What does IBM do?

1 comment March 23rd, 2013

I often get asked “What does IBM do?” For people of my generation, IBM probably conjures up the image of Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer that beat World Chess champion Gary Kasparov, or perhaps Watson, the computer that answers questions posed in natural language and beat human champions of the game show Jeopardy. Some may associate IBM with the ThinkPad, although we divested from that business a while ago. The 2 minute video below featuring Senior Vice President Jon Iwata summarizes pretty well what IBM’s brand stands for.

ICWSM workshop on Social Computing for Enterprise 2.0

No comments March 17th, 2013

Submit to our upcoming ICWSM 2013 workshop!

Call for Submissions

Organizations have embraced Web 2.0 technologies, leading to the emergence of ‘Enterprise 2.0’. Workers at successful organizations are increasingly mobile, social, and collaborative. Consequently, the field of social computing is increasingly interested in introducing and studying the tools, practices and methodologies that engender the characteristics of such a workforce. As new social computing technologies continue to be embraced and thereby impact the manner in which work is accomplished in these organizations, it is important to discuss their implications on workforce management topics such as recruiting, retention, attrition, training, assessment, employee engagement and productivity. This workshop will provide a forum where designers, practitioners, as well as social science and computer science researchers can: 1) introduce new tools or methods that address workforce management issues, 2) advance our understanding of workforce issues through qualitative and quantitative empirical studies, and 3) discuss the impact and opportunities recent trends such as social, mobile, and crowdsourcing have on the workforce.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers and practitioners to explore, discuss, and understand challenges and new opportunities that arise from an emerging Social Workforce. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Social listening technologies
  • Data privacy and protecting employee information
  • Novel applications and technologies for workforce management
  • Line of business workforce challenges and solutions, e.g. sales enablement
  • Voice of the employee
  • Ethics of crowdsourcing
  • Critical studies of workforce related issues
  • Cross cultural studies of the workforce
  • Workforce analytics (social analytics, predictive analytics, social network analysis)
  • Industry-specific (e.g. pharmaceuticals, retail, food & beverages) workforce solutions and case studies
  • Novel social learning and knowledge management approaches
  • The role of HR in workforce management and optimization
  • Novel work(place) models
  • Novel approaches for talent management (recruiting, assessment, retention)
  • Crowdfunding

Submission

We welcome submissions that address our workshop theme.  Workshop submissions could be research papers or position papers, and should not exceed 4 pages in length. Submissions must follow AAAI formatting guidelines and be sent as a PDF file by email to sadat at us.ibm.com. Submissions must be received by 18 March 2013, 5:00 PM PDT. Participants will be notified of acceptance by 26 March 2013. Accepted submissions will be published by AAAI Press.

Important Deadlines

  • Paper Submission: March 21, 2013
  • Paper Acceptance Notification: March 26, 2013
  • Final Camera-Ready Paper Due: April 1, 2013
  • ICWSM-13 Workshops Day: July 11, 2013

Social Media Analyst opening at IBM in NY!

No comments March 11th, 2012

We have filled this position.  Thank you for your interest!

Overview

The Workforce Analytics group at IBM in Armonk NY is accepting applications for a full time position to work in the generation and management of large datasets associated with workforce social media usage. The position will involve collecting, scrubbing, and visualizing data from inside and outside of IBM, developing new knowledge from that data, and using it in a way to improve strategic decision making in near real time. The successful candidate will feel comfortable designing and implementing business analytics solutions and reports based on internet scale datasets in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team.

Qualifications

- A graduate degree in computer science, mathematics, statistics, or related discipline with an interest in workforce research and analytics
- A strong background in predictive modeling
- Proficiency in at least one statistical analysis tool such as R or SPSS
- Proficiency in one or more object oriented programming languages (Java, Python, Ruby etc.)
- Knowledgeable in machine learning, natural language processing, and data mining
- Experience with Hadoop, MapReduce, Hive, HBase, Pig
- Ability to quickly learn new technologies
- Excellent teamwork and communication skills

 

Privacy, identity, and design

3 comments January 26th, 2012

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4592915995/

A few of us were talking at work about Google’s recent changes to its privacy policy.  In case you missed it, effective March 1, Google will create a single profile for each of its user’s by aggregating data from all the Google services one may use like Gmail, YouTube, Search, Android, Google+ and Chrome. Their purpose is to:

…integrate our different products more closely so that we can create a beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google.

By a simple user experience, I assume the creation of a single profile aggregating all the data about me will allow Google to surface more relevant content and ads to me. That could be attractive to some. It is more appealing than consolidating privacy documents, which the announcement mentions as one of the reasons for the change. I doubt how many people read the Privacy Policies and Terms of Use of the websites they use.  I understand that Google needs to make money to continue to innovate. We all know that “If you’re not paying for it, you are the product.”

The consolidation of data from different services to create a single profile is intricately tied with identity.  Google’s services are so far-reaching and embedded in our lives that they will perhaps know more than we do about ourselves.  The perception of Big Brother is difficult to overcome.  I imagine most people will be uncomfortable with a single corporation having so much data about them.  Human identity is multi-faceted and different identities become salient depending on the context.  Social Psychology has been telling this to us for years.  More recently, didn’t former Googler Paul Adams show this in his presentation that received much public attention, and is arguably the basis of Google+ circles?  Adams showed how a teacher did not want pictures of what she did in a gay bar to be available to view by the elementary school pupils she was teaching.  Like that teacher, people like boundaries between different aspects of their identity.  I do not agree when Mark Zuckerberg says:

You have one identity… The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly… Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.

The lack of integrity issue has been debunked by many (e.g. read danah boyd’s keynote at SXSW 2010). Humans want boundaries in their lives for a variety of purposes. For example, I use Google Search to double check the spelling of certain words (see… reading my blog does give you insights into my personality!).  But I want a boundary between my searches on Google for what many might consider easy words to spell, and my identity as someone with a PhD. I realize that spell check is not a big use case for Google Search. But it is little features such as these that have endeared Google to so many of us. Keeping boundaries between different identities will not only keep users happy, it is also a key to good design.

Google is only as good as the data we give it.  Because of the recent change in policy, I anticipate a lot of users will look for ways to circumvent Google’s data collection measures.  The proposed changes in Google’s policy prevent anyone from opting out of data collection and still use that service.  If you do not like your data being aggregated, you have no choice but to stop usage.  But Google is so ingrained in our lives that leaving some Google services is unrealistic for most people.  So people will be cautious about what they post, what they do, and how much they use Google.  That means less eyeballs for Google, and consequently less ad revenue. Companies that can overcome the challenge of designing services that respect their users’ privacy will flourish in the long term.

In the meantime, I’ll be refraining from using Google to check spelling!  And don’t even get me started on YouTube videos!

Internship available at IBM in NY!

2 comments January 9th, 2012

Overview

Do you enjoy playing with large amounts of data to discover trends? Are you interested in how social media may be used to make predictions? Are you looking for hands-on experience with cutting edge technology in a supportive environment? If so, you may be the intern we’re looking for to join our team! The Workforce Analytics team at IBM in Armonk, NY is looking for a talented intern for the summer of 2012 to work on social analytics. We are interested in the potential of social media to deliver insights.  Our ideal candidate will have an active interest in social media, experience working with internet-scale datasets and an eagerness to apply data science skills to solve business problems.

This is a full-time paid position in Armonk, NY.  Armonk is located in beautiful Westchester County, and is about 30 miles north of NYC.

Qualifications

  • Strong background in Statistics and Predictive Modeling.
  • Proficiency in at least one statistical analysis tool such as R or SPSS.
  • Proficiency in one or more object oriented programming languages (Java, Python, Ruby etc.).
  • Ability to scrub, manipulate, visualize, and most importantly – derive insights from Big Data.
  • Ability to quickly learn new technologies.
  • Excellent teamwork and communication skills.
  • Graduate students preferred, but exceptional undergraduates with relevant experience will also be considered.

How to apply

Please send your resume directly to Sadat Shami through email with the subject “IBM Internship”.  Candidates will be evaluated as resumes are received, so it is in your interest to apply as soon as you can.

Update: This position is no longer available.