Back in September I wrote a post called Future Friday: The future of work is all about collaboration. I talked about how technology has changed the act of collaboration by providing a variety of tools to make it easier for people to work together. Then I attended the #IBMInsight conference in October. There I learned that technology is providing tools to “amp up” the power and process of collaboration.
Jason Silva, the host of Brain Games, started a session called Technology Transcendence: Giving Your Collaboration Tools a Brain. He talked about the impact technology has had on humans. He said “Technology is how we impregnate the world with “mind.” He further said “We build the tools and the tools build us.” He told us that technology changes behavior, and that was what this session was about. In fact this was in essence what the entire conference was about, how cognitive computing, currently powered by IBM’s Watson, is changing how things and people work. One of the hashtags for the conference was #NewWaytoWork. You can look it up on Twitter and see the massive amount of conversation around it.
IBM executive Rob Kaplowitz followed Silva onto the stage and talked about collaboration entering the cognitive era through the tools being supplied by IBM. He introduced and talked about the IBM email system, powered by Watson that analyzes your email, draws out the main points, prioritizes the email, highlights the real subject, supplies you with additional information opportunities and handles your calendar. It analyzes the context of your email messages to do this saving you time and effort.
Kaplowitz then invited Dr. Sandeep Pulim, the Chief Medical Information Officer of @PointofCare, a company using the power of Watson to provide information and diagnostic help to doctors dealing with massive amounts of data from their daily patients. It has made medical diagnosis and treatment a more collaborative effort between doctor, patient and technology. In a panel discussion later, Silva pointed out that this sort of technology empowers the patient by giving them knowledge and removing the helplessness that many patients feel. Kaplowitz says that “Analytics allows us to look at someone and understand them better.” To me that is the power of analytics.
In my post on collaboration I talked in terms of what we as employers and employees get out of collaboration. This session made me realize that collaboration can go beyond just the workplace. Collaboration, powered by analytics, can help businesses work better together, help governments work better together and can help improve the human condition. As long as it is not used for nefarious purposes.