Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for December 14th, 2017

Walmart, JD.com, IBM and Tsinghua University Launch a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance in China

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Walmart, JD.com, IBM, and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies announced today they will work together in a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance that will kick off with a collaboration designed to enhance food tracking, traceability and safety in China,  to achieve greater transparency across the food supply chain.

The four companies will work together to create a standards-based method of collecting data about the origin, safety and authenticity of food, using blockchain technology to provide real-time traceability throughout the supply chain.

This will encourage accountability and give suppliers, regulators and consumers greater insight and transparency into how food is handled, from the farm to consumers. This has traditionally been challenging due to complex and fragmented data sharing systems that are often paper-based and can be error-prone.

Walmart, JD, IBM and Tsinghua University will work with food supply chain providers and regulators to develop the standards, solutions and partnerships to enable a broad-based food safety ecosystem in China.

IBM will provide its IBM Blockchain Platform and expertise, while Tsinghua University will act as a technical advisor sharing its expertise in the key technologies and the China food safety ecosystem. IBM and Tsinghua will collaborate with Walmart and JD to develop, optimize and roll out the technology to suppliers and retailers that join the alliance.

As a world leader in global food safety, Walmart works closely with suppliers, regulators, industry partners and the research community around the world. In China, it invests heavily in food safety research through the Walmart Food Safety and Collaboration Center and has promoted food safety, both through its own supplier network, as well as working with JD, which has rich omni-channel food supply chain management experience. The two have been able to leverage JD’s expertise in the application of artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, big data and other new technologies to protect consumers.

Following IBM and Walmart’s announcement in August of a new consortium to enhance food safety, this collaboration brings IBM’s blockchain food safety expertise to China. IBM, Walmart and Tsinghua University have piloted the use of blockchain to trace food items, including pork in China and mangoes in the U.S., as they move through the supply chain to store shelves. Recent testing by Walmart showed that applying blockchain reduced the time it took to trace a package of mangoes from the farm to the store from days or weeks to two seconds.

The collaboration is designed to help ensure brand owners’ data privacy while helping them integrate their online and offline traceability for food safety and quality management channels. Companies that join the alliance will be able to share information using blockchain technology, and plans include them being able to choose the standards-based traceability solution that best suits their needs and legacy systems. 

This will in turn bring greater transparency to the supply chain and introduce new technologies to the retail sector designed to create a safer food environment and enhance the consumer experience.

The insights gained from the work in China will shed light on how blockchain technology can help improve processes such as recalls and verifications and enhance consumer confidence due to greater transparency in China and around the world. 

Written by turbotodd

December 14, 2017 at 11:25 am

IBM Announces Quantum Computing Collaboration

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IBM today announced the first clients to tap into its IBM Q early-access commercial quantum computing systems to explore practical applications important to business and science.

They include JPMorgan Chase, Daimler AG, Samsung, JSR Corporation, Barclays, Hitachi Metals, Honda, Nagase, Keio University, Oak Ridge National Lab, Oxford University and University of Melbourne.

These 12 initial organizations join the newly formed IBM Q Network, a collaboration of leading Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions and national research labs working directly with IBM to advance quantum computing. The IBM Q Network will also foster a growing quantum computing ecosystem based on IBM’s open source quantum software and developer tools.

 

The IBM Q Network provides organizations with quantum expertise and resources, and cloud-based access to the most advanced and scalable universal quantum computing systems available, starting with a 20 qubit IBM Q system. IBM also recently built and measured the first working 50 qubit prototype processor.

IBM anticipates that access to this prototype will be offered to IBM Q Network participants in the next generation IBM Q System.

IBM Fosters Growing Quantum Ecosystem

Through the publicly available IBM Q Experience, over 60,000 users have run more than 1.7 million quantum experiments and generated over 35 third-party research publications using the world’s first series of quantum computers available openly on the web.

The IBM Q Experience enables registered users to connect to IBM’s quantum processors via the IBM Cloud, to run algorithms and experiments, work with the individual quantum bits, and explore tutorials and simulations around what might be possible with quantum computing. Developers also have access to IBM’s open quantum software development kit, QISKit, to create and run quantum computing programs.

The IBM Q Experience will also play a significant role in an initiative IBM is undertaking with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  IBM will support MIT in producing a leading edge, comprehensive curriculum for executives, engineers, scientists and researchers to understand and leverage the upcoming quantum computing revolution

The first courses are anticipated to go online in the first half of 2018 via the edX platform. The curriculum will include a set of MIT created massive open online courses (MOOCs) that will be offered both for free and for a fee to learners who desire an MIT issued certificate of completion. The curriculum will also include a comprehensive professional development curriculum (MIT ProX courses). These latter courses will include online labs on quantum computing, which will utilize the public IBM Q Experience quantum computers.

In addition to supporting the quantum curriculum, IBM has started working with MIT to explore the intersection of quantum computing and machine learning as part of the recently launched MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. Together, IBM and MIT scientists are investigating the “Physics of AI”, which involves new research into AI hardware materials, devices and architectures.

Focus areas include using AI to help characterize and improve quantum devices, and researching the use of quantum computing to optimize and speed up machine-learning algorithms and other AI applications.

IBM Research is announcing a series of prizes for professors, lecturers and students who use the IBM Q Experience and QISKit in the classroom or for their research. Awards will be made available for developing open source course materials for a lecture series; building Jupyter Notebook tutorials with QISKit; contributing specific code modules to the open source QISKit SDK and to students who publish a scientific paper that makes use of QISKit. For details visit https://qe-awards.mybluemix.net.

Written by turbotodd

December 14, 2017 at 9:11 am

Posted in 2017, ibm, mit, quantum computing

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