In this talk, we describe enormous opportunities for innovation in delivering information technology based services. We start by describing inefficiencies, estimated to be about $15 Trillion, in how the world operates today (e.g. in industries like transportation and healthcare), some of which can be eliminated by infusing more instrumentation and intelligence into these systems. We then describe some unique challenges faced in emerging economies like India, for example, much larger scales of operations (for anything involving people), lower price points, and the need to handle noisy data. We provide several examples of innovations in dealing with these challenges. One of them is Spoken Web, our attempt to create a new world wide web, accessible over the (mobile) phone network, for the masses in countries like India. The Spoken Web platform facilitates easy creation of user-generated content that populates "voice sites", allows contextual traversal of voice sites interconnected via hyperlinks based on the HyperSpeech Transfer Protocol, and provides simple search and navigation capabilities over this audio content. We present our experience from pilots conducted in villages that shows the potential for dissemination of information and services to the masses using Spoken Web and interesting possibilities regarding social networking in these communities. Finally, we describe several opportunities for improving efficiency, quality and value from delivering various kinds of services globally, and the computer science and multi-disciplinary problems that arise in that context.
Manish Gupta is the Director of IBM Research - India and Chief Technologist for IBM India/South Asia. He leads a team conducting research on technologies underlying innovation in Services, Software and Systems, and is leading the IBM Research activities across the world in the Mobile Web area. Previously, he has held senior leadership positions at IBM Research - India, IBM India Systems and Technology Lab, and the T. J. Watson Research Center, where he led research on software for the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer. IBM was awarded the 2008 National Medal of Technology and Innovation for the invention of the Blue Gene supercomputer by US President Barack Obama in October 2009. Manish received a B.Tech. in Computer Science from IIT Delhi in 1987 and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992. He has co-authored over 70 papers, with more than 3000 citations in Google Scholar, in the areas of high performance compilers, parallel computing, and Java Virtual Machine optimizations, and has filed eighteen patents. Manish has received an Outstanding Innovation Award, two Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards and the Gerstner Team Award for Client Excellence at IBM, and has been invited to give keynotes at several international conferences and workshops. He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology.