Every new piece of data an organization receives is something learned. But each new piece of data on its own provides very few clues as to whether it reflects an opportunity or a risk. For a piece of data to be considered relevant, it must first be compared to other related data on hand, i.e., placed into context. Lack of context leads organizations to miss the obvious, become less efficient, and so on. So, with the overwhelming amount of data out there – particularly in an era of open government and open data – how can organizations bring diverse data sets together into context? And what happens when data so specific that opportunities are created for targeted fraud, or spear phishing?
Jeff Jonas is an IBM Fellow and chief scientist of Context Computing. His work in context-aware computing was originally developed at Systems Research & Development (SRD), founded by Jonas in 1985, and acquired by IBM in January, 2005.
Prior to SRD’s acquisition, Jonas spearheaded the design and development of a number of innovative systems, including technology used by the Las Vegas gaming industry. One such innovation played a pivotal role in protecting that industry from aggressive card count teams. The most notable, known as the “MIT team,” was featured in the book Bringing Down the House, and the movie “21. This work has also been featured in documentaries aired on The Discovery Channel, Learning Channel, and the Travel Channel, among others.
Following an investment in 2001 by In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA, SRD began playing a role in America’s national security and counterterrorism mission. One significant contribution included an analysis of the connections between the individual 9/11 terrorists. This link analysis is now taught in universities and has been widely cited by think tanks and the media.
Today, Jonas is working on a new generation of context computing code named “G2.” This technology will be used by organizations to make better decisions, faster. This unique technology will play a wide range of roles, ranging from advanced anti-money laundering detection and continuous insider threat monitoring, to forecasting asteroid impacts.
Jonas’ work has received wide media attention from the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, MSNBC, and National Public Radio. A highly sought after speaker, Jonas travels the globe discussing innovation, national security, and privacy with government leaders, industry executives, and leading global think tanks. He is on the boards of the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a distinguished engineer of information systems (adjunct) at Singapore Management University (SMU). He is currently the author or co-author of 11 patents and has recently been awarded an honorary Ph.D. Degree in Science from Claremont Graduate University; the award was presented at Claremont’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 2015.
Jonas was briefly a quadriplegic in 1988 following a car accident. Since then, he has fully recovered to compete in over 40 Ironman triathlons around the world. He has three wonderful children that he raised as a single father.
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