|Bid||379.65 x 1200|
|Ask||379.88 x 1300|
|Day's range||378.80 - 382.59|
|52-week range||249.10 - 382.59|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.05|
|PE ratio (TTM)||63.36|
|Earnings date||11 Mar 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|Ex-dividend date||23 Mar 2005|
|1y target est||354.88|
(Bloomberg) -- Computers using artificial intelligence are discovering medicines, designing better golf clubs and creating video games.But are they inventors?Patent offices around the world are grappling with the question of who -- if anyone -- owns innovations developed using AI. The answer may upend what’s eligible for protection and who profits as AI transforms entire industries.“There are machines right now that are doing far more on their own than to help an engineer or a scientist or an inventor do their jobs,” said Andrei Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “We will get to a point where a court or legislature will say the human being is so disengaged, so many levels removed, that the actual human did not contribute to the inventive concept.”U.S. law says only humans can obtain patents, Iancu said. That’s why the patent office has been collecting comments on how to deal with inventions created through artificial intelligence and is expected to release a policy paper this year. Likewise, the World Intellectual Property Office, an agency within the United Nations, along with patent and copyright agencies around the world are also trying to figure out whether current laws or practices need to be revised for AI inventions.The debate comes as some of the largest global technology companies look to monetize massive investments in AI. Google’s chief executive officer, Sundar Pichai, has described AI as “more profound than fire or electricity.” Microsoft Corp. has invested $1 billion in the research company Open AI. Both companies have thousands of employees and researchers pushing to advance the state of the art and move AI innovations into products.International Business Machines Corp.’s supercomputer Watson is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a research lab to develop new applications of AI in different industries, and some of China’s biggest companies are giving American companies a run for their money in the field.The European Patent Office last month rejected applications by the owner of an AI “creativity machine” named Dabus, saying that there is a “clear legislative understanding that the inventor is a natural person.” In December, the U.K. Intellectual Property Office turned down similar petitions, noting AI was never contemplated when the law was written.“Increasingly, Fortune 100 companies have AI doing more and more autonomously and they’re not sure if they can find someone who would qualify as an inventor,” said Ryan Abbott, a law professor at the University of Surrey in England. “If you can’t get protection, people may not want to use AI to do these things.”Abbott and Stephen Thaler, founder of St. Louis-based Imagination Engines Inc., filed patent applications in numerous countries for a food container and a “device for attracting enhanced attention,” listing Thaler’s machine Dabus as the inventor.The goal, Abbott said, was to force patent offices to confront the issue. He advocates listing the computer that did the work as the inventor, with the business that owns the machine also owning any patent. It would ensure that companies can get a return on their investment, and maintain a level of honesty about whether it’s a machine or a human that’s doing the work, he said.Businesses “don’t really care who’s listed as an inventor but they do care if they can get a patent,” Abbott said. “We really didn’t design the law with this in mind, so what do we want to do about it?”Still, to many AI experts and researchers, the field is nowhere near advanced enough to consider the idea of an algorithm as an inventor.‘Just Computer Tools’“Listing an AI system as a co-inventor seems like a gimmick rather than a requirement,” said Oren Etzioni, head of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle. “We often use computers as critical tools in generating patentable technology, but we don’t list our tools as co-inventors. AI systems don’t have intellectual property rights -- they are just computer tools.”The current state of the art in AI should put this question off for a long time, said Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, who suggested the debate might be more appropriate in a “century or two.” Researchers are “very far from artificial general intelligence like ‘The Terminator’.”It’s not just who’s listed as the inventor that is flummoxing patent agencies.Software thus far can’t follow the scientific method -- independently developing a hypothesis and then conducting tests to prove or disprove it. Instead, AI is more often used for “brute force,” where it would simply “churn through a bunch of possibilities and see what works,” said Dana Rao, general counsel for Adobe Inc.Human v. Machine“The question is not ‘Can a machine be an inventor?’ it’s ‘Can a machine invent?”’ Rao said. “It can’t in the traditional way we view invention.”A patent is awarded to something that is “new, useful and non-obvious.” Often, that means figuring out what a person with “ordinary skill” in the field would understand to be new -- for instance, a knowledgeable laboratory researcher. That analysis gets skewed when courts and patent offices have to compare the work of a software program that can analyze an exponentially greater number of options than even a large team of human researchers.“The bar is changing when you use AI,” said Kate Gaudry, a patent lawyer with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in Washington. “However this is decided, we have to be consistent.”Iancu likened it to debates a century ago over awarding copyrights to photographs taken with a camera.“Somebody must have created the machine, somebody must have trained the machine and somebody must have pushed the ‘on’ button,” he said. “Do we think those activities are enough to count as human contributions to the invention process? If yes, the current law is enough.”Still, Rao said, there needs to be some way to help companies using AI to protect their ideas. That’s particularly true for copyrights on photographs created through a type of machine learning systems known as Generative Adversarial Networks.“If I want to create images to sell them, there needs to be ways of determining ownership,” Rao said.The evolution of machine learning and neural networks means that, at some point, the role of humans in certain types of innovation will decrease. In those cases, who will own the inventions is a question that’s critical to companies using AI to develop new products.Iancu said he sees AI as full of promise, and notes that agencies have had to address such weighty questions before, such as genetically modified animals created in a lab, complex mathematics use for cryptography and synthetic DNA.“It’s one of these things where hopefully, the various jurisdictions around the world can discuss these issues before it’s too late, before we have to play catch up,” Iancu said.To contact the reporters on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Dina Bass in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Shantanu Narayen became the CEO of Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) in 2007. First, this article will compare CEO compensation...
(Bloomberg) -- When Salesforce.com Inc. emerged two decades ago, it lashed out at the software establishment: large companies that allegedly locked clients into dated products. Now, a coalition of newer rivals have extended that criticism to the cloud applications pioneer. Ten software upstarts kicked off a public campaign Thursday that knocks customer relationship management, or CRM, titans, including Salesforce, Oracle Corp. and SAP SE, by saying the large companies keep clients trapped in subpar software suites, potentially shutting out smaller rivals with newer technology.The “Platform of Independents” leading the effort include Segment Inc., Amplitude Inc., Outreach Inc., Pendo.io Inc. and Drift.com Inc. Some of the companies are privately held unicorns, with valuations exceeding $1 billion. Each caters to a different software niche. The campaign began with a two-page ad in Thursday’s print edition of the Wall Street Journal and includes a web page and information sessions for prospective clients. More than 190 companies co-signed the main tenet of the campaign, that CRM software “isn’t enough” to provide good customer experiences to consumers.“We, as independent software companies, have built our products with the belief that a business should never be locked into a suite, never forced to have a one-size-fits-all technology approach, and its data should never be siloed,” the companies said in a statement. “It’s time to break free of the data monopoly.”The smaller companies argue the large software makers focus more on selling bundled packages of products than serving their clients’ needs with continuous innovation. Large technology companies have come under increasing antitrust scrutiny for their business practices, including how they wield power to maintain advantages over smaller firms. Beyond panning the quality of the bigger players’ technology, the chief executive officers of the startups said their larger rivals use acquisitions to bolster their market power.“If any of these guys becomes too big, that’s a threat to all of us in this ecosystem,” said Spenser Skates, CEO of Amplitude, which helps clients understand user behavior to improve product experiences. “Salesforce bought MuleSoft, Cisco bought AppDynamics. This is continuing to happen. It’s definitely a concern.”Representatives for Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Salesforce has been well served by its strategy in the CRM market. The company’s shares climbed about 19% last year. Oracle’s stock rose about 17%. Salesforce led the market for customer-management applications with 16.8% as of 2018, the last full year for which data is available, according to research firm IDC. Oracle was next with 5.7% while SAP came in third with 5.6%. Adobe Inc. and Microsoft Corp. rounded out the top five.Salesforce, founded in 1999, is the youngest company in the group. The others have been around for about four decades.“I think there’s something significantly broken that there’s been no big CRM company built in the last 10, 15, or 20 years,” Peter Reinhardt, the CEO of Segment, which helps companies compile their data about consumers, said in an interview.Reinhardt, who spearheaded this campaign, said he isn’t interested in being acquired. Rather, he wants to work more closely with his Platform of Independents peers to jointly sell packages of software solutions to clients, as a way to counter the selling advantages and software product bundles of larger companies. And Reinhardt is optimistic that a shakeup is possible in enterprise technology.“I think we have a temporarily dominant set of companies,” he said. “But I think there’s a huge opportunity for another rewrite of the CRM world.”(Updates with 2019 share performance in the eighth paragraph.)To contact the author of this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Pollack at email@example.com, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Citrix's (CTXS) Q4 performance is likely to have gained from robust adoption of subscription-based services. However, sluggish demand in hardware-based appliances may have been a headwind.
Mega-caps, usually the largest and most established companies in the stock market, tend to be stable, and many of them pay dividends based on their earnings.
Rite Aid's (RAD) sound fundamentals and strategic endeavors might help it retain its bull run in 2020. Wellness remodels, the expansion of EnvisionRxOptions and innovative products are keys to growth.
IBM's Q4 performance is likely to have gained from growing adoption of cloud solutions. However, currency rate fluctuations and declines in IBM Z product cycle may have been concerns.
Adobe (ADBE) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank 2 (Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term.
Adobe announced today that Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is now available as a cloud-native SaaS application. Prior to this, it was available on premises or as a managed service, but it wasn't pure cloud-native. Obviously being available as a cloud service makes sense for customers, and offers all of the value you would get from any cloud service.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Chevron, Accenture, Adobe Systems, Gilead Sciences and Honda Motor
Retailers best do a better job of embracing technology in the next decade than they did in the past 10 years. Yahoo Finance speaks with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about the future of retail.
(Bloomberg) -- Adobe Inc. unveiled a cloud-based system to help clients build websites, bringing one of its last legacy products to the cloud almost a decade after shifting to internet-based software.The new content management system already is being used by some customers, the San Jose, California-based company said Monday in a statement. The software maker announced the service at the National Retail Federation conference in New York.Adobe is the largest vendor for enterprise customers in a $3.8 billion market for software that builds websites and manages digital assets, according to data from research firm IDC. The company said it’s the first to provide a purely cloud-computing based solution to large business clients. The software maker currently manages 15 billion web page visits per day and more than 50 million digital assets, including images and videos, across its customer base. Wix.com Ltd. and closely held Squarespace are among the competitors in the field.Companies are increasingly attempting to differentiate themselves with personalized customer experiences, led by websites and marketing materials. Adobe’s “Experience Manager” is also being used to power in-store, interactive screens that retailers have begun using to teach shoppers more about their products.Adobe has spent almost four decades quietly dominating small patches of the technology industry. While it is synonymous for its creative and design software, led by Photoshop, the company has continually invested in new products to maintain leading positions in areas such as marketing, advertising, and customer experience software. The product expansion fueled a 24% revenue increase last year. Wall Street responded favorably, with Adobe’s stock climbing 46% in 2019.Chief Executive Officer Shantanu Narayen moved much of Adobe’s product suite to the internet in 2011, leading to years of growing revenue and setting an example followed by other software makers, including Microsoft Corp. For years, clients who used content management systems weren’t ready to change their way of doing things, Loni Stark, a senior director of strategy and product marketing at Adobe, said in an interview. But added pressure on brands to modernize with sophisticated websites and applications have changed their calculations.Experience Manager’s transition to the cloud “means companies can deliver content faster and be always current on the latest capabilities we’re delivering out there,” Stark said.Apparel company Under Armour Inc. and mapping company Esri Inc. have begun using the new service, and extolled the quicker uploading times and ease of use.“There are no servers to manage,” Bill Phillips, an applications manager at Esri, said in an interview. “Our developers can focus on developing our website and helping get our marketing message out there quicker.”Adobe Experience Manager was previously available as a hosted service, with the software maker managing the infrastructure for clients. But it relied on old-school software that required lengthy download periods for patches and updates, rather than the continuous updates available with internet-based software.“I think of this as a new beginning, a new decade,” Stark said.To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Andrew Pollack, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.