Mark III Systems Blog

SXSW 2016: Cognitive Computing Creating Possibilities


Mark III attended the 30th year of SXSW. There was so much to see and do from riding virtual reality bikes, learning about the latest and greatest apps, how wearables are changing how we do anything, IBM Watson mixing cognitive drinks, the ever evolving Internet of Things and thousands of other innovative technologies changing how we do business. The goal of this week for Mark III was to learn what new technologies are being created, how they will enhance what we are currently focusing on, and come up with creative ideas that improve the way we serve clients and our overall ecosystem.

Being a focused IBM partner, Mark III visited the IBM Cognitive Studio and IBM Design Hive to learn about the new innovative Watson technologies, play rock-paper-scissors with robots, take a virtual reality bike ride, see Watson make a cognitive cocktail, taste Chef Watson’s newest delectable and the many other projects IBM is working on. IBM Watson has come a long way since it debuted on Jeopardy! In 2011. Watson helps people at home find the perfect recipe for dinner with Chef Watson, improves the hospitality industry with the first Watson-enabled robot concierge, helps oncologists with cancer diagnosis and treatment, enables veterans to find the right information about post military life, and this is just the beginning. IBM Watson impacts business, homes, and individuals. The possibilities are endless with Watson and Bluemix. Mark III has a team of Watson and Bluemix developers creating innovative, customized applications for our enterprise clients.


One of the sessions Mark III attended was on the Internet of Caring Things. The Internet of Caring Things is a network of connected objects and cognitive systems with a clear mission to adversely care for people physically and mentally in their homes. This allows family members, doctors and caregivers to proactively monitor the health and well-being of the worlds aging population. The growing population demographic is disrupting key industries because people are living longer; which is a great problem to have!

SXSW 2016 IoCT

This market is considered a new business model for how to engage the elderly with smart objects. Majority of the world’s life patterns can be tracked by how they interact with their smart device, but the elderly do not engage the same way. Children, from a young age, are taught to use a smart phone or even play with a Watson powered CogniToys dinosaur (Internet of Family Things) making these tools a way of life. For every year an elderly person stays in their home they save $40-125K per year! In Japan, the post office offers a service where the postmen go door to door delivering mail and checking on loved ones. IBM did a study in Bolzano, Italy on this very focus. They installed a cognitive system not to track the persons every movement but to track abnormalities. Watch the video below to learn more!

As cognitive computing is adopted and data is collected machine learning becomes a key focus. Machine learning is a popular buzz word as of late but people have been using it for many years. For example, a spam filter learns what mail is “junk”, Netflix recommends movies based on other users with similar interests, and now machines are learning how to cure cancer! Data is the key to learning and the beginning to a revolution that will impact business and everyday life. More data has been created in the past two years then the entire history of the human race! Not only does Mark III help you to learn from data but it can help enterprises to store, manage, optimize and understand data!

Cognitive computing, machine learning, and other technologies will drive new markets and business models just like the Internet of Caring Things. Mark III sees these evolving markets as a creative opportunity to partner with businesses and change the way we live our lives. Just think what technology will support you as you age?

SXSW is about creativity, new technology and possibilities. Everything we do impacts the exploding cloud stack market. Mark III has the skills to build and iterate on digital cloud platforms and tech stacks on-premise or hybrid models, as well as, to create/develop a use case on top of that stack or a business’s current stack. SXSW ignited our creativity and drive to provide cognitive enterprise cloud solutions to impact everyone!