IBM stands for International Business machines….
A quick recap. IBM came up with the coolest super computer called Watson some time in 2011. It was launched at a Quiz game called jeopardy in New York to display its awesome cognitive capabilities. i.e. the computer can respond to nearly all the questions in the world. the questions can be from any subject, be it Geography, Biology, History, Physics you name it.
The only issue is that the machine is too big. Like a mainframe computer. It about as big a lecture room if you know what i mean and has to be cooled down by a Fridge.
The management of THE MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA branch of IBM global Corp are working on setting up a research lab in Kenya to enable us to create some other cooler thing “like Watson”. Though, on a serious note, the Research Lab will focus mainly on reducing the Traffic that’s on Kenyan roads. The Solution to this traffic jam problem will pioneer the reduction of traffic jams in the world. Currently, Nairobi has one of the most notorious traffic jam in the world.
Some university students have been selected to attend the Africa institute training… Including our very own Mugambi Neville. The training was at Strathmore school of Business some time in August this year. The attendees of the conference were trained on how most of the IBM products are and how they worked. They also got the chance to experience the Strathmore University community,share ideas and network with some of the prominent IT and Software companies in Kenya. In attendance was also some govt institutions like the KRA and NSSF., who have systems that manage their client (Kenyans) data on an online platform.
Some of the most notable corporates and medium sized companies were: Seven seas technologies from East Africa. They were serious about this whole thing. I bet if there was someone to solve the traffic jam problem, It would be them. The other guys who were busy taking notes also was the IBM competitors HP Kenya... They have nearly the same hardware as IBM and were there taking notes to see their competitors weaknesses.
Dr Mark Dean (CTO middle East and Africa) officialy said on the opening ceremony of the conference that,
we want to do innovation in your country.
This Research Lab will be the 12th in the Globe. It will be constructed in Nairobi, Kenya. It will focus its research on the Mombasa-Kampala road. The Research Lab will be a center for
- Innovation and
- Ambition or entrepreneurship.
This new application that should be developed will be termed as the “application of analytics that will be able to find the needle in the haystack”. And with Cloud Computing, there will be no need to build your own infrastructure to look like a large company or corporation. to cut this lecture short. They plan on investing Billions to carry out more Africa Related research. So BBIT university course is not useless after all.
Finally… the IBM workshop was a first for me. I couldn’t ask for more from them. It was an experience that every IT person out there would envy. The event was closed on Aug 24th by non other than the Kenyan PS of Communication.