CES 2019: the key announcements from IBM

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the global stage for innovation, playing host to innovators and breakthrough tech since 1967, to become the largest, most influential technology event in the world.

And no less influential was the opening keynote from IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty, delivering a handful of exciting messages about the innovation that’s strong in IBM’s DNA and “what’s coming next”.

Setting the context for the main section of her Keynote with “you don’t always see us, but you do rely on us, underneath”, Ginni introduces her vision of the future, touching on key topics including:

  • Deep data
  • Broad artificial intelligence and quantum computing
  • The role society should play to participating in this era

What came out of the keynote was the fact that IBM is not only putting Smart to Work with incredible technologies but changing how the world works, for all of us. Here are some of the highlights from the day:

  1. IBM unveils world’s first integrated quantum computing system for commercial use

Like so many technologies before it, the world has had a close eye of speculation on quantum computing, its potential is a thing of much debate. But no one has been looking at it more closely than IBM, and now we can truly begin to test its capabilities, as the world’s very first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system is unveiled. What’s more, it’s designed for scientific and commercial use. Yes, it’s real, and it’s called IBM Q System One.

  1. A new IBM weather system means vastly improved forecasting can be provided around the world

Providing the most accurate local weather forecasts ever seen, IBM and The Weather Company have combined forces to unveil a new global weather forecasting system, offering a near 200 per cent improvement in forecasting resolution compared to existing models. With the capability to predict something as small as a thunderstorm, globally, it will be available later this year. Keep a look out for IBM GRAF (Global High-resolution atmospheric forecasting system).

  1. IBM shares something new in the Project Debater technology: Speech by Crowd

We’ve all seen the clips on TV, of robots with AI talking to their creators on various topics, but this is truly something else. It was back in June 2018 that IBM Research first unveiled their AI system capable of debating with humans on complex topics. But at CES, IBM shared a new dimension to the technology: Project Debater – Speech by Crowd. It’s an experimental cloud-based AI platform that utilises the core AI from IBM Project Debater. It works by collecting free-text arguments from large audiences and constructing persuasive viewpoints that support or contest the topic in debate. Can artificial intelligence expand a human mind?

  1. IBM earns record 9,100 patents in 2018, topping the US patent list

Leading the industry in the number of AI, security, cloud computing and quantum computing-related patent grants, IBM inventors received a record 9,100 patents in 2018 alone, but this is no one-off – this is their 26th consecutive year of US patent leadership. Among many of IBM’s inventions are the use of AI to help people converse, protect the earth’s lakes and combat voice phishing. IBM Chairman, president and CEO, Ginni Rometty says that “IBM is committed to leading the way on the technologies that change the way the world works – and solving problems many people have not even thought of yet.” You and your clients are the beneficiaries of those innovations, particularly when it comes to AI, cloud, blockchain and security.

  1. IBM Research’s first-of-a-kind ‘fingernail sensor’ prototype

In an industry so personal, healthcare is perhaps not as personalised as it could, or should, be. But this clever prototype could be a sign of more to come. When combined with AI and machine learning, this sensor works by continuously measuring how a fingernail bends and moves throughout the day. By indicating key biomarkers for health, such as grip strength, it could change the way clinicians use data and enable them to provide more personalised treatment. IBM also announced a new initiative with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to better understand Parkinson’s Disease, and a new tool launched with Medtronic aimed at helping those with diabetes predict low glucose events.

With so many innovations revealed at just a single event, it makes you wonder what the world could look like in just five to ten years’ time. It’s largely down to how much we all get on board with the data-driven, cloud and AI-based era we’re all living in. Innovations remind us that anything is possible, whether that’s the front-facing consumer world or behind the scenes working intensely with data.

Through exhibition-style events like this we’re able to show you, as service providers how technology advancements are being made in a variety of industries, the ones you and your clients operate in. And whether it’s better visibility being enabled in a supply chain, shedding light on new ways of handling customer care or prototypes being created for application in healthcare, these are the types of change, transformation and innovation you can bring about with your clients.

Our aim is that you find inspiration, like so many others, to find new and smarter ways to do business, enable new growth opportunities and unlock strategies to help you differentiate, compete and win.

Watch the CES 2019 keynote addresses (Ginni Rometty section begins at 26:45).

Like what you see? If you enjoyed the highlights from IBM’s CES Keynote then why not Think about joining us at IBM’s flagship business and tech event in San Francisco this year?

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