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Building The City Anew: SmartCity Hamburg

Residents are to benefit from intelligent solutions. Event shows options and chances in regard to weather, traffic, health, and creative computing. The question remains: who or what is Watson?

In future, Hamburg’s chef de cuisine may look not only into their pots, but also increasingly on their screens: 9,000 recipes from magazines and cookbooks have meanwhile been listed online by various platforms and channels, where they can be grouped, selected and searched by flavours, taste preferences, popular media, or ingredients. Everything is recorded and and re-linked. The result is a wealth of new creative ideas for recipes. “My favourite example!” enthusiastically beams Annika Grosse, Watson Service Leader Europe, IBM. “The question is: will computers be able to increase our creativity without input we previously taught him?”

An Opportunity To Network

New opportunities for Hamburg in regards to smart city and digital city initiatives and their impact on citizens was the key topic of the second MLOVE Salon Smart City Hamburg hosted by IBM at its Hamburg headquarters on Wednesday, 18 February 2015. Speakers included Kay Hartkopf, Smarter Cities Director, IBM; Jörn Riedel, CIO, Free and Hanseatic City Hamburg, MInistry of Finance, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Timm-Giel, TU Hamburg Harburg, Vice President Research; Mirko Bass, Innovation & Customer Experience, Cisco, and Johanna Ahrens, Senior Business Consultant, Avodaq – Smart Health at the UKE. “Here in Hamburg, you will find to great opportunities and fresh ideas. We thus wanted to set up places and events to network and link the knowledge and input”, said Harald Neidhardt from MLOVE Salon Smart City Hamburg.

Using Data To Enhance Security And Safety

Kay Hartkopf, Smarter Cities Director at IBM demonstrated smart solutions for traffic and weather phenomena allowing to make the lives of residents safer. “Take, for example, the city of Rio de Janeiro with its six million inhabitants. The residents often experience heavy torrential rain, which often lead to fatal consequences. You have to know as early as possible when something like this is to happen. Only reliable data collection and intelligent analysis will lead to predictions that will allow to better co-ordinate the behaviour of the population, the ruling of the government, and the deployment of services in case of emergency. We cannot stop the rain, but we can ensure its impact is less dramatic.” The Madrid city government asked how to better monitor services. Also in this case, Big Data analytics helped to enhance the connection between people and services.

A Practical Application In Hamburg

To develop intelligente programmes and ensure their best use – or should one first ask: what exactly do we actually need it before developing the appropriate intelligent solution? This was one of the evening’s key questions. It was answered by Johanna Ahrens, Senior Business Consultant Avodaq – Smart Health at the Hamburg University Medical Center (UKE). Ahrens presented a film showing a sick child in a ward directly and actively participating in the tuition at school by using a video conferencing system.“In the health sector, we have countless ways to improve people’s life with intelligent solutions.”

Large Cities Will Change The World

Cisco manager Mirko Bass contributed to the discussion impressions from his recent trip to Silicon Valley. “In the US, education is a hot topic. And, in particular, the question how people can be trained and prepared for the new hybrid professions.” The change ist driven by big cities. They change the world. “Above all, one of the big challenges is the question of how to get data. How to use parts of them, and how keep other parts anonymous”, explained Andreas Timm-Giel from the Hamburg University of Technology.

Beyond all the passion in the discussion, there was a broad consent on key issues. All intelligent technology must primarily be of benefit to the people and improve their quality of life. Health, intelligent transport systems, and a clean environment form an important basis. Mirko Bass from Cisco has high hopes for the young generation: “New ideas need to be part of the process. We need an entrepreneurial culture and places where meetings can take place. These are my wishes for Hamburg. “

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On Watson

Watson is a cognitive technology that processes information more like a human than a computer—by understanding natural language, generating hypotheses based on evidence, and learning as it goes. Watson “gets smarter” in three ways: by being taught by its users, by learning from prior interactions, and by being presented with new information. When asked a question, Watson relies on hypothesis generation and evaluation to rapidly parse relevant evidence and evaluate responses from disparate data.
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