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Contamination-seeking drones - IBM Patent 9447448.

Stay back and let the drones do the dirty work. Patent 9447448 makes cognitive drones able to inspect and decontaminate places so humans don’t have to. The drones’ on-board AI system can collect and analyze samples, so it can identify and clean up any bacteria or outbreak. Meanwhile you get to hang back, safely out of harm’s way.

This is just one of the record-breaking 8,000+ patents IBM received this year. Explore the latest IBM patents. →

Life-saving distractions

You’ve been taught that being able to focus is an asset. But sometimes you can be so intensely focused on one thing that other items are blurred out of vision. This phenomenon is known as perceptual blindness, and it’s something doctors struggle with—so focused on finding an aneurysm, they might miss another life-threatening abnormality in the brain. Enter a new IBM Research project that’s teaching IBM Watson to see. One day it might help researchers spot tiny abnormalities they weren’t even looking for in the first place. Details on spotting the details

Art with Watson

To Build evokes IBM Watson’s ability to extract implicit connections from explicit concepts within text, revealing the fundamental building blocks of cognitive technologies – their ability to think like humans.

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Take us home, Olli. 

The next generation of self-driving cars is one you can talk to. Local Motors, creators of the world’s first 3D-printed cars, just launched Olli, the first talking shuttle bus to use cloud-based IBM Watson IoT for Automotive as a brain.

A combination of four Watson APIs (Speech-to-Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction and Text-to-Speech) gives Olli the ability to recognize and react to things like “let’s go downtown” or “what’s good to eat around here?” as you and up to 11 other people go from point A to B.

If you’re looking to catch a ride with Olli, you can find it making the rounds in Washington, D.C. Next stops: Miami and Las Vegas.

Honk to learn more about Olli and Watson →

Once upon a time, there was no way to make sense of the ginormous amounts of information written, filmed, tweeted and published every day. Then IBM Watson came along. Since 2011, it’s been gearing up for a new cognitive era—not only able to recognize all kinds of data, but to understand, learn and reason through it as well. All week, we’ll share stories of our favorite cognitive collaborations, as IBM Watson helps to outthink the world’s big challenges. And to know, think and do what we never could before.

The Science Behind Patent No. 8977583

Super small yet perfectly poised to outthink chip technology as we know it: Patent No. 8977583 is a highly efficient chip that’s not only built to resemble the brain, but to behave in ways like one too. It all happens through (wait for it) neuromorphic and synaptronic computation – in other words, the actions of a million artificial nerve cells. With this tiny chip, we’ll be able to cram more cognition and processing power into small devices like phones, hearing aids and watches to make them think better, faster and on-the-fly like humans.

See what else we’ve patented in our record 23rd year →

Art with Watson

IBM Watson has the cognitive ability to understand and analyze what people write, and, through diction, context, and word choice, render deeper insight into their true personalities. This particular email reveals above average tendencies toward passive-aggressiveness and stubbornness with mild hints of compassion.

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Virtual Worlds for All

Every kid wants to play video games, but for those with disabilities, it’s not always so easy. That’s what Shari Trewin and team were trying to overcome when they created the first ever virtual game that allowed players without sight, hearing, reading, or much movement to play all together. Teacher snow use the game to teach renewable energy concepts in a fun way. You can play it yourself here


Happy Inventors’ Day! Wait, the inventors have their own day? Of course they do! They take creative risks in the name of making life easier, so they’ve earned it. This day also marks the unofficial end to our celebration of 22 record breaking years. A reminder that although over six million patents exist, somehow there are always more to be conceived. So don’t just sit there, get on with it!

The Science Behind Patent No. 9087304

We’ve all been served up search results we weren’t sure about, whether they were for “the best tacos in town” or “how to tell if your dog has eaten chocolate.” With IBM Patent no. 9087304, you no longer have to second-guess the answers you’re given. This new tech helps cognitive machines find the best potential answers to your questions by thinking critically about the trustworthiness and accuracy of each source. Simply put, these machines can use their own judgment to separate the right information from wrong.

See what else we’ve patented in our record-breaking 23rd year of innovation → 

Art with Watson

Inspired by IBM Watson’s cognitive ability to balance in-depth analysis of multiple factors, statistical evidence and competing objectives, The Decision portrays the delicate but creative path toward decision making. In this case, each of the factors that go into buying a new car.

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Road Reader

What if your mobile device could do roadwork? Tierra Bills and team aim to improve urban road conditions in Kenya by collecting data with an app. So if everyone slows down at a certain place and it’s not a stop sign, chances are there might be a pothole there. The road maintenance department would be alerted to check out this particular area and see what’s up.