IBM and USTA Announce Multi-Year Partnership Renewal Ahead of 2022 US Open

ARMONK, N.Y.Aug. 18, 2022 — IBM and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced a five-year renewal of their longstanding, 30-year partnership. From the launch of USOpen.org in 1995 to the introduction of the mobile app in 2009, and last year’s debut of the IBM Power Index with Watson, IBM and the USTA have collaborated for more than three decades, today delivering a world-class platform that provides unparalleled, first-of-its-kind fan experiences through hybrid cloud and AI technologies. This year, they will continue to expand and enhance the US Open digital offerings with new features added to the US Open app and USOpen.org ahead of the 2022 tournament.

Building on the popular IBM Match Insights with Watson feature — which analyzes millions of data points and over 100 million sources over the course of the tournament — ‘Win Factors’ brings an additional level of transparency into what is being analyzed by the AI models.. Win Factors is designed to provide fans with an increased understanding of the elements affecting player performance, such as the court surface, rankings, head-to-head records, ratio of games won, net of sets won, recent performance, yearly success, and media commentary. For the first time at the US Open, users can also register their own predictions for match outcomes on the US Open app and USOpen.org, through the ‘Have Your Say’ function. They can then compare their prediction with the aggregated predictions of other fans and the AI-powered Likelihood to Win generated by IBM.

“Our partnership with the USTA provides a unique opportunity to showcase the full breadth of IBM capabilities, against the backdrop of one of the most exciting and iconic sporting events in the world. As we look ahead, the possibilities to continually expand and enhance the US Open digital fan experience are endless,” said Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing at IBM. “Together we have created a platform of innovation by activating the same hybrid cloud, AI technology and IBM Consulting services that we use with our clients across all industries to bring the US Open digital properties to life for millions of tennis fans around the world.”

“IBM’s expertise and digital leadership has brought our fans closer to the tournament for the past three decades,” said Kirsten Corio, USTA Chief Commercial Officer. “We are excited to continue to leverage IBM’s innovative tech to serve up the tournament in exciting new ways and deepen global fan engagement with the US Open.”

Win Factors and Have your Say join a comprehensive suite of digital fan features — including the IBM Power Index, Match Insights, and Fantasy Tennis game — on the newly redesigned US Open digital platforms.

The USTA and IBM iX, the experience design arm of IBM Consulting, worked to design and develop an updated website and app designed to enable fans around the world, and onsite at the US Open, to access the tournament, their favorite content, engaging insights and utilities faster and more intuitively than before. The US Open Digital Platforms include many new features. Fans can mark their favorite players to curate their digital experience based on their selections. The Scores, Schedule, Draws, and Players sections have been completely redesigned to deliver more relevant and contextual content and insights. The US Open mobile app introduces a new toggled state called “At the Open” which is specifically catered to the on-site attendee. “At the Open” is designed to provide fans with everything they need to optimize their visit, including ticket access management, mobile food ordering, grounds maps and curated content outlining each day’s events.

The US Open’s digital experiences run on a combination of on-premises, public, and private clouds, and IBM has designed a data architecture that helps ensure the right data — pulling from a variety of data sets and APIs — gets in the right hands at the right time. IBM leverages a hybrid cloud approach to collect, integrate, and distribute data and applications running on Red Hat OpenShift across multiple clouds to seamlessly handle the variety of different workloads required. This year’s innovative solutions were built on IBM Cloud, and containerized using Red Hat OpenShift. The flexibility of the cloud allows for rapid innovation each year, as the IBM developers building these solutions are able to write code for new features once, and deploy it in any environment.

IBM Aims to Capture Growing Market Opportunity for Data Observability with Databand.ai Acquisition

ARMONK, N.Y., July 6, 2022  — IBM today announced it has acquired Databand.ai, a leading provider of data observability software that helps organizations fix issues with their data, including errors, pipeline failures and poor quality — before it impacts their bottom-line. Today’s news further strengthens IBM’s software portfolio across data, AI and automation to address the full spectrum of observability and helps businesses ensure that trustworthy data is being put into the right hands of the right users at the right time.

Databand.ai is IBM’s fifth acquisition in 2022 as the company continues to bolster its hybrid cloud and AI skills and capabilities. IBM has acquired more than 25 companies since Arvind Krishna became CEO in April 2020.

