Technologies has announced the latest addition to its Isilon family, an all-flash scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) system offering up to 92.4 petabytes of storage capacity and up to 25M IOPS and 1.5TB per second of bandwidth, designed to handle next-generation applications and unstructured workloads. Speaking at the inaugural Dell EMC World in Austin, Texas, senior vice president and general manager of Isilon Phil Bullinger said there are a number of vertical markets the organisation believes the Isilon all-flash is going to have a significant impact in, with life sciences -- in particular, DNA sequencing -- one of the markets he is most excited about. "None of this matters unless we're actually doing something with it," he said. "We think it's going to be transformational." Bullinger explained that with DNA sequencing comes mountains of unstructured data, with datacentres at capacity trying to keep up.
Microsoft unveiled a slew of new products at its Build 2016 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. They offered cues about the emerging technologies healthcare CIOs and IT professionals should be keeping an eye on right now: artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and what CEO Satya Nadella called conversational intelligence. "Conversations as-a-platform is a simple concept yet very powerful in impact," Nadella said. The unveiling of Microsoft's new conversational intelligence tool comes close on the heels of Google's GCP Next confab this past week, where the search giant revealed its Cloud Machine Learning family of hosted applications. The software giant rechristened its Cortana Analytics Suite as the Cortana Intelligence Suite to deliver "the power of Big Data, Cloud and Intelligence to build the next generation of intelligent solutions, whether it is to reinvent healthcare, transform transportation or revolutionize retail," Microsoft's data group's corporate vice president Joseph Sirosh wrote on the company's site.
Google jumped into the emerging space for analytics and big data when it revealed the new Cloud Machine Learning suite of services. "There's a new architecture emerging," Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent Alphabet, said at Google's GCP Next last week. "In a year, you will use machine learning to do something better than humans have been doing. Schmidt is not alone in that thinking. Google rivals Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft, in fact, have made similar cloud computing moves of late.