Cognitive Systems Institute

The Cognitive Systems Institute is being established to explore answers to two questions with both technology and pubic policy dimensions:

How can cognitive systems be used to improve the productivity and creativity of:

(1) individual researchers and their teams?
(2) research universities and their regions?

More specifically, the Cognitive Systems Institute works with cognitive systems researchers (1) to understand and improve their productivity and creativity, and (2) thereby understand and transform research university-driven development (learning, discovery, and engagement) in smart regions.  A public policy purpose for improved cognitive systems and social networks is to augment individual and collective intelligence to benefit business and society, and improve quality-of-life in the “nested, networked service systems” that we all belong to, depend on, and co-create as we live, work, learn, and play.

The Cognitive Systems Institute is being established as a global, virtual community-of-interest by IBM first and foremost to understand and collaboratively work to improve the productivity and creativity of multi-disciplinary cognitive systems researchers.   For example, how can improved access to data (including test and training data sets, corpora of literature, patents, start-up proposals, etc.), tools (both open and proprietary), grand challenge problems and cognitive sport tournaments, and other shared resources and events improve the productivity and creativity of cognitive systems researchers and problem-solving professions?

Second, the Cognitive Systems Institute will foster the creation of diverse point-of-views (POVs) documents on how cognitive systems will likely transform education systems and sustainable regional development,  lifelong learning, skills and employment.   For example,  public policy related to personal data, quantified-self, learning, discovery, and sustainable development.  Cognitive systems will augment individual intelligence and augment collective intelligence of organizations and institutions (“smart service systems”).

Please contact ( if you are a cognitive systems researcher interested in learning more about the Cognitive Systems Institute.

Goal 1:  Cognitive Systems will improve the productivity and creativity of Cognitive Systems Researchers, as well as other problem-solving professionals.  What are the most relevant articles, blog posts, books, etc. related to improving Cognitive Systems Researchers productivity and creativity?

For example:

Vattam, S., Wiltgen, B., Helms, M., Goel, A. K., & Yen, J. (2011). DANE: fostering creativity in and through biologically inspired design. In Design Creativity 2010 (pp. 115-122). Springer London.

Deng, J., Dong, W., Socher, R., Li, L. J., Li, K., & Fei-Fei, L. (2009, June). Imagenet: A large-scale hierarchical image database. In Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2009. CVPR 2009. IEEE Conference on (pp. 248-255). IEEE.

Lazer, D., Pentland, A. S., Adamic, L., Aral, S., Barabasi, A. L., Brewer, D., … & Van Alstyne, M. (2009). Life in the network: the coming age of computational social science. Science (New York, NY), 323(5915), 721.

Goal 2: In addition to augmenting individual intelligence, cognitive systems in conjunction with social networks will increasingly augment collective intelligence of families, businesses,  and cities.  What are the most relevant articles, blog posts, books, etc. related to the transformational impact of cognitive systems on regional educational systems and regional economic development?

We are also planning a “Handbook of Cognitive Systems” that will provide a snap-shot on these two questions from multiple disciplinary, sectoral, and cultural perspectives.   Researchers will be invited to contribute chapters to the handbook from diverse areas of research, including Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition, Planning, Robotics, Computer Vision, Neural Networks, Energy Efficient New Computing Architectures, Big Data Social Physics, Quantified Self, Regional Economic Development, Transformation of Education Systems, Transformation of Professional Systems and Associations, Urban Science, Data Science, Service Science, Public Policy, etc.

Please contact me for more information:

Dr. James (“Jim”) C. Spohrer
Director, IBM Global University Programs (IBM UP) and Cognitive Systems Institute
650 Harry Road, IBM Research – Almaden, San Jose, CA 95120 USA 408-927-1928 (o) 408-829-3112 (c)



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  2. The gist of our planned program:

    Readiness (Skills):
    A course that helps student teams launch startups.

    We are developing a program aimed at regional economic develop (startups) based on creating “Cogs” (cognitive assistance) that boost the productivity and creativity of professionals. Which professions are the weakest links in regional economic development? Which professions could drive the most economic growth in a region?

    Currently, we are directing interested faculty towards two conferences: AAAI and Cognitive Science.

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