Artificial Intelligence creates a new sport

Artificial intelligence has been used in  many applications, ranging from finance to healthcare. According to Geek.Com. AI has entered the realm of sports.

AI has already performed analyses of athletic performance and has even been used in sports nutrition. However, artificial intelligence has been used to create an entirely new sport called Speedgate

AKQA used data from 400 popular sports and an algorithm to create 10 possible outdoor pastimes. After field testing the results, Speedgate made the cut.

  • Speedgate is played on a field with two “gates” on either end and a circle in the middle.
  • Two teams of six people, three forwards and three defenders, play the game, the goal of which is to kick or pass a ball through the opposite gate to score.
  • Kicking the ball through the opposite gate gains two points. Ricocheting the ball through the opposite gate scores three points,
  • Players are not allowed to cross the circle in the middle of the field but must throw or kick the ball through it to permit scoring through the gate on the other side.
  • Kicking, pushing, or hitting players on the opposite team is not allowed.
  • The ball must be kept in constant motion, thrown or kicked every three seconds.

It remains to be seen whether the first computer-generated sport will catch on, forming leagues, sparking a professional Speedgate industry, or make the Olympics. However, the game appears to be a great combination of a physical workout, skill, and strategy. One can imagine the new sport, which includes elements of rugby, soccer, football, field hockey, and croquet, becoming popular with people who want to stay fit and have a little fun doing it with something that is brand new. The motto, also generated by AI, is “Face the ball to be the ball to be above the ball.” Perhaps some human creativity should be used to improve that.

President’s Corner

For the past week, I have been in Berlin, Germany, participating in the 2019 COMMON Europe Congress (CEC). For me, it was truly one of the hottest conferences I have attended in some time, with temperatures soaring into the 90’s.  The venue was a hotel in the heart of Berlin with a spectacular 7-story high fish tank in the middle of the hotel atrium, complete with many varieties of fish and plant life with an elevator down the center for viewing.  As I am always interested in how other engineers patch things together with bailing wire and paperclips, I was fascinated that they had applied duct tape to seal said aquarium in the hotel lobby and not a drop of water was to be seen.

For me, one thing that is very different from my participation at the North America POWERUp Conferences, is that at the CEC, I have some time to attend sessions and learn, not just present sessions and attend meetings. Additionally, with the time zone change, many of my colleagues and customers are still asleep while I am in class learning – no urgent calls or email!

By far, one of the most interesting aspects of attending the COMMON Europe events is that I have an opportunity to hear ideas and thoughts from European speakers and attendees. Their perspectives bring in their cultural and marketplace experiences which in many cases are quite different from an American point of view.

I met with many of the IBM Champions from Europe as well as other committed community members, many with great ideas not just about pushing technology into the future and testing the limits of IBM i, but also thoughts about building stronger community spirit and friendship. Every champion whom I’ve met, is a Champion of the platform. This was especially visible at CEC as they converged from many countries from America to Russia and Sweden to Italy to Spain and all points in between. Everyone spoke of contributions and successes. It’s truly invigorating to meet, discuss, think and imagine. IBMers and IBM Champions showed more and more customer stories… they just keep coming!! The stories are about companies from everywhere; from small to big, local to international, and in businesses across the spectrum.

At the CEC, just as at POWERUp 2019, IBM spoke about the number of consecutive quarters of growth. It was recently announced that for the eleventh year in a row, Power Systems have been named as the most reliable server family.

I would like to share a more personal experience. After many years of working in the marketplace, talking to IBMers, customers and other partners, I thought I “got it”. I have seen the charts with new release roadmaps for both hardware and software. I have seen the architecture growing into the future. While I have always believed those charts, I felt that the reason for the long life was a combination of steady improvements delivered by IBM, new features and options from our vendor community and of course, both of them aided by the world’s most supportive user community. Straight forward and reliable, but perhaps not really exciting.

While I was in Berlin, my “Aha!” moment arrived!  Over the 31 years (more if the S/3x machines are included) that led to today’s platform, there have been many, many improvements to IBM i. There were new opcodes and new functions added here and there as the languages got more modern capabilities. New editors were announced, based on open standards. The database got more capabilities and even a name! The system got new communication capabilities and many new services. New file systems and new security bits were added. The hardware got faster and faster and as our amazing O/S allows the adoption of new technology quickly, frequently IBM i could use it before anyone else! We got cool new hardware stuff, and you know me, I love new hardware stuff!

Let me share some of the things that led up to my “Aha!” moment:

Over the last few years we have all been hearing rumblings about new and exciting things. Rumblings about the ability to do administration through a web browser. Rumblings that there was a client for ACS that would allow attachment from MAC or Linux machines, complete with actual, significant, usable, and ongoing improvements. The flexible deployment of ACS so easy that system administrators don’t even believe it. Rumblings that system administration could be done with SQL. But that was far from all. Capabilities were added to allow the solid and fine tuned character based applications to be readily web enabled and enabled for mobile too!

The database, Db2 for i, would amaze and delight Dr. E.F. Codd. Unbelievable capabilities fantastic performance, and tools to know how it’s working and how to make it work better.
Open Source on IBM i, while initially very exciting, had some issues with PTF deployment. However, even before the reality of this had sunk in to most IBM i customers, Yellowdog with YUM appeared and open source went from ‘we have some ideas’ to ‘we MEAN business.  RPMs literally appeared overnight and not just my personal favorites of joe and rsync, but hundreds of them now including R and other serious and widely adopted technologies.

Speaking of Open Source, I am working on a portal to provide instant access for developers.  My efforts here were stalled a little during the hectic run up to ‘Conference Season’ but that won’t stop us!  Using this portal, developers will be able to sign up for access. The system will be available within minutes if not seconds, bill by the hour, and all done automatically.  EVERY time I mention this to anyone in the open source space they cheer. It Will Happen.

Over the years, security has improved. There are accelerated enhancements to encryption and reporting and AUTHORITY COLLECTION!  At the CEC this week, I watched Carol Woodbury have to pause for a second as she told the audience about this new feature.  She is so thrilled with it.

And the latest release, IBM i 7.4 has so much content. The biggest feature is of course Db/2 Mirror for i. WOW!! Truly amazing and from many reports the effort invested to make this work will have positive implications in other areas not the least of which are database performance and communications.

Finally, I want to talk about cognitive computing in the IBM i marketplace.  In my experience, many customers are still trying to understand what might be possible with this new suite of technologies.  IBM is already delivering tools and showing early success stories. IBM i on POWER Servers is well positioned to deliver on this promise. At COMMON North America, we are working hard to create awareness and education to help customers do even more with their systems to solve real business problems with cognitive computing.


My “Aha!” moment happened.  As you can tell, I am in awe of both the subtle and not so subtle changes that have made the system what it is today with IBM I 7.4.  Truly an amazing revelation to me.

Admittedly I’ve might have missed some favorite technologies in my review. That is not to say any are less important, but rather because there are so many!!

Conferences are often a place to recharge. COMMON North America named the annual event to POWERUp for that reason!  The CEC was no different.

There were times this week I just wanted to stand up and cheer and I probably should have. At one opening session a few years ago, President Pete Massiello stepped onto the stage at the conference Opening Session wearing sunglasses because our future was so bright. I think today we should all be wearing welding glasses!

To the IBM team, I say BRAVO. Well done. Awesome. And of course keep it coming!!!

Data Protection

The duration that a business’ operations are interrupted at any given time by various complications and unforeseen circumstances will be determined by how prepared the business is in dealing with them. Some unforeseen causes of downtime in small and medium-sized businesses include but are not limited to fire, floods, illegal computer hacking, earthquakes, terrorism, and broken equipment. Whatever the case, the IT industry sets standards for how to prepare for business downtime in the wake of the disturbances. Any business serious about preparing for downtime and disasters should have what’s called a DRPDisaster Recovery Plan. The following is a basic guide for the fundamentals thereof.

1) Data Preservation: A business’ financial records, customer data, and general business data (including configuration settings) that allows the business to bring in monetary profit should be backed up frequently — the frequency of the data backup will determine how up-to-date lost data is when attempting to restore it from the backed up archives.

2) Business Continuity: Although business continuity includes the concept of data preservation, it is a term that should be well-understood. Temporary loss of computer data does not necessarily mean that employees are not capable of contributing in some way — whether it is toward disaster resolution or, to a limited degree, continuing with business productivity itself — these points, if well-planned, will mitigate the impact of downtime in any business.

A sound disaster recovery plan should be a cornerstone in any serious business. For those business owners and managers who are serious about it, a few simple steps taken in preparation could mean the difference between monetary stability and loss. Books can be purchased on the subject from various stores including on the internet. There are also a variety of tutorials that can be found on the subject written by computer enthusiasts and hobbyists. Learn the skill or outsource it — don’t put it off!

Artificial Intelligence will Affect the Practice of Medicine

Recently, the Verge sat down with Dr. Eric Topol, who recently published a book entitled “Deep Medicine,” which examines how artificial intelligence will change healthcare. Dr. Topol presented the following insights:

Artificial intelligence will not replace doctors. Patients will still appreciate the human touch when it comes to getting health care. Also, AI can have glitches or get hacked, so human doctors will have to check the Ai’s diagnosis, sort of like seeking a second opinion in the same office.

AI will be able to solve a long-standing problem that doctors face, which is the time they must spend analyzing data from patients, especially from new implantable and ingestible sensors, not to mention getting it inputted into a medical records system. An AI system will be able to perform those tasks for the doctor, freeing him or her to spend more time with patients.

On the other hand, government regulators and health care managers may try to use the new technology to force doctors to see even more patients than they already do. The temptation would be to decrease the cost of health care by decreasing the number of doctors available to treat patients. In this case, AI would be a “force multiplier’ rather than a quality enhancer. This approach is clearly not the way to go if the quality of health care is a priority, 

Several studies must be conducted to ensure that AI systems perform their diagnostic tasks and data integration with accuracy and speed. A fully functional medical AI system would also reduce medical errors, a major cause of patient injury and death.

Finally, the new system must be designed with patient privacy in mind. The patient will have to have control over who gets access to his or her medical data, which will often be dispersed in several locations but gathered and integrated by the AI system.