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Supercomputer could predict traffic jams and diseases

Role of robots in data collection and provision of services was highlighted at Dubai Government Summit

Supercomputer could predict traffic jams and diseases
Meyerson: "Technology is driving a huge surge in data which can no longer by handled by human beings."

A supercomputer could soon be able to help predict traffic jams, ensure public safety or prevent outbreak of diseases.

IBM's Watson, an artificial intelligence computer system capable of utilising the vast data to make predictive analysis, was the focus of a session titled ‘Meet Mr. Watson: How artificial intelligence can improve government services', on the second day of the Government Summit in Dubai.

Dr Bernard Meyerson, vice president of innovation at IBM USA said technology is driving a huge surge in data which can no longer by handled by human beings.

"The current volume of data is exceedingly large. Interestingly, 90% of this data did not exist just two years back. New analytical tools are required to ensure that all the available data is accounted for," he said.

According to IBM, Watson is capable of cognitive learning, which means that the system is capable of getting trained, similar to a human being. Its data analysis potential in areas such as cancer detection can be estimated from the fact that it can analyse 3500 text books and 4000 other data in 17 seconds.

Myerson said the cognitive system can take questions from users to analyse possible interpretation and potential answers, ranking them on the basis of most probable to least probable. He added that it would be useful in provision of services in the public sector such as citizen self-service, law enforcement, litigation support as well as in medical support and scientific research.

"With artificial intelligence enabled systems bringing enormous capabilities in analysing Big Data, the information technology sector and governments have a responsibility to enable result-oriented solutions to create a smarter planet." Myerson continued.  

In another session titled, ‘Bring the future to your customers: How robots could help governments deliver better services', Bruno Maisonnier, CEO of Aldebaran Robotics, said the huge leap in robotics is making robots more accessible and affordable.

"Soon every home will have a robot just as Bill Gates saw ‘A computer on every desk and in every home' just a few years back. Robots will play a big role in collecting Big Data and analysing them to improve the life of people," Maisonnier said.

Robotics will make it possible to provide data which can be used to enhance their services in health, education and several real life situations. However, with big data come big risks related to privacy issues, said Maisonnier.

"The future of robots is in their role as well intentioned digital friends functioning on ethical rules for the benefit of people," Maisonnier said.  

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