What’s a fractal?
Just one of the main building blocks of the universe. Known as ‘God’s thumbprint,’ these simple math formulas reveal the intricate recursive patterns found within nature, yet still remain one of science’s best-kept secrets. Follow along as we explore the contours, curiosities and creator of this beautiful wonder of the computer age.
"A fractal is a way of seeing infinity." —Benoit B. Mandelbrot
Meet the Fellows
Names that tune in 3 notes
No, it’s not a contestant from the classic TV game show. It’s an IBM computer that uses algorithmic computation to identify a song’s musical period—Baroque, Classical or Romantic— in only three notes. And when applied to speech patterns, the same technology can be used as an early warning system for Parkinson’s disease and certain kinds of psychiatric disorders. Read on →
Ready to step into our cognitive test kitchen?
Here’s your chance to test the one piece of new equipment every kitchen could use—a cognitive system. IBM Watson researchers and Bon Appétit are looking for a few passionate foodies to test their new food app. And, while you’re at it, discover entirely new concoctions. Kind of like a computerized chemistry set for your taste buds. Get started at Bon Appétit →
3 eggs. 2 pinches of coriander. 1 cognitive system.
Austrian Chocolate Burrito. Vietnamese Apple Kebab. Belgian Bacon Pudding. Just a few of the delectable dishes IBM Watson has invented recently. Now you can discover your own personal concoctions while testing and informing the Chef Watson with Bon Appétit app. Ready to give it a go? Get started at Bon Appétit →
By jove! It’s Wimbledon time again. Which means IT technicians have geared up the tournament website for two full weeks of peak demand. Luckily they’ve got a great doubles partner. Together with the IBM Cloud, they’ll attempt to flawlessly return an expected half a billion hits over the course of the championship tennis tournament. So stock up the fridge and indulge in extra helpings of strawberries and cream, no matter where you are.
What’s your spin on bacon & dragon fruit?
Show Watson your chops. IBM Watson researchers and Bon Appétit are searching for a select-few foodies to help us test and refine the new Chef Watson with Bon Appétit app—where cognitive computing helps you discover recipes that never existed before. Who knows, you and Watson might even invent the first bacon, dragon fruit and _________ burrito. Go to Bon Appétit to get started →
While Northern Hemispherians fill up on extra Vitamin D today, IBM researchers and Swiss engineers are looking to top off the energy needs of the planet. Using mirrored, solar tracking parabolic dishes, they’re prototyping a High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal System (HCPVT) that concentrates radiation as if shined on by 1,600 suns. Dotted across just a small fraction of the Earth’s surface, the project has the potential to replace all of our fossil and nuclear energy. Pretty cool stuff.
Now go outside and enjoy the summer solstice.
"Pass the computerized condiment, please."
Look out ketchup and mustard. We’ve gone back to the cognitive kitchen to create Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, an unexpected blend of squash, Thai chilies, tamarind and a dozen more ingredients that have never before been slathered together on a chicken wing.
It’s got a slow, warm heat and a kick that becomes even more to savor when you discover that it was concocted by something that has no taste buds. Cognitive computers from IBM Research modeled quintillions of recipes based on thousands of ingredient combinations to predict what new tastes people would find surprising and delicious. And voilà!
The sauce was only bottled for a limited run, but you can whip up a batch at home with this recipe. We even added a label to print. Bon appétit.
Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce
Approximate Yield: 550g
300g butternut squash, diced
200g white wine
Watson already knew how to talk. But soon, it’ll be talking with you. The next wave of Watson technology will be able to pick up on personality traits and have friendly conversations. (It still can’t do accents or high-five, but maybe someday…)
How do you make the World’s Smallest Magazine Cover? With a nanochisel, of course! Learn about how National Geographic Kids magazine collaborated with IBM to carve a magazine cover that’s 2,000 times smaller than a grain of salt. Learn more →