IBM’ s initiative for a Smarter Planet aims to bring a new level of intelligence to how the world works ‘“how every person, business, organization, government, natural system, and man-made system interacts. Each interaction represents a chance to do something better, more efficiently, and more productively. But more than that, as the systems of the planet become smarter; we have a chance to open up meaningful new possibilities for progress.
IBM argues that our planet is getting smarter step by step. By this, IBM means the systems that run the way we live and work as a society. Three things have brought this about:
- The world is becoming instrumented. By 2010, there will be a billion transistors per human, each one costing one ten-millionth of a cent.
- The world is becoming interconnected. With a trillion networked things’”cars, roadways, pipelines, appliances, pharmaceuticals and even livestock’”the amount of information created by those interactions grows exponentially.
- All things are becoming intelligent. Algorithms and powerful systems can analyze and turn those mountains of data into actual decisions and actions that make the world work better.
The Smarter Planet initiative embraces a large number of topics:
IBM approaches the cities’ topic with especial interest. According to the company all the ways in which the world works ‘” from transportation, to energy, to healthcare, to commerce, to education, to security, to food and water and beyond ‘” come together in our cities. This means that cities ‘” more than states, provinces or even nations ‘” are the platform on which to make 21st century life more productive, more efficient and more vibrant.
IBM argues that although today we have the potential to infuse greater intelligence into the way our cities work, if we’ re really going to drive meaningful change, we need to get a lot smarter about how we think about the city ecosystem. After all, cities are complex systems of complex systems, and multiple players have a stake. The only way to really improve the way cities and their systems work is by being far more collaborative across business, government, industry, academia and civil society.