The “Cognitive Era” with Erich Clementi

14 December 2016

The Industry 4.0 is completely transforming the world we are living in. Big Data, Internet of Things, Human + Machine and the Watson Health project were the main topics discussed by Erich Clementi, Vice President of IBM Sales & Distribution, during the fourth appointment wit the  Innovation Talks 2016.

The new industrial era – Cognitive Era – It is represented by the processing and immediate management of Data. In the presented scenario emerges a technological world influenced mainly by the data that are produced every day. It is about 2.5 quintillion of data daily, which will grow by 93% by 2020.

Four major themes were treated during the Speech.

1) Big Data and Algorithms are enormous sources of wealth to determine the results. Facing this huge amount of data, companies need to build hardware and software architectures to optimize their management. These tools that can analyze, process and make the most of the data, will represent an important competitive advantage for companies that will grasp the opportunity. Those who will remain behind in this development risk a paralysis.

IBM committed to invest, from 2014 to 2019, 3 billion dollars in two major research and development programs, which aim to identify the chip technology needed to meet the requirements of cloud computing and Big Data applications.

2) The Internet of Things redefines the concept of Industry. The synergy between the physical experience and digital interpretation starts a real process of innovation that enables companies to be more competitive in the market.

3) Political Frameworks should be modified to be more competitive, in particular about the issue of the treatment of personal data.

4) The man-machine relationship should not be seen as a threat. As the machines can learn and run independently, they must always be analyzed and controlled, as in the case of Watson Health, a project developed by IBM that supports physicians and other health care workers in advanced “cognitive computing capabilities”.

The last lines of this rich panel of arguments and reflections, which involved in the discussion an audience of students, academics, politicians and managers about the issue – dear to Erich Clementi – of the life-long learning. “Learning should be a continuous commitment of workers and companies involved in the training.” In this seamless process, he identifies the poles of education and university research as a strategic and fundamental for creating the data scientists of the future and the managers that can govern these processes of change.


Andrea Pontremoli and Max Bergami participated as discussants, and Romano Prodi, Patrizio Bianchi and Eugenio Sidoli as guests of the event.


We invite you to the the last meeting with Franco Zambonelli, Professor of Information Processing Systems, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.



The event was organized in collaboration with Philip Morris Italy.


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