|Day's range||14.90 - 14.90|
Yahoo Finance chats with Howard Elias, Dell Technologies president of services and digital, and Annette Clayton, Schneider Electric North America CEO, at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos about the outlook for economic growth.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.IBM called for rules aimed at eliminating bias in artificial intelligence to ease concerns that the technology relies on data that bakes in past discriminatory practices and could harm women, minorities, the disabled, older Americans and others.As it seeks to define a growing debate in the U.S. and Europe over how to regulate the burgeoning industry, IBM urged industry and governments to jointly develop standards to measure and combat potential discrimination.The Armonk, New York-based company issued policy proposals Tuesday ahead of a Wednesday panel on AI to be led by Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The initiative is designed to find a consensus on rules that may be stricter than what industry alone might produce, but that are less stringent than what governments might impose on their own.“It seems pretty clear to us that government regulation of artificial intelligence is the next frontier in tech policy regulation,” said Chris Padilla, vice president of government and regulatory affairs at International Business Machines Corp.The 108-year-old company, once a world technology leader, has lagged behind the sector for years. In its fight to remain relevant, IBM has pegged its future on newer technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud services. But it’s yet to show significant revenue growth from those areas.The IBM recommendations call for companies to work with governments to develop standards on how to make sure, for instance, that African-Americans are guaranteed fair access to housing despite algorithms that rely on historical data such as zip codes or mortgage rates that may have been skewed by discrimination. In the U.S., that would likely occur through the National Institute of Standards and Technology within the U.S. Department of Commerce.Read more: A QuickTake explains algorithmic biasRometty is hosting the panel, which includes a top White House aide, Chris Liddell, OECD Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria and Siemens AG CEO Joe Kaeser.IBM also suggests that companies appoint chief AI ethics officials, carry out assessments to determine how much harm an AI system may pose and maintain documentation about data when “making determinations or recommendations with potentially significant implications for individuals” so that the decisions can be explained.Spearheading the AI regulatory debate gives IBM a chance to come back into the spotlight as a leader in cutting-edge technology, a position it hasn’t held for years.The AI proposals are intended to stave off potential crises that could enrage customers, lawmakers and regulators worldwide -- similar to what happened with Facebook Inc. in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, when the personal data of millions of Americans was transferred to the political consulting firm without their knowledge.“I don’t think we’re yet in the same place on AI,” he said. “So I don’t think it’s too late to try this approach.”Concerns about AI and machine learning -- software tools that use existing data to automate future analysis and decision-making -- range from identifying faces in security-camera footage to making determinations about mortgage rates. AI is central to the future of many technology companies, including IBM’s, but has spurred worries that it could kill jobs and spread existing disparities in areas such as law enforcement, access to credit and hiring.IBM has been working with the Trump administration since last summer on its approach to AI regulation. Earlier this month, the White House issued guidelines for use of the technology by federal agencies, which emphasized a desire not to impose burdensome controls. Last week, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators unveiled a bill designed to boost private and public funding for AI and other industries of the future.The European Union is considering new, legally binding requirements for developers of artificial intelligence to ensure the technology is developed and used in an ethical way. IBM advised a European committee of academics, experts and executives that recommended avoiding unnecessarily prescriptive rules.The EU’s executive arm is set to propose that the new rules apply to “high-risk sectors,” such as health care and transport. It also may suggest that the bloc update safety and liability laws, according to a draft of a so-called white paper on artificial intelligence obtained by Bloomberg. The European Commission is due to unveil the paper in mid-February and the final version is likely to change.For More: Europe Mulls New Tougher Rules for Artificial IntelligenceWhile Rometty has touted the growth potential for new offerings in cloud services, the company’s third-quarter earnings report in October missed Wall Street estimates. It was IBM’s fifth-consecutive quarter of shrinking sales despite its July acquisition of open-source software provider Red Hat, designed to bolster its hybrid cloud-services strategy. The company is set to report fourth-quarter results Tuesday at the market close.Padilla said compliance with standards could become a selling-point for companies and perhaps help lower their legal liability.“If we take a just-say-no approach, or we just wait, the chances are higher that governments will react to something that happens,” he said. “Then you will get more of a prescriptive, top-down regulation.”\--With assistance from Natalia Drozdiak.To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org;Olivia Carville in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paula DwyerFor 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.
IBM (IBM) has an impressive earnings surprise history and currently possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely beat in its next quarterly report.
(Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on Telegram for all the investment news and analysis you need.It’s a tantalizing prospect for traders whose success often hinges on microseconds: a desktop PC algorithm that crunches market data faster than today’s most advanced supercomputers.Japan’s Toshiba Corp. says it has the technology to make such rapid-fire calculations a reality -- not quite quantum computing, but perhaps the next best thing. The claim is being met with a mix of intrigue and skepticism at financial firms in Tokyo and around the world.Toshiba’s “Simulated Bifurcation Algorithm” is designed to harness the principles behind quantum computers without requiring the use of such machines, which currently have limited applications and can cost millions of dollars to build and keep near absolute zero temperature. Toshiba says its technology, which may also have uses outside finance, runs on PCs made from off-the-shelf components.“You can just plug it into a server and run it at room temperature,” Kosuke Tatsumura, a senior research scientist at Toshiba’s Computer & Network Systems Laboratory, said in an interview. The Tokyo-based conglomerate, while best known for its consumer electronics and nuclear reactors, has long conducted research into advanced technologies.Toshiba has said it needs a partner to adopt the algorithm for real-world use, and financial firms have taken notice as they grapple for an edge in markets increasingly dominated by machines. Banks, brokerages and asset managers have all been experimenting with quantum computing, although viable applications are generally considered to be some time away.Why Quantum Computers Will Be Super Awesome, Someday: QuickTakeArbitrage OpportunitiesToshiba said its system is capable of calculating arbitrage opportunities for currencies in microseconds. The company has hired financial professionals to work on the project and aims to complete a real-world trial by March 2021.“Finance is the most familiar application,” Toshiba Chief Executive Officer Nobuaki Kurumatani said in an interview. “But there are so many uses. This is a technology with real potential.”Toshiba’s algorithm seems to outperform rival approaches on mathematical benchmarks, but how it will perform on real-world problems is anyone’s guess. Access to the company’s backtesting in currency trading and portfolio optimization isn’t publicly available and adopting the technology to a new problem would likely require rebuilding the algorithm from scratch.“There is a lot of talk about applications of quantum computing in finance, but it’s not very clear where it would be all that necessary,” said Takanobu Mizuta, a fund manager and senior researcher at Sparx Group Co. Optimizing a portfolio is not something that needs to be done in microseconds and calculations involved in high-frequency trading, where speed counts, are not very complicated, Mizuta said.Toshiba may choose to use the algorithm for areas outside finance. Other applications could include things like plotting complex shipping and logistics routes and developing new drugs with molecular precision, according to the company.First IdeaThe idea first arose in 2015, when senior research scientist Hayato Goto was exploring how the qualities of some complex systems can suddenly change with additional input, a phenomenon he describes as bifurcation. But it took him two years, he said, to realize the discovery could be used to craft algorithms that can efficiently sift through a huge number of possibilities -- like a quantum computer without the onerous requirements to run one.Goto partnered with Tatsumura, whose semiconductor expertise was crucial in making the calculations work on multiple processors in parallel.“We will see some ideas for specific applications of quantum computing coming out over the next five years,” said Masayuki Ohzeki, an associate professor at Tohoku University whose research focuses on the technology. “But real implementation will depend on when there is a good match between improvement in performance and techniques that simplify the calculations.”Toshiba revealed its Simulated Bifurcation Algorithm in April, initially garnering little attention outside the scientific community. In October, the company announced that its model had identified potential arbitrage opportunities in currency trading in just 30 microseconds -- fast enough, it claimed, to give it a 90% chance of making profitable trades. That triggered inquiries from financial institutions in Japan and abroad, Toshiba said.Quantum ComputingInvestment banks are already eyeing quantum computing as an opportunity and a threat. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has been building an in-house research team and late last year joined forces with startup WC Ware to speed up the search for a “quantum advantage.” Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc. has partnered with Ohzeki’s lab at Tohoku University to explore applications in asset management using a machine made by Canada’s D-Wave Systems Inc.“Right now, what you can do with it is still hypothetical,” said Kazuyuki Takeda, a general manager at Mizuho-DL Financial Technology Co., a research arm of one of Japan’s biggest financial groups. “It will take quite a bit of time before we have practical uses of quantum computing. At least 10 years or so.”Alphabet Inc.’s Google claimed in October that its quantum computer -- built on a custom processor with bespoke cryogenic cooling -- could perform a task in 200 seconds that would take today’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years. Researchers at IBM have countered, saying that their supercomputer can match Google’s Sycamore processor “in a matter of days.” But that cluster of machines occupies an area the size of two basketball courts inside the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In either case, the cost of quantum-like computational capability appears to still be prohibitively high for most applications.In the meantime, Toshiba is hoping it will succeed in commercializing its new algorithms -- whether in finance or elsewhere -- by delivering a computational edge with existing technology.“We give ourselves about a one-year lead for the stuff that we release publicly,” Goto said. “The more cutting-edge knowledge we have internally gives us confidence that we won’t be easily caught up with.”(Updates with expert comment and latest developments in quantum computing.)\--With assistance from Michael Patterson.To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at email@example.com;Grace Huang in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Shoko Oda in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Vlad Savov, Tom RedmondFor 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.
With most blue-chip companies' earnings scheduled over the coming weeks and sentiments being mixed, investors should closely monitor the movement of the Dow ETF.
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.
Companies set a record for the largest number of U.S. patents in 2019, boosted in part by a patent surge from Chinese giants like Huawei.
(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. broke into the top 10 recipients of U.S. patents last year, according to an analysis of filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the latest sign that Chinese companies are aggressive in pursuing the U.S. lead in global technology.The telecom company’s 2,418 patents, along with 2,177 new patents issued to display-screen maker BOE Technology Group, help propel China into the rank of fourth-biggest recipient of U.S. patents, behind Japan and South Korea but ahead of Germany for the first time, according to the analysis by Fairview Research’s IFI Claims Patent Services.“China’s growing rapidly but they’re still way behind the U.S. in terms of patents,” said Larry Cady, a senior analyst with IFI.International Business Machines Corp. retained its title of top recipient of patents for the 27th year, with a record 9,262 patents, far ahead of No. 2 Samsung Electronics Co. and No. 3 Canon Inc.Overall, the patent office issued 333,530 patents, an all-time high and a 15% jump after a decline in 2018. Cady said the increase likely reflects efforts to release a bottleneck over what can qualify for a patent, such as in the fields of artificial intelligence.AI, cloud computing, blockchain and security were among the top areas for IBM, the Armonk, New York, company said. The IBM patents reflect the work of more than 8,500 inventors over 45 states and 54 countries, the company added.While IBM may be consistently the top recipient of patents, its holdings aren’t the largest, IFI found. That title belongs to Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea, with Canon Inc. of Japan the second-largest corporate owner of patents. The difference, Cady said, is that IBM doesn’t keep all of its patents.“We really look at new patents as an indication of innovation and we regularly review and prune our patent assets,” said Jason McGee, chief technology officer for IBM Cloud Platform. “We may get rid of ones that we don’t think are strategic or could be better served with someone else.”IBM also announced that it’s joined the License on Transfer, or LOT, Network, which was co-founded by Red Hat Inc. IBM bought the software company for $34 billion last year.Group members pledge that all network members will get a license to any patent that ends up with what’s known as a “patent assertion entity,” meaning a company that doesn’t make products and whose sole purpose is to extract royalties from those who do. The group helps protects automakers and retailers who are just entering the technology arena that’s often marked by lawsuits.“If you want to be any successful company, you have to be a successful high-tech company,” said Ken Seddon, head of the LOT Network.Overall, the list of top recipients is dominated by American and Asian technology companies. Behind IBM, Samsung and Canon are Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., LG Electronics Inc. and Apple Inc. topping the list after Canon. Ford Motor Co., which broke into the top 10 last year, was just ahead of Amazon.com Inc. and then Huawei.While the numbers are small, the fastest-growing patent classifications were in the gene-splicing technology known as CRISPR, hybrid plants, 3-D printing and cancer therapies, the analysis showed.Many of the patents issued to Huawei relate to things like high-frequency transmission that are needed for the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G.President Donald Trump’s administration in May moved to restrict U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei. The administration has said Huawei gear could be used for spying -- an allegation the company denied.“The U.S. is kind of at a funny position with Huawei -- we’re threatening them with limiting access to technology and access to the markets,” Cady said. “At the same time, 5G is rolling out and they’re the dominant in 5G.”To contact the reporters on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at email@example.com;Christopher Yasiejko in Wilmington, Delaware, at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at email@example.com, Elizabeth Wasserman, John HarneyFor 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.
The contract requires Science Applications (SAIC) to aid the transformation of about 800 Air Force and U.S. Army mission applications to the cloud.
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