Steve Brine visited Hursley on Friday 7th April as he dropped into IBM's biggest software lab in Europe.
Steve was hosted by Stephen Warwick, one of the organisation's worldwide development Vice Presidents. He is also the leader of UK Lab Campus, a group of ten IBM software development labs across the UK.
During the visit, Steve saw the "wall of fame", where IBM recognise their Master Inventors and Distinguished Engineers, and had a discussion with Peter Waggett, Director of Emerging Technology, about the way they use the latest research to solve problems for industry and government.
He also took in a demonstration by Dr Hamish Hunt of Emerging Technology, of "Fully Homomorphic Encryption" that uses new encryption/decryption technology to allow business or government to do complex data analysis with another group (with their agreement) without having to let that other group know what question you're asking, what specific data you're analysing, or the result that you get. This is particularly useful for defence and healthcare.
There was also a demonstration by Darren Shaw of Emerging Technology, of "Wimbledon Social Media Command Centre." IBM has a 25-year history of work with the All England Tennis Club, and this latest example is how they used IBM Watson cognitive technology to help them understand, interpret, anticipate, and contribute to social media discussions of the Championships last year.
Darren told Steve that some of his parliamentary colleagues (including Lord Bridges, when he visited) had mused how interesting this could be for understanding "real-time" responses to public events or government announcements.
Steve also tried out their virtual reality headset, demonstrated by Emerging Technology's Gwilym Newton, with an application developed to show how to train people in virtual environments, in this case, astronauts on a space station.
Manager Brian Peaston then gave Steve a tour of the IBM Studios Hursley design facility, where he explained how design thinking has changed the way IBM collaborates with clients and government departments to solve challenging problems. While there, Steve was shown a "delightful experiences" map of the world, and invited to add his own post-it to the map.
Speaking after the visit, Stephen Warwick said: "We welcome every opportunity to show that our UK software developers have the advanced skills the British economy needs to sustain its growth. IBM Hursley been here for six decades, with an unrivalled track record in the UK as a trusted partner. Our work contributes to the country's future vision of technology."
Steve Brine said: "I always enjoy my visits to IBM at Hursley and find them inspiring and energizing. The fact we have a world leading business right here is so great but it's the positivity you get from everyone you meet at IBM which is so impressive."
Pictured; Steve Brine with Stephen Warwick and Tom King, IBM's Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs in the UK, and below, Steve at the Delightful Experiences map
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