IBM Predicts Next 5 Life-Changing Tech Innovations - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Information Management
News
12/17/2013
12:36 PM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail

IBM Predicts Next 5 Life-Changing Tech Innovations

IBM unveils its annual "5 in 5" list of technology breakthroughs that promise to change how we work and live within five years. Real promise or PR fantasy?
2 of 6

Classrooms learn you 
If children can't learn the way we teach, why don't we teach the way they learn? This question captures IBM's vision for learning classrooms that track the progress of each student and then personalize coursework accordingly. Teachers naturally adapt to the needs of each student, but IBM says cloud-based systems will 'go much further' by automatically creating customized lesson plans and tailoring coursework for specific careers. This will enable schools to 'reach more students in more meaningful ways,' says IBM. With students leaning at their own pace, we'll move beyond the tyranny of grades.
IBM scientists are putting these theories to the test in a research project with Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia, and it says big data analytics will predict performance and learning needs and then align learning content and techniques with specific students. Sounds good in theory, but we've also recently seen great expectations for massive open online courses (MOOCs) that haven't been met. So is IBM onto something, or is this one of those predictions that's too good to be true?

Classrooms learn you
If children can't learn the way we teach, why don't we teach the way they learn? This question captures IBM's vision for learning classrooms that track the progress of each student and then personalize coursework accordingly. Teachers naturally adapt to the needs of each student, but IBM says cloud-based systems will "go much further" by automatically creating customized lesson plans and tailoring coursework for specific careers. This will enable schools to "reach more students in more meaningful ways," says IBM. With students leaning at their own pace, we'll move beyond the tyranny of grades.

IBM scientists are putting these theories to the test in a research project with Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia, and it says big data analytics will predict performance and learning needs and then align learning content and techniques with specific students. Sounds good in theory, but we've also recently seen great expectations for massive open online courses (MOOCs) that haven't been met. So is IBM onto something, or is this one of those predictions that's too good to be true?

2 of 6
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
cbabcock
50%
50%
cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
12/17/2013 | 2:41:36 PM
Big impact will come from more intelligent response to disease
IBM's prediction on the revival of retail is intriguing. But I think the real impact highlighted on this list is the change that will come about in cancer treatment and health care. DNA information is a powerful tool for coming up with the right way to counter disease. Cancer is a one target, but so are the mitochondrial diseases, Parkinsons, Lou Gerhrig's disease, Huntington's disease, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, which are linked to DNA mutations. As we build up the knowledge base of what works with each type of mutation, based on individual genomic treatments will become much more effective.
D. Henschen
50%
50%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 3:26:05 PM
Personalization is the theme
Cognitive computing makes it sound like a science experiment. "Personlization technology" is a more user-fiendly term, and it's really what we're talking about here -- personalized teaching, retailing, medicine, security and ... okay, maybe that doesn't fit as well on the cities front.

As for which of these are real and doable within five years, I'd say personalized medicine and responsive, connected city infrastructure are already well along. The cynic in me makes me think physical retailing and education are areas where IBM would like to get lots of consulting bucks, but I have to wonder if anybody can really move the needle with technology alone. As for security, here, too, there's lots of money up for grabs, but IBM isn't the first name I think of when it comes to security. Wouldn't RSA, McAfee or Symantic be more likely to bring this innovation?

To be fair, IBM didn't say it would necessarily lead all these innovations (though it pointed to projects on all five fronts), it just said they're coming. 
ChrisMurphy
50%
50%
ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 8:06:16 PM
Local retail
I agree that local retailers will make digital part of the store experience -- I'm surprised big boxes such as Best Buy haven't made more progress creating a digital experience. But I'm not clear how that experience answers the question of showrooming -- that a person doesn't soak up your store experience and knowledgable staff, and now also your digital experience, and then still buy it for a bit less online. Did I miss that?  
Brian.Dean
100%
0%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2013 | 11:46:04 PM
Re: Local retail
Good point and I agree that what you have mentioned does happen a lot, on the other hand I have also noticed that a consumer could go online and gather as much information as possible from an online retailer through products review etc and then finally ends up buying the product from an off-line store. I guess, these situations arise when either the online store does not have a reputation of a high level of trust with the consumer, and the off line store is not charging above the differences that the consumer is willing to pay that is accompanied with physical stores.

Online retail is big and is growing, but since offline retail has also managed to stay in business, I have a feeling that if these offline retail stores do embrace technology than IBM's prediction about retail will come true, even if we only consider the value that trust brings, through physical presences of the store. 
Ellis Booker
100%
0%
Ellis Booker,
User Rank: Moderator
12/18/2013 | 12:03:26 PM
Liking this "Top Five" list
There should be more of these. That ol' annual standby, the Top 10 List, tends to be watered-down effort by the seventh item.  
TomM765
50%
50%
TomM765,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/18/2013 | 1:00:34 PM
Re: Local retail
There is more to this.  The difference may be the convience factor and getting it then and there vs. going back home to get a few percentage points off on Amazon.  But there are two other issues here also.  On Amazon you get built in comparision shopping not only in price, but in other similar produces and associated product add-ons and produce reviews that most brick and mortor stores can't come close to providing for want of stocking space and overhead (unless they want to become net centric front ends).  For shoppers who have a need but not nessesarily a brand loyaty this is a big plus.  And until we level the network tax playing field the brick and mortor stores will be tied down with added local taxes and be hit again by amplified morgage and upkeep costs that will price them out of many markets.  
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 1:34:02 PM
Classroom Of Future
The classroom vision seems rosy. Changing curriculum involves serious political battles in public schools, as the current controversy over Common Core shows.
billmosby
50%
50%
billmosby,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/18/2013 | 1:55:06 PM
Computer intelligence and learning
I suppose one more innovation might be needed, something to keep us motivated to learn after it becomes common knowledge that computers are smarter than we are and can do for us everything we need done.
Thomas Claburn
100%
0%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 7:10:53 PM
Re: Local retail
I have my doubts about the viability of local retail. Local shops just can't hold the inventory of e-commerce giants. I can't tell you how many times I've looked for an item in a neighborhood shop, only to find that the store doesn't have the right size, color, or options I'm looking for. Usually, that business ends up going to Amazon or the like.
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
12/22/2013 | 9:54:37 PM
Re: Local retail
Thomas, I have the same opinion as yours. The local retail is a kind of business that will be in an embarrassing position in the future digitial world. Recently a big local chain retail enterprise got backrupt in China. One of the major reasons is the fierce competition from online market, which has big variety of goods and timely delivery system. Nowadays there is a trend that big department store becomes the place to have the dinner, watch the movie and other kinds of entertainments instead of shopping. People do shopping online quite often - I just got one pair of ECCO leather shoes from web last weekend.:-)
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Commentary
What Becomes of CFOs During Digital Transformation?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/4/2020
News
Fighting the Coronavirus with Analytics and GIS
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/3/2020
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Job Skills in High Demand This Year
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/3/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll