IBM Will Soon Let Developers Run Apps on Watson, Its Smart-As-a-Human Computer
IBM will open up Watson to app developers in 2014, the company announced on Thursday. Watson is a supercomputer that thinks and speaks like a human. It's the computer that won Jeopardy in 2011. IBM is making Watson even more human, CEO Ginni Rometty said last month. It will soon be able to "see" meaning it can look at pictures or X-rays and understand them. Then it will be able to "reason," meaning argue and debate with a human.
From http://www.businessinsider.in/IBM-Will-Soon-Let-Developers-Run-Apps-On-Watson-Its-Smart-As-A-Human-Computer/articleshow/25806133.cms, November 15, 2013
'Smart Voting Joystick' Improves Accessibility at the Polls for the Disabled
Local voters with dexterity impairments, senior citizens and others could see an improvement in the technology used at the polls to cast their votes. Sarah Swierenga, director of MSU Usability/Accessibility Research, collaborated with a team of MSU faculty, undergraduate engineering students, rehabilitation specialists and usability and accessibility researchers and interns to develop a prototype joystick that is comparable to the joystick-controlled wheelchair used by thousands of people in the U.S.
From http://www.capitalgainsmedia.com/innovationnews/Joystick0739.aspx#!, November 15, 2013
Inclusion and Accessibility for People Living with Disabilities
For more than 35 years, I have been involved with the work of inclusion and accessibility and when I learned that a small, thoughtful, committed group of students, faculty and staff were efforting to change the world for those of us living with disabilities by beginning with the Ohio University community, I wanted in on being a part of the effort! As it turned out, I was invited to become part of this effort beginning December 1, 2011. Fueled by President McDavis’ commitment to the full implementation of the American’s with Disabilities Act with a focus of “working toward full accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities,” this small group of committed people dared to dream big dreams of what a fully and seamless inclusive and accessible Ohio University community could look like.
From woub.org/2013/10/30/inclusion-and-accessibility-people-living-disabilities-why-it-matters-now-more-ever, November 15, 2013
Disability Technology: Is the Future Already Here?
Technology has long been heralded as a solution to the many difficulties experienced by disabled people. So how can it help? In the last 10 years, focus has shifted from desktop PCs to mobile devices. Today's smartphones are mini-computers with an increasing range of features for disabled people - they talk, hook up to hearing aids and have other ingenious accessibility functions.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-ouch-24926652, November 14, 2013
November 14 Is World Usability Day
The importance of user-centered design in healthcare is truly life or death. Whether it's new medical devices or technologies; drug research, approval or delivery; patient forms or medical record sharing; emergency disaster planning or increasing the functionality of hospitals and everyday healthcare delivery, everyone is affected in some way by the intersection of usability in healthcare. There are many commonalities, yet each region of the world faces its own set of unique challenges. We believe that focusing World Usability Day 2013 on healthcare will create a stronger awareness of these issues and lead to initiative that have long term impact on the quality of everyone's life.
From http://worldusabilityday.org/, November 14, 2013
New Assistive Technology Resource for Persons with Disabilities
Assistive technology is increasingly opening the doors of possibilities for people with different types of disabilities be it education, work, or everyday life in society. It is becoming that essential tool which helps individuals to become more independent, confident, productive, and better integrated into their communities.
From http://www.digitalqatar.qa/en/2013/11/14/new-assistive-technology-resource-at-your-fingertips/, November 14, 2013
USICD Youth in Development DC Internship Program
In 2013, with the vital support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF), USICD launched its first internship program focusing on youth with disabilities who are interested in international affairs careers. The project follows from a vision, core to USICD’s mission, to increase disability inclusion in U.S. foreign affairs by supporting future generations of Americans to invest their skills and talents in this field. The program will be held again in 2014.
From http://usicd.org/template/page.cfm?id=257, November 14, 2013
Digital Inclusion: Making a Difference Through IT
“I had little interest in technology before joining Microsoft six years ago.” Now a passionate advocate for digital inclusion, Belinda explained, “Using the latest technologies everyday has converted me!” She continued, “Exponential technological advances have altered the structures of societies, economies and governance. The amazing possibilities of technology can be a double-edged sword if we are not on the right side of the digital divide.”
From http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_citizenship_asia_pacific/archive/2013/11/12/making-a-difference-through-it-belinda-gorman.aspx, November 14, 2013
Developmental Disabilities and the Community: Why Inclusion is Important
Some months ago, I chanced upon a wonderful video, of a remarkable woman, Karen Gaffney. In 2001, Karen was the first person with Down Syndrome to swim the English Channel. In 2010, she swam Boston Harbor. She is a speaker, self-advocate, and President of the Karen Gaffney Foundation, which advocates for full inclusion of those with developmental disabilities into society.
From http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/201101/developmental-disabilities-and-the-community-why-inclusion-is-important, November 13, 2013
Will IBM’s Watson Usher in a New Era of Cognitive Computing?
Computers as we know them have are close to reaching an inflection point—the next generation is in sight but not quite within our grasp. The trusty programmable machines that have proliferated since the 1940s will someday give way to cognitive systems that draw inferences from data in a way that mimics the human brain.
From http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=will-ibms-watson-usher-in-cognitive-computing, November 13, 2013