Tag Archives: IBM

AI’s influence on Blockchain

Artificial Intelligence is intelligence exhibited by machines. It is a technology that continues to act as a disruptive force in the present world today, especially with the various technologies emerging from it. These technologies include autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, as well as blockchain technology. These technologies are just a few of the ones pioneered by, and continue to work hand in hand with artificial intelligence. The focus, however, is the specific impact it has on blockchain technology. Due to the nature of blockchain, artificial intelligence is embedded in order for it to work. For a digital ledger to succeed, there needs to be an active partner that  processes and authenticates users and transactions simultaneously and because AI continuously learns, it is the ideal technology necessary to supplement blockchain.

Corporations such as IBM are increasingly recognizing the importance of both blockchain and AI working simultaneously in order to achieve a more powerful optimized system. They have created ‘Industry platforms’ which are teams specialized to work on bridging the gap between the two, joining financial services and Watson artificial intelligence program to bring about a ‘blockchain powered internet of things’. “We found that there’s this interesting convergence between IBM Watson capability and the Internet of Things Foundation and we decided it would be even better if we combined the two.”- Tim Hahn, IBMs chief internet architect. Blockchain is a disruption to industries on its own but when combined with AI the impact and financial magnitude is huge. The expected revenue that could be generated from the disruption of the market and combination of both AI and blockchain was expected to be $135bn by the end of 2015. With this, the connection of devices as a result is predicted to reach as high as 20.8bn by the year 2020. Hahn also suggests that an artificially intelligent blockchain can help companies who have joint interest in a device.

There are a number of ways that blockchain can further utilize AI. Firstly, blockchain can use AI to determine and filter identities of those creating and carrying out transactions, whether private or public chains. This ID confirmation will eliminate the requirement for traditional intermediaries to be present to secure value transfers between parties, again reducing centralized control which can be prone to manipulation and hacking. On the flip-side, it would seem blockchain can also improve AI, creating a more secure way for AI applications and their administration. Safer cloud computing through the use of blockchain can lead to more optimized autonomous vehicles and other robotics. Featuring a system of checks and balances that cannot be manipulated forces ‘good players’ and a more transparent ledger on which to operate on. The existing problem with Artificial intelligence is the worry of a potentially dangerous future, narrowed down to the basis that it’s centralized and prone to outside regulation. The fear of who gets to control these machines, robots and other forms of intelligence and what happens when it falls into the wrong hands will be eliminated by Blockchain. As an independent third party mechanism mines, reviewing and recording transactions with blockchain, only valid transactions from ‘good players’ are able to be confirmed and then recorded. The combination of the two makes for ‘friendlier’ AI and certainly a safer future.

The two disruptive forces work hand in hand to allow a decentralized digital ledger that re-imagines hence reconstructing the centralized structures currently in use today.

In the video above, Patrick Schwerdtfeger explains how the two essential technologies, artificial intelligence and blockchain, interact. In fact, he uses a practical Tesla example to show how both technologies work hand in hand. In essence, he says that artificial intelligence allows the individual vehicle to learn how to take the corner as time moves on, but it is blockchain that allows the whole fleet of cars to know how to maneuver the bend.

In addition to what corporations are innovating to allow blockchain and AI to work hand in hand, the future of AI and blockchain is also present in Ethereum technology. The exploding technology is constructing an internet 2.0 with the fact that it will allow the blockchain network to create computation disruption. It allows a platform for smart contracts, decentralized applications, and decentralized autonomous organizations. As mentioned earlier, AI is embedded in blockchain to ensure an active partner in authorizing and processing data and Ethereum is no exception. Due to the fact that Ethereum allows for a custom built blockchain, it is able to engineer applications that run efficiently without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference via smart contracts. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has taken a gamble on Ethereum by using it as an aid to their flagship blockchain innovation Quorum, a distributed crypto-ledger. This only proves further that innovation in AI and blockchain continues to grow as a key partnership that mainstream companies have recognized and begun to implement.

It is obvious to see how the merging of both AI and blockchain will prove to be a major disruption and key innovation in optimizing systems and markets, not only in the financial industry but also in robotics and other influential areas of study and practice.

Blockchain Technology and the Disruption of the Financial Services Industry

Blockchain technology can be applied to more than just money, but for today’s post, we will be focusing on its impact on the finance industry. As the weeks go on, we will focus on an individual industry, but since it is the most famous, we will dive deep into the rise (and fall?) of bitcoin along with other ways in which finance will change forever due to the growth of Blockchain. As you might recall from our first post, forty of the world’s top financial firms are experimenting with the technology. To this date, there has been over $1 billion invested in Bitcoin, the most popular form of Blockchain.



