See How a Guide Dog Is Made -- Through a Guide Dog's Eyes

Emotive Film Illustrates IBM's Data Technology

Published On
Mar 14, 2016

Editor's Pick

Back in November, IBM debuted a campaign by The Barbarian Group that aimed to illustrate big data in an emotive way -- the first spot was a film about a blind runner who uses the RunKeeper app to help him complete some extreme cross country routes. Now, a second film shows how data powers IBM's partnership with Guiding Eyes for the Blind. What's unusual here is that it's filmed from the dog's perspective.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind uses IBM Cloud to help collect and store medical, behavioral, and developmental data on its dogs and has started to use IBM Watson to curate recommendations of male and female pairings that are more likely to produce puppies that will graduate the program. Only about half of dogs born at Guiding Eyes for the Blind actually graduate to guide dogs due to various factors that can disqualify them in the first two years of their life. IBM's data-driven technology is designed to improve these odds.

The film shows the journey of one such dog, Jackson, from cute puppy being raised with a "trainer" family to a young dog undergoing some intensive training and assessment. Apart from one shot of him as a newborn, you don't see Jackson, but everything is filmed from his eye view. The final scene, in which Jackson is finally paired with his owner as a guide dog, sums up the power of the technology and the process we've just seen in an emotionally resonant way, and might well have you reaching for the tissue box. It was directed by Tucker Walsh at M ss ng P eces.