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Joining forces for a smarter planet

Picture by Terry Clinton

Picture by Terry Clinton

In summary:

  • An ambitious new collaboration between UTS and IBM seeks to create an intelligent ecosystem that connects people, devices, technologies and the built environment
  • Professor Mary-Anne Williams says today's smart devices have some intelligence and are mobile, but they lack social awareness and the ability to easily share knowledge and work together

Imagine a world where your phone displays the current position and direction of the elevator, where the building can help locate a colleague, and where your fridge can notify your car to collect milk on the way home from work.

This future is a step closer thanks to an ambitious new collaboration between UTS and IBM that seeks to create an intelligent ecosystem that connects people, devices, technologies and the built environment.

In a new Australian Research Council-funded Linkage grant, researchers from the UTS Centre for Quantum Computation and Intelligent Systems (QCIS) and IBM will work together to develop an innovative framework, models and practical toolkit that will help to design and build future intelligent ecosystems.

Professor Mary-Anne Williams. Picture by Joanne SaadProfessor Mary-Anne Williams. Picture by Joanne Saad

Professor Mary-Anne Williams, Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, explains that an intelligent ecosystem enables intelligent devices to share knowledge, collaborate and seamlessly work together.

"Today's smart devices have some intelligence and are mobile, but they lack social awareness and the ability to easily share knowledge and work together," Professor Williams said.

"An intelligent ecosystem will allow the devices we develop for use every day to undertake complex tasks by collaborating and learning.

"Imagine your refrigerator at home detects that you need milk before you leave the office late at night, so it notifies your car which recommends a detour via find the closest shop on route with milk available."

According to Glenn Wightwick, Director, IBM Research and Development – Australia, the project was a logical fit with IBM's Smarter Planet Initiative, which has a focus on engagement with changing technology.

"This Linkage project builds on a number of collaborative projects we've conducted with UTS that are in line with the Smarter Planet initiative, which is about using information technology to enhance the way the world works," Mr Wightwick said.

"There is certainly a shared vision between IBM and Professor Williams's team to explore, develop and exploit advances in information technology that have the capacity to change the way we live."

Claire Thompson

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