Bitcoin is possible because of Blockchain technology, however, Bitcoin is not Blockchain! Bitcoin has fallen short of expectations, so make sure to understand that finance and Blockchain in the future is not necessarily bitcoin. Bitcoin is a distributed and decentralized digital currency. Some of the cons of Bitcoin is that you can’t move your existing money, have to pay wildly unpredictable fees that are high and rising fast, its suffering large backlogs and flaky payments. Blockchain is the underlying protocol behind the technology of the currency. The strength behind Blockchain technology is in the authenticity of records, content and transactions, and its decentralized nature. This opens up the possibilities of many uses.


For starters, we have IBM working on harnessing the power of Blockchain. IBM’s Blockchain solution combines data provided by the participants in the network, creating a consolidated and detailed view of transactions that is visible to all parties. The outcome of this solution is a significant reduction in number of disputes, dispute cycle time, and improvement in productive use of working capital. Key features of IBM Blockchain are immutability, non-reputability, and privacy guarantees provide a safe, trusted and decentralized ledger for sharing information, while retaining role-based control of its visibility to other participants in the network.




J.P. Morgan Chase is also another financial giant jumping on the Blockchain train. They are working on using the technology in a manner that would allow the bank to use a publicly available system for confidential transactions. It is interesting to note JP Morgan’s outlook on making it a public network instead of a private one like most institutions have incorporated. Cybersecurity is one of the major benefits of Blockchain that we stressed in our first blog post.

Another giant, Barclays, has just completed a Blockchain trade finance transaction. Two of its partners, Ornua and Seychelles Trading Company, successfully transferred trade documentation via a Blockchain platform created by Barclays’ program Wave. This means that in the future, adding multiple parties to a distributed ledger system can remove one of the biggest “headaches” associated with global trade, the movement of the paper documents that track and authenticate the transactions that have occurred.


Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, has said that Blockchain will have a significant impact on Financial Industries. Economic transactions on a digital ledger can be programmed to record any type of financial instrument. These systems tackle settlement latency in mainstream financial markets. This means the entire lifecycle of a trade, including its execution, the netting of multiple trades against each other, reconciliation of who did what with whom, and whether they agree, can occur at the trade entry level. That’s much earlier in the stack of process than what you are accustomed to seeing in mainstream financial infrastructure.


History of the Smartwatch

History of the Smartwatch:

First episode of a series called a Series of Disruption in and of Wearable Technology. When you have a second to watch this video, pay attention to the evolution of Smartwatches, and how it has not just been a desire recently to own a smartwatch…but since 1880.

You will witness the 5 milestones to the existence of the Smartwatch derived from The Smartwatch Group:

  1. Foundation
  2. Imagination
  3. Electronification
  4. Experimentation
  5. CommercializationThe 5 Milestones

Moore’s Law:

After discussing present day devices, we go into exactly how this is all possible. How computers are developing to be faster and smaller, and why we are capable of creating such innovative devices that we have wanted since 1880. Furthermore, Moore’s Law is defined as, by Gamespot.com as the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit would double around every two years.

Thanks for watching!


How will medical advancements impact society?

This video discusses the social implications of disruptive technologies such as IBM Watson. Will there be less of a need for people going to medical school and a greater need for people knowing how to operate machinery used within a particular industry? Perhaps that is where the future is heading. Within healthcare and sciences, technologies with cognitive capabilities and sophisticated AI systems are capable of assisting doctors in diagnosing patients, comparing statistics of how people will react to medications, searching for clinical trials within a designated area, monitoring the progression of a patient, and unanimously reporting a patients diagnostics into a cloud based computing system. All of these tasks are things IBM Watson is doing and it is paving the way for treatment within hospitals and treatment centers.

Several articles are discussed in the video regarding statistics on how population is increasing in the future and what that means for an economic system. Within the United States, the average age of retirement for people born after 1960 is now 67 years old compared to 65 years according to the New York Times. Part of the reason people are living longer is due to technologies increasing the ability to detect disease, treat disease, and develop new ways of prevention. If people live longer, what type of impact will that lead to the workforce? Social Security? These questions are topics discussed in the video with the conclusion that the age in which people can receive their benefits from Social Security will increase, causing people to hold their jobs for longer and displacing those searching for available job opportunities. Furthermore technology is currently displacing people out of jobs, however in the future this problem may become more serious if cognitive computing systems such as IBM Watson develop in more industries.

To read more on social implications of disruptive technologies please follow the links below to the news articles discussed in the video. What are your thoughts on this issue?









What type of liability is IBM Watson?

Our lives are run by algorithms. Algorithms that are combined together can make a very powerful machine, even a machine that can think for itself. IBM has invented a product known as Watson, a supercomputer that understands both unstructured data and sophisticated data which is used to formulate solutions unique to the individual that is using it. Although Watson has a variety of uses within different sectors such as education and law, for our purposes we will be discussing Watson in a medical sense. Currently Watson is being used by fourteen various hospitals and clinics throughout the country, pairing deathly ill patients with experimental treatment clinics. The fourteen hospitals are hyperlinked here. Read the hyperlinked article if interested in learning more about how each medical center utilizes the cloud based computing system IBM Watson has become a master in.

In the last video we discussed three very different pieces of disruptive technologies within the healthcare-sciences industry. We discussed IBM Watson, Metabolomx, and Wize Mirror. The video above discusses IBM Watson rather than the other two, due to Watson being a sophisticated API (application programming interface) giving Watson the ability to learn new things and develop a different strategies in helping to treat severely ill people.

Watson operates on a give and take system meaning people input their information into it and Watson stores information from news articles, tweets, medical journals, experimental treatments, patient logs, etc. to provide the best possible solution based on an individual need. The video discusses 4 different types of liability: strict liability, negligence, vicarious liability, and joint and several liabilities. The video poses the question on who should be held responsible when a piece of technology makes an error? Is it the programmer who coded the software to make the device perform a specific action that should be held responsible? When technology malfunctions, is the operator or owner held responsible if the technology causes harm to society?

NOTE: The video above shows a clip from IBM’s original work on YouTube called “How It Works, IBM Watson Health.” The link to the IBM’s video is here. The video above only covers about a minute of IBM’s original video, therefore I highly encourage everyone to watch IBM’s 5 minute video.

According to the legal dictionary, strict liability is “the legal responsibility for damages even if the person found strictly liable was not at fault or negligent.” In other words, even if a situation arises where it is not your fault, your employer can be held strictly responsible for the liabilities that arise from the situation. Previously in the law there have been employers who are strictly liable for what their employees do. In that regard is Watson considered an employee of IBM? Or is it considered a piece of technology that is developed by IBM employees and then distributed to the public? Who is responsible when Watson makes a mistake?

With defectively manufactured products the issue of negligence arises. Cornell University Law School cites negligence as “the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstance.” In other words, there is a missing action that someone failed to complete which caused harm to another party. In Watson’s case, what if the system failed to provide a proper recommendation to a doctor treating a patient with a heart condition and that person was given the wrong medication. The wrong medication caused harm to the patient resulting in a lawsuit. Who is responsible? One could argue that the doctor and patient who logged the information into Watson, failed to include an important piece of information and therefore should be held responsible for what happened to the patient. However, one could argue differently by saying that since Watson was wrong in the recommendation and guaranteed the doctor a high success rate, Watson should be held responsible for damages caused to the patient.

Relating to negligence is vicarious liability in which one party is held accountable for the actions of another. Let’s take the same example from above. A patient has a heart condition and Watson provides the wrong recommendation to the doctor due to improperly logging in a patient’s medical history. In vicarious liability the doctor, the hospital or center the doctor practices medicine in, and IBM Watson can all be held responsible. Providing that Watson is considered an employee of IBM, there are three parties that may have caused harm in this case: IBM Watson (employee 1), IBM programmers (employee 2), and the doctor who utilized Watson to treat his/her patient. Who in this sense would be responsible? IBM Watson can be that one party that can be held accountable for the actions made by the doctor, after faulty recommendations were provided.

Separate from vicarious liability are joint and several liabilities. This type of liability is where “two or more parties are jointly responsible for an event or act that results in damages to another party.” In the event of our heart patient, would you argue that IBM Watson and the doctor is responsible for harm to the patient?

The issue of liabilities is an important one and the reason I bring it up is to not point fingers at one party or another, but to begin thinking about who is accountable when a mistake happens in the medical field involving a computer. Taken what has been said in the video and what is written above who do you think is responsible when our heart patient is prescribed the wrong medication? Is it the doctor, Watson who assisted the doctor, or IBM itself? You decide based on the 4 different types of liability discussed above.

The link to the Youtube video seen above is shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgfPlISKNlU

The link to IBM’s 5 Minute Video on how IBM operates is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPXCF5e1_HI

Innovative Technologies Within the Healthcare-Science Industry

Hello everyone,

There are many pieces of disruptive technologies that are drastically changing the way in which doctors and nurses are conducting their day to day activities. New advancements in medical science are enabling computers to detect diseases, conduct in home screenings, and devise the best treatment options for patients. IBM, Metabolomx, Wize Mirror and a handful of other companies are now developing new innovative ways to improve the healthcare sector. The writing below are some details that I found after my research. Please watch the Youtube video that can be accessed through this hyperlink to gather more information on the innovative technologies.

Watson is a super-computer produced by IBM. A supercomputer takes inputted data, stores and processes it, and then generates a result at a much faster speed than a normal computer. Rather than using serial processing, supercomputers use parallel processing which is faster because it works on many things at once. Serial processing takes data, divides it up into separate pieces, and formulates a result based on what you asked the computer to do. Parallel processing splits problems into pieces and works on many pieces at once which allows for faster processing time. Processors are “the brain of the computer” because it interprets what you want done and relays it back to the computer before sending a response back to you.

Watson understands unstructured data which comprises 85% of the data humans provide to other humans according to IBM. Unstructured data consists of tweets, literature, blogs, articles, Facebook posts, etc. Watson uses natural language, meaning that it not only highlights words similar to how you would type keywords in on a Google search engine, it can read and interpret the words that have been written. It understands context and tries to understand what the user wants. It can search multiple inquiries and responses at once to formulate the best response possible. Watson formulates responses faster than humans ever could and is even finding new solutions to problems. Within the healthcare sector, Watson is now being used to match people for clinical trials which allows patients to take part in experimental theories to move them into practice. Watson takes information taken from patient data and matches the patient with the best clinical trials that currently exist and match the opportunities unique to the individual. Results are listed on the highest to lowest statistical match.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is one of America’s first cancer treatment centers that has paired with IBM Watson. MSK feeds information into Watson and the supercomputer is then able to analyze large quantities of data that would normally be too much for one individual to analyze, and reduces the data down to critical decision points. Watson has access to the most well respected medical reports and cases and is taught by specialists and it learns from the cases that range from patient to patient. Watson is now being further developed to include monitoring patients and gathering more personalized treatments for patients.

Watson is currently being used at:

  • Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago;
  • BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia;
  • City of Hope National Medical Center, Monrovia, California;
  • Cleveland Clinic;
  • Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, North Carolina;
  • Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska, Omaha;
  • McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis;
  • New York Genome Center;
  • Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, South Dakota;
  • University of Kansas Cancer Center, Kansas City;
  • University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center, Chapel Hill;
  • University of Southern California Center for Applied Molecular Medicine, Los Angeles;
  • University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle; and
  • Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, Connecticut.

Another company called Wize Mirror which was created by researchers across Europe employs breath monitors, 3D scanners, video cameras, and imaging systems to analyze the healthcare of its users. According to The Daily Beast this machine can detect changes in users’ faces, monitor circulation, search for signs of anxiety, and test breath for heart attack inducing chemicals.” It has the potential for revolutionizing early detection, in home diagnostics, and reciprocating the results of tests to doctors. We use mirrors everyday and this mirror has the capability of detecting what may be wrong with you once out of the prototype stages. Researchers released a video on how Wize Mirror operates, just follow the hyperlink to watch.

Metabolomx is a cancer sniffing device through the use of a small desktop PC with a hose attached to it. It can be wheeled from patient to patient and individuals are instructed to breathe through the tube for four minutes. Organic compounds otherwise known as VOC’s are carried in a person’s breath. The machine can detect VOCs that carry tumor signatures and can analyze the type of cancer a person has. After a study of 229 people, lung cancer was detected in the patients more than 80 percent of the time.

Currently Metabolomx is offering a breath exam after a person undergoes a CT scan which can increase life expectancy by approximately 20%, according to the National Cancer Institute. Metabolomx is also being used to detect tuberculosis and colon cancer. The major benefits of the technology include rapid results, fast to administrate, reliable, and is administered at a low cost.

All three of these technologies have a common theme. They each are working towards the goal of administering personalized medicine through the incorporation of machines that can process data and deliver results much faster than humans can. The issue of privacy with each of these technologies and ones similar to Watson, Metabolomx, and Wize Mirror will be discussed in later blog posts and videos. However, an important factor to recognize is how much medicine will be changing through the use of machinery in future.

Link to Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lZphsp5Acc