What's cooking inside IBM India’s research labs?

Sriram Raghavan, Vice President, IBM Research & CTO IBM India/South Asia reveals what is currently cooking inside the IBM labs.

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In 2018, IBM researchers from India secured over 800 patents across various technologies, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, quantum computing and automation. 

IBM Research India is currently focusing on emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence and blockchain. IBM's goal is to bring in useful strategic innovation for the plethora of customers that it has across the globe, both in the private and public sector.

"From the perspective of India research lab, we have five pillars of work. Our horizontal technology focus is on AI and blockchain, and in terms of applying these technologies, we look at three areas, which are agriculture, retail and enterprise automation," says Sriram Raghavan, Vice President, IBM Research & CTO IBM India/South Asia.

IBM's research on AI

Globally, IBM filed more than 1600 AI patents including Project Debater, a first-of-its-kind AI system from IBM Research that can debate humans on complex topics. IBM inventors patented an approach to use machine learning to identify evidence, such as relevant text segments in unstructured text data, which supports or opposes a claim or topic under consideration. This could help provide advancements in how machines and humans interact.

One of the major patents received by Indian IBM researchers include structured representation and classification of noisy and unstructured tickets in service delivery. "When we talk about the patent around ticket analysis, here is an example which came out of research that IBM has been doing for many years to improve its own service delivery for customers. The patent is about how through advanced natural language processing you can do deeper analysis of troubled tickets, customer support requests, and how that analysis helps companies drive better efficiency and speed of response," elaborates Raghavan.

For artificial intelligence, IBM Research's focus spans across three areas - advancing AI, scaling AI, and trusting AI. The organization is also involved in collaboration with leading education institutions to push the boundaries of AI innovation. "More than half of the IBM Research labs in India are exclusively focused on fundamental artificial intelligence. We have also continued to scale up ties with technical institutions, particularly in artificial intelligence with IIT Mumbai and IIT Delhi as a part of the AI Horizon Network," tells Raghavan. 

IBM's research on blockchain

With the aim to bring blockchain to the enterprise, IBM is working extensively to create the IBM Blockchain Platform on top of its open source blockchain Hyperledger Fabric. "Our blockchain strategy is about making Hyperledger Fabric work through the IBM Blockchain Platform in a hybrid, multi-cloud environment, so enterprises can accommodate and create networks on premise, on cloud or across multiple clouds," explains Raghavan.

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