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IBM AI Government The Internet Technology

Will IBM Watson Be Your Next Mayor? 148

MrSeb writes "When we think of computer networks, we think of routers and servers and fiber optic cables and laptops and smartphones — we think of the internet. In actuality, though, the visible internet is just the tip of the iceberg. There are secret military networks, and ad hoc wireless networks, and utility companies have sprawling, cellular networks that track everything from the health of oil pipelines and uranium enrichment machines through to the remaining capacity of septic tanks — and much, much more. What if we connected all of these networks to the internet, to form an internet of things? What if we then put a massive computer at the middle of this internet of things and used this wealth of data to power smart cars, smart homes, smart supermarkets, and smart cities? Unsurprisingly, IBM and Cisco are already working on such smart cities. For nearly two years, Rio de Janeiro's utilities, traffic systems, and emergency services has been managed by a single 'Ops Center,' a huge hub of technologies provided by both IBM and Cisco. With 300 LCD screens spread across 100 rooms, connected via 30,000 meters of fiber optic cable, Ops Center staff monitor live video from 450 cameras and three helicopters, and track the location of 10,000 buses and ambulances via GPS. Other screens output the current weather, and simulations of tomorrow's weather up to 150 miles from the city — and yet more screens display heatmaps of disease outbreaks, and the probability of natural disasters like landslides. There's even a Crisis Room, which links the Ops Center to Rio's mayor and Civil Defense departments via a Cisco telepresence suite. This sounds awesome — but is it really a good idea to give a computer company (IBM is not an urban planner!) so much control over one of the world's biggest cities?"
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Will IBM Watson Be Your Next Mayor?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2012 @10:19PM (#39816091)

    I just hope that the user interface doesn't include the disaster bar. I know that setting off a volcano in your city center can add excitement and all, but that would be going too far.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2012 @10:42PM (#39816337)

    Hell, I'd rather have a Cardassian as mayor than a Kardashian.

  • Re:Quimby (Score:5, Funny)

    by Auroch ( 1403671 ) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @10:54PM (#39816457)

    I cannot wait for the first sex scandal.

    "Duuude, did you see the pictures of the mayor getting defragged last night?"
    "Sure, his hard disk is really fast, and yeah, he goes into standby pretty quick ... but there's virtually no time delay when waking him back up!"
    "What do you mean, more ram?"
    "Small town mayor caught letting strange women use his touchpad"
    "What do you mean, Sharon? You know you can't really catch a virus from him"
    "Fsck! Fsck Fsck Fsck! That's all I ever hear from you!"
    "For the last time, can someone explain to IT that it's called sandboxing, not 'putting on protection'".
    "When's the last time you were blown out, Mr. Mayor?"
    "DVDA? How about DVD-R?"
    "Hey! Watch where you put that stick!"
    "Wrong port! Wrong port!"
    "It doesn't work if you put it in upside down. I don't feel anything!"
    "What do you mean, you want me to switch? I was born THIS way!"
    "Yeah, who's your mac daddy?"

  • beleavers

    A kind of animal that dams but isn't damned?

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.