IBM announces advances in artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid cloud, and quantum computing at its Think conference. The innovations highlight IBM's role in helping its clients and partners accelerate their digital transformations, return to work smarter, and build strategic ecosystems that can drive better business outcomes.
"We will look back on this year and last as the moment the world entered the digital century in full force," said IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna. "In the same way that we electrified factories and machines in the past century, we will use hybrid cloud to infuse AI into software and systems in the 21st century. And one thing is certain: this is a future that must be built on a foundation of deep industry collaboration. No one understands this better than IBM, which is one of the reasons we are boosting investment in our partner ecosystem. Also at Think 2021, we are unveiling our latest hybrid cloud and AI innovations – the very technologies that serve as the building blocks of a new IT architecture for business."
IBM is all-in on hybrid cloud and AI since the company is aware that businesses need a clear and credible path to modernizing their mission-critical systems. A new IBM study on the adoption of AI for business reveals that the imperative to embed AI into business processes became more urgent during the pandemic: of IT professionals surveyed, 43% said that their companies had accelerated their rollout of AI and around 50% said they evaluate AI providers in large part on their ability to automate processes. That is why IBM has invested heavily in building rich and powerful AI capabilities for business.
The following innovations are designed to equip businesses for the next stage of their digital journeys.
- Cloud Pak for Data uses AI to help customers get answers to distributed queries as much as 8x faster than previously and at nearly half the cost compared to other data warehouses. AutoSQL (Structured Query Language) automates how customers access, integrate, and manage data without ever having to move it, regardless of where the data resides or how it is stored. AutoSQL solves one of the most critical pain points customers are facing as they look to reduce the complexity of curating data for AI and eliminate the high cost of moving data, while also uncovering hidden insights to make more accurate AI-driven predictions. With the launch of AutoSQL, IBM Cloud Pak for Data now includes probably the highest-performing cloud data warehouse on the market that can run seamlessly across any hybrid multi-cloud environment – including private clouds, on-premises, and any public cloud. AutoSQL will be one of several new technologies woven into a new data fabric in the Cloud Pak for Data. The new intelligent data fabric will automate complex data management tasks by using AI to discover, understand, access, and protect distributed data across multiple environments, while unifying disparate data sources across a common data foundation.
- Watson Orchestrate is a new interactive AI capability designed to increase the personal productivity of business professionals across sales, human resources, operations, and more. Requiring no IT skills to use, Watson Orchestrate enables professionals to initiate work in a very human way, using collaboration tools such as Slack and email in natural language. It also connects to popular business applications like Salesforce, SAP, and Workday. Watson Orchestrate uses a powerful AI engine that automatically selects and sequences the pre-packaged skills needed to perform a task, and connects with applications, tools, data, and history on-the-fly. This can help workers more quickly perform routine tasks, such as scheduling meetings or procuring approvals, or more mission-critical tasks, like preparing proposals or business plans. Watson Orchestrate is the latest AI-powered automation capability from IBM designed to help people reclaim a significant amount of their time to focus on more strategic tasks. It was developed by IBM Research and is now available in preview as part of the IBM Automation Cloud Paks and is expected to be generally available later this year.
- Maximo Mobile is an easy-to-deploy mobile platform with IBM's leading Maximo asset management solution at the core. Maximo Mobile is designed to transform the work of field technicians who maintain physical assets such as roads, bridges, production lines, power plants, refineries, and more. A new, intuitive interface provides technicians with the right asset operational data at the right time. Even in the most remote locations, users can access Watson AI and in-depth organizational knowledge to easily solve complex issues. This powerful combination of AI, intelligent workflows, remote human assistance, and access to digital twins puts decades of industry experience directly into the hands of technicians for safer, more efficient operations.
- Project CodeNet is a large-scale, opensource dataset that consists of 14 million code samples, 500 million lines of code and 55 programming languages, to enable AI's understanding and translation of code. Project CodeNet is currently the largest, most differentiated dataset in its class and addresses three main use cases in coding today: code search (automatically translating one code into another, including legacy languages like COBOL); code similarity (identifying overlaps and similarities among different codes); and code constraints (customizing constraints based on a developer's specific needs and parameters). IBM believes Project CodeNet will serve as a valuable benchmark dataset for source-to-source translation and transitioning legacy codebases to modern code languages, helping businesses speed up their application of AI.
- IBM Mono2Micro has been added into WebSphere Hybrid Edition to take the pain out of cloud migration, using AI developed by IBM Research to analyze large enterprise applications and provide recommendations on how to best adapt them for the move to cloud. It can simplify and speed up an error-prone process, which can reduce costs and maximize ROI.
- IBM is making it faster and easier for developers to use quantum software by introducing Qiskit Runtime. This software is containerized and hosted in the hybrid cloud, instead of running most of its code on the user's computer. Together with improvements in both the software and processor performance, this allows Qiskit Runtime to boost the speeds of quantum circuits, the building blocks of quantum algorithms, by 120 times. Qiskit, the IBM-developed open-source framework for quantum computing for a global community of developers, aims to make quantum computing accessible to all. By introducing Qiskit Runtime, IBM is enabling quantum systems to run complex calculations such as chemical modeling and financial risk analysis in hours, instead of several weeks. To show the power of the software, IBM recently demonstrated how the lithium hydride molecule (LiH) could be modeled on a quantum device in nine hours, when previously it took 45 days. This kind of improvement is key to scaling quantum computation for new use cases.
The announcements made during IBM’s Think event come just days after IBM unveiled the world's first two nanometer chip which will enable faster, more efficient computing from the datacenter to the edge; Cloud Engine, a front-end platform that can help developers quickly deploy cloud-native applications without having to acquire new skills or configure complex code; Spectrum Fusion, a fully-containerized version of IBM's storage and data protection software designed to provide a streamlined way to discover data from across the enterprise; and IBM's alliance with Zscaler on Zero Trust where IBM Security Services combines the technology of Zscaler and the expertise of IBM to help clients adopt an end-to-end secure access service edge (SASE) approach, marrying authentication and permission to deliver security and privacy enhancements. (Source: IBM)