As the volume of data continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, organizations are struggling to manage the health and quality of their data sets, which is necessary to make better business decisions and gain a competitive advantage. A rapidly growing market opportunity, data observability is quickly emerging as a key solution for helping data teams and engineers better understand the health of data in their system and automatically identify, troubleshoot and resolve issues, like anomalies, breaking data changes or pipeline failures, in near real-time. According to Gartner, every year poor data quality costs organizations an average $12.9 million. To help mitigate this challenge, the data observability market is poised for strong growth.1

Data observability takes traditional data operations to the next level by using historical trends to compute statistics about data workloads and data pipelines directly at the source, determining if they are working, and pinpointing where any problems may exist. When combined with a full stack observability strategy, it can help IT teams quickly surface and resolve issues from infrastructure and applications to data and machine learning systems.

Databand.ai’s open and extendable approach allows data engineering teams to easily integrate and gain observability into their data infrastructure. This acquisition will unlock more resources for Databand.ai to expand its observability capabilities for broader integrations across more of the open source and commercial solutions that power the modern data stack. Enterprises will also have full flexibility in how to run Databand.ai, whether as-a-Service (SaaS) or a self-hosted software subscription.

The acquisition of Databand.ai builds on IBM’s research and development investments as well as strategic acquisitions in AI and automation. By using Databand.ai with IBM Observability by Instana APM and IBM Watson Studio, IBM is well-positioned to address the full spectrum of observability across IT operations.

For example, Databand.ai capabilities can alert data teams and engineers when the data they are using to fuel an analytics system is incomplete or missing. In common cases where data originates from an enterprise application, Instana can then help users quickly explain exactly where the missing data originated from and why an application service is failing. Together, Databand.ai and IBM Instana provide a more complete and explainable view of the entire application infrastructure and data platform system, which can help organizations prevent lost revenue and reputation.

“Our clients are data-driven enterprises who rely on high-quality, trustworthy data to power their mission-critical processes. When they don’t have access to the data they need in any given moment, their business can grind to a halt,” said Daniel Hernandez, General Manager for Data and AI, IBM. “With the addition of Databand.ai, IBM offers the most comprehensive set of observability capabilities for IT across applications, data and machine learning, and is continuing to provide our clients and partners with the technology they need to deliver trustworthy data and AI at scale.”

Data observability solutions are also a key part of an organization’s broader data strategy and architecture. The acquisition of Databand.ai further extends IBM’s existing data fabric solution  by helping ensure that the most accurate and trustworthy data is being put into the right hands at the right time – no matter where it resides.

“You can’t protect what you can’t see, and when the data platform is ineffective, everyone is impacted –including customers,” said Josh Benamram, Co-Founder and CEO, Databand.ai. “That’s why global brands such as FanDuel, Agoda and Trax Retail already rely on Databand.ai to remove bad data surprises by detecting and resolving them before they create costly business impacts. Joining IBM will help us scale our software and significantly accelerate our ability to meet the evolving needs of enterprise clients.”

Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, Databand.ai employees will join IBM Data and AI, further building on IBM’s growing portfolio of Data and AI products, including its IBM Watson capabilities and IBM Cloud Pak for Data. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition closed on June 27, 2022.

IBM, Delta Air Lines, WPP, 4A’s, IAB, Ad Council And Other Industry Leaders Act To Mitigate Bias In Advertising Technology

CANNES, FranceJune 20, 2022 — Today, leading companies committed to improving fairness in marketing campaigns. The initiative, announced at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022, brought together agencies, brands, and other leaders to generate awareness and take action towards mitigating bias in advertising technology. Committing organizations include IBM, Delta Air Lines, WPP, Mindshare, 4A’s, IAB and the Ad Council.

The action is the most recent effort by IBM to drive education and awareness around the impact of bias in advertising technology. In 2021, the company launched a research initiative to explore the hypothesis that bias can exist in ad technology, which initial findings confirmed. The research also showed that mitigating bias in ad technology was possible using AI tools and resources in marketing processes. More industry participation and data collection are needed to better understand the potential impact of bias on these campaigns, but several industry leaders are demonstrating early activism by raising awareness and taking action via IBM’s Advertising Fairness Pledge.

“While the risk of bias in advertising is well known, by making this commitment, these organizations are among the first in the industry to take action,” said Bob Lord, IBM Senior Vice President of The Weather Company and Alliances. “Together, we are agreeing to educate ourselves and our companies and ask other industry leaders to join us in helping to mitigate bias in advertising.”

Toward that effort, IBM also announced the release of its gratis Advertising Toolkit for AI Fairness 360, an open-source solution deploying 75 fairness metrics and 13 state-of-the-art algorithms to help identify and mitigate biases in discrete data sets. A playbook and sample code are also made available for ease of use. Organizations utilizing the toolkit may gain a better understanding of the presence and impact of bias on their ad campaigns, as well as the makeup of their audiences.

“Used correctly, data can help brands personalize consumer engagement and identify the most relevant touchpoints. However, we know that bias can exist in algorithms or technology, and that’s why we’re helping our clients to evaluate how and when to use data in a meaningful way that will benefit the customer experience,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP. “Through WPP’s GroupM, we’ve developed the Data Ethics Compass to help clients navigate the challenges of using datasets, while IBM’s new Advertising Toolkit for AI Fairness 360 will help us to better understand the potential impact of bias. Consumers rightly expect brands to use their information in a fair way and for the industry to tackle data bias collectively, which can ultimately result in increased engagement and commercial outcomes.”

Bias is often unintentional, a result of human assumptions and judgments encoded into algorithms that can result in unfair targeting, exclusion of certain groups, and marketing campaign failures. Organizations taking the pledge can contribute data to ongoing studies that seek to better explain the impact of bias. According to Salesforce’s 2022 State of the Connected Customer survey, nearly 62 percent of consumers surveyed reported they are concerned about bias in AI, up from just 54 percent two years prior, emphasizing the imperative for brands and agencies to better understand its impacts.

“As technology and data prevalence accelerates, the risk for bias in advertising compounds. It is our duty to address this head-on,” said Adam Gerhart, Global CEO of Mindshare. “We believe the industry needs to take clear and intentional action, which is why we are committing to leverage the Advertising Toolkit for AI Fairness 360.”

As the advertising industry continues to face issues related to privacy and transparency, many organizations believe that tackling bias in ad tech could be a next key area of focus for marketers. Nearly $1 trillion was spent on digital advertising globally in 2021, much of which flows through programmatic engines that segment and target specific audiences, sometimes missing large consumer groups in the process. With increasing consumer demand for transparency in how their data is used, marketers must look for new ways to remain effective. Tapping into alternative privacy-forward data sources, such as weather data, can be effective predictors of behavior that could also help rebuild trust with consumers.

“As a global brand, we know that every decision we make, whether it’s about a supplier, an employee or an ad campaign, is a reflection of our values and the change we want to see in the world,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s Managing Director of Brand Marketing. “We’ve long been focused on inclusive representation in our campaign creative, this effort allows us to go a step further to bring more inclusive representation to our campaign delivery.”

To download the Advertising Toolkit for AI Fairness 360 and the associated playbook, to take the Advertising Fairness Pledge, and to learn more about how bias in advertising can negatively impact businesses and consumers, visit IBM’s Bias in Advertising microsite.

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only.

IBM Transforms Business Operations with the RISE with SAP Solution in Expanded Partnership with SAP

ARMONK, N.Y. and WALLDORF, GermanyMay 11, 2022 — IBM and SAP today announced the latest milestone in their long-standing partnership as IBM undertakes one of the world’s largest corporate transformation projects based on SAP® ERP software, designed to fuel the company’s growth and better support its clients.

As part of the expanded partnership, IBM is migrating to SAP S/4HANA®, SAP’s next-generation ERP software, to perform work across more than 120 countries, 1,000 legal entities and numerous IBM businesses supporting software, hardware, consulting and finance. The project is focused on improving business processes with RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, premium supplier option with IBM Consulting, and will ultimately move more than 375 TB of data to IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud. RISE with SAP brings together what businesses need to pursue their digital transformation objectives and accelerate their move to the cloud.

Driven by the need to modernize processes and deliver better insights to support clients running in the cloud, RISE with SAP is helping IBM centralize and standardize data worldwide. With access to the SAP HANA® database, data can be accessed in real time and shared more efficiently among business units and teams. The expanded partnership will also help with improved decision-making supported by AI and automated workflows. Once the transformation is completed, nearly all of IBM’s US$58 billion in revenue will flow through SAP software.

“This expanded partnership will enable IBM to accelerate its business transformation in the cloud and fuel its future growth,” said Christian Klein, CEO and Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. “As a result, IBM will be positioned to provide the highest value of support and flexibility to its clients, allowing them to simplify and accelerate their business transformations while benefitting from the full value of RISE with SAP.”

This business transformation will eventually move more than 300 SAP instances and consolidate 500 servers with the RISE with SAP solution on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud. The migration to SAP S/4HANA is already in progress across the company’s software business unit. The initial deployment is focused on IBM’s software-as-a-service and billing system and is already benefiting clients and IBM business partners through simplified billing and payment systems while enabling orders and contracts to be processed quickly.

IBM Consulting, with more than 38,000 highly trained SAP consultants, is leading the transformation providing the advisory, implementation, security, industry and technical expertise required to move these complex systems and applications to a digital environment. This is another example of IBM and SAP’s accelerated ecosystem strategy, teaming up on both technology and consulting expertise while supporting most any cloud environment to help make it easier for clients to embrace a hybrid cloud approach and move their mission-critical SAP software workloads to the cloud.

“Enterprise clients are seeking increased choice and control as they modernize their mission-critical workloads. Enabled by RISE with SAP, this is a milestone business transformation initiative for both companies due to its complexity and scale,” said Arvind Krishna, IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “With this move, and IBM’s experience using RISE with SAP internally, we will be even better prepared to support our clients on their hybrid cloud and business transformation journeys.”

Expanded Premium Supplier Option for RISE with SAP on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud

To provide clients more flexibility and computing power, including those in highly regulated industries, IBM is making the same cloud-based computing power that is underpinning its own migration available to clients. For clients who run RISE with SAP on IBM Cloud, an expansion of the premium supplier option provides an additional choice to run workloads on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud.

As a premium supplier, IBM was the first cloud provider to offer infrastructure, technical managed services, business transformation and application management services as part of RISE with SAP. With clients increasingly leveraging hybrid cloud strategies to modernize their workloads, IBM and SAP are giving clients running on Power servers the ability to use RISE with SAP S/4HANA on Power infrastructure consistent with the architecture they run on premise. Underpinned exclusively by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, businesses running IBM Power on IBM Cloud will be able to achieve high levels of performance in a cloud environment for their mission-critical workloads, with the flexibility, resiliency and security features delivered by IBM and Red Hat.

 

 

Object Management Group® Announces Responsible Computing with Founding Members IBM and Dell

ARMONK, N.Y. – June 2, 2022 – Today Object Management Group® (OMG®) announced Responsible Computing (RC™), a new consortium comprised of technology innovators working together to address sustainable development goals. Responsible computing is a systemic approach aimed at addressing current and future challenges in computing, including sustainability, ethics, and professionalism, stemming from the belief that we need to start thinking about technology in terms of its impact on people and the planet.

“Responsible Computing aims to shift thinking and, ultimately, behavior within the IT industry and affect real change,” said Bill Hoffman, Chairman, and CEO of RC and OMG. “We’ve made our manifesto and framework freely available, and we’ve asked every RC member to implement RC principles. Our goal is that someday every IT professional will adhere to RC principles.”

The new consortium’s manifesto defines RC values to restore trust in IT by responsibly applying technology and by sharing experiences with other organizations. These values include sustainability, inclusiveness, circularity, openness, authenticity, and accountability.

The consortium’s RC framework focuses on six domains of responsible computing, including:

  • Data centers – are designed and operated with a focus on efficiency and sustainability, including emphasizing green energy and improving the handling and disposal of chemicals, toxic materials, and rare metals.
  • More sustainable infrastructure – monitoring the energy usage of products and technologies. Efficient and more sustainable operations, including proper disposal of products.​
  • Code – choosing code that optimizes environmental, social, and economic impact over time. Optimal code includes efficient algorithms, frameworks, and tools and KPIs to accelerate decision-making and pinpoint areas requiring more scrutiny during software development.
  • Data usage – the safe use of data will drive transparency, fairness, privacy, and respect for users.
  • Systems – that address bias and discrimination by driving equality for all, for example, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for transparency.​
  • Impact – the technologies and innovations that drive a positive impact on society at large such as building to improve human conditions and mitigate social risk.

Through interviews with over 100 CTOs concerns were raised around developing practical actions to progress Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) programs. They wanted to contribute to becoming more sustainable businesses and demonstrate progress through consistent metrics. In November 2020, IBM’s Academy of Technology (AoT)’s responded to these challenges and created the Responsible Computing Council, an international team of technology and computing leaders who collaborate in validation and the implementation of the RC framework and lead by example in becoming a responsible computing provider. Object Management Group (OMG) was an early member of the council, and shortly after that, the OMG board approved the formation of the RC consortium.

“Now is the time for companies to adopt a holistic approach that places sustainability strategy at the center of their business,” said Sheri Hinish, Global Lead, IBM Consulting Sustainability Services. “Under IBM Impact, our new ESG Strategy, we are working to make a lasting, positive Impact in the communities in which we work and live. IBM is proud to be a founding member of the RC consortium and through this collaboration we hope to help companies establish new and innovative ways to transform their business operations through ethical, impactful ways that can help contribute to a more sustainable future. ”

“Dell is proud to be a founding member of the RC consortium. We are aligned with and driven by a similar passion to help leading technology organizations realize their sustainable development goals, in line with the planet’s,” said Marc O’Regan, CTO EMEA, Dell Technologies. “In addition to being socially and environmentally responsible, we also expect that RC members will see improved go-to-market solutions, strategies and bottom-line results by following RC principles.”

An organization can become more operationally efficient and demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) when meeting sustainability goals. The ROI can potentially include:​

  • Reduced power consumption​
  • Waste reduction for packaging​
  • Cost-effective heating and cooling solutions​
  • Supply chain efficiency, and more

“As a college with almost 16,000 students and top-10 undergraduate and top-4 graduate program in the U.S., Purdue Engineering is excited to work with Dell, IBM, and other industry leaders in this new consortium of responsible computing,” said Mung Chiang, Executive Vice President and Dean of College of Engineering at Purdue University. “We particularly look forward to advancing technologies for user security, data privacy, freedom-preserving AI, and computing innovations that propel economic growth throughout society.”

“Technology plays an ever-increasing role across all industries and can unlock many benefits in terms of efficiency, sustainability, and wider society. But we need to be careful about deploying technology to make sure that we harvest the benefits without exposing ourselves to unintended consequences,” said Jim Morrish, Founding Partner, Transforma Insights. “AI deployed to support building automation can unlock significant energy savings, to name one example, but we need to ensure this isn’t at the cost of individual privacy. Transforma Insights looks forward to working with the wider technology ecosystem to ensure society gains the maximum benefit from new and emerging technologies.”

Rob Deri, Chief Executive at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said, “BCS became a groundbreaking member of Responsible Computing because our membership community shares the belief that technology can and must drive positive change in society. We are proud to be part of an international coalition that prioritizes the role of IT in understanding and reducing climate change, closing the digital divide, promoting equality of opportunity and growing public trust in tech through global professional standards.”

“Changing how we manage Information and technology infrastructures is crucial to reducing carbon emissions and securing climate justice,” said Professor Jamie Cross, Director of the Edinburgh Earth Initiative, University of Edinburgh. “The University of Edinburgh, the UK’s nationally leading centre for supercomputing and globally-leading hub for data-driven innovations, artificial intelligence and data science, is delighted to join this global initiative to promote responsible computing. We are excited to work together across the Responsible Computing consortium to deliver transformational positive change that can only be achieved through novel technologies, approaches, and alliances.”

RC spans a broad cross-section of industries, including consumer, financial services, travel & transport, insurance, government, energy, environment & utilities, telco & media, and industrial verticals.

SL Green Adopts IBM Technology to Operationalize Sustainability Initiatives Across Extensive NYC Real Estate Portfolio

ARMONK, N.Y and NEW YORKJune 2, 2022  — Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) and SL Green Realty Corp. (NYSE: SLG), Manhattan’s largest office landlord, announced that SL Green is leveraging IBM sustainability software to help advance their company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy. SL Green will use software from Envizi, an IBM Company, to better understand and report on its environmental initiatives, identify opportunities for greater efficiency and further drive sustainability across its extensive real estate operations.

As the largest owner of office real estate in New York CitySL Green is focused on effectively managing its portfolio of Manhattan commercial properