IBM's 5 in 5: Five Life-Changing Technology Innovations in Five Years

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-12-17 Print this article Print

The fourth IBM prediction is that a digital guardian will protect you online.

IBM says today there are multiple IDs and devices than ever before, yet security is highly fragmented, leaving users vulnerable. In 2012 there were more than 12 million victims of identity fraud in the United States. Traditional approaches to security -- passwords, anti-virus or a firewall -- are not comprehensive. These rules-based approaches fall short in several ways – they are designed to recognize only known viruses or known fraudulent activity and typically only look at a single source of data.

However, IBM says in five years, every user could be protected by their own digital guardian that will become trained to focus on the people and items it is entrusted with, offering a new level of identity theft protection. Security will assimilate contextual, situational and historical data to verify a person’s identity on different devices. By learning about users, a digital guardian can make inferences about what’s normal or reasonable activity and what’s not, acting as an advisor when they want it to.

IBM scientists are currently using machine learning technologies to understand the behaviors of mobile devices on a network in order to assess potential risk. In the future, security is going to become more agile and contextual with a 360 degree of data, devices and applications, ready to spot deviations that could be precursors to an attack and a stolen identity.

IBM’s fifth prediction of what will change lives in five years is that the city will help you live in it.

IBM said by 2030, the towns and cities of the developing world will make up 80 percent of urban humanity and by 2050, seven out of every 10 people will be a city dweller. In five years smarter cities understand in real time how billions of events occur as computers learn to understand what people need, what they like, what they do, and how they move from place to place, IBM said.

Big Blue says that soon it will be possible for cities and their leaders to understand and digest new information freely provided by citizens, knowing which city resources are needed, where and when, so the city can dynamically optimize around the needs of the citizens.

Moreover, mobile devices and social engagement will enable citizens to strike up relationships with their city leaders. This concept is already in motion, for example, in Brazil, IBM researchers are working on a crowdsourcing tool that allows users to report accessibility problems, via their mobile phones, to help people with disabilities better navigate challenges in urban streets. While in Uganda, UNICEF is collaborating with IBM on a social engagement tool that lets youth communicate with their government and community leaders on issues affecting their lives. These types of tools will become commonplace in helping city leaders identify trending concerns or urgent matters and immediately take action where needed.


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