IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 10
PHOTO COURTESY OF IBM
IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni
Rometty with Johannesburg students at
the launch in South Africa of "IBM DigitalNation Africa," $70 million Watson-powered
skills initiative for the African continent.
Spurring Economic Growth in Africa
In a bold move to build much-needed digital, cloud and cognitive IT skills, IBM has committed to invest $70 million over the next five years into a program that will provide free skills
development programs for up to 25 million African youths. The initiative, IBM Digital-Nation
Africa, is part of a global push by IBM to build what IBM terms as "new collar" careers, jobs
that may not necessarily require a four-year college degree, but develop in-demand skills in
cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence, cloud and more. IBM hopes to give African
youth the means to develop these skills by helping them raise their digital literacy through a
free, cloud-based online learning environment delivered on IBM Bluemix*. IBM Watson* will
also come into play, reviewing the multiple interactions students experience as part of the
initiative, helping direct them to the right courses and helping IBM refine the courses offered
to better adapt the material for the needs of its users. Africa has approximately 200 million
people between the ages of 15 and 24. By 2040, the continent is expected to be home to
the world's largest labor force, with an estimated working age population of 1 billion ("State
of Education in Africa Report 2015").
Nausea is one of the biggest issues when it comes to
virtual reality (VR) technologies. One main reason people
feel nauseous during the VR
experience is because VR displays don't adapt to individual
sight requirements. However, researchers at Stanford
University are testing software
fixes and hardware options
that will enable "adaptive
focus display," which could
potentially eliminate this issue.
Right now, this software can
help more than 50 percent of
the U.S. population with vision
problems, including those who
are nearsighted, farsighted
and presbyopic. More developments are required when
it comes to astigmatism and
other vision problems.
Will We Ever Learn?
With so many high-profile breaches making headlines-including the release
of emails from members of the Democratic National Committee and athletes'
testing records from the World Anti-Doping Agency-one would think
Americans are stepping up their personal data security. However, a recent
Pew Research Center survey of 1,040 adults found that many Americans
continually fail to follow even minimal cybersecurity best practices. The survey also found that the majority of Americans have personally experienced
data theft or fraud. To avoid cybersecurity breaches, it's crucial to utilize
password management software and follow cybersecurity best practices.
10 // MAY/JUNE 2017 ibmsystemsmag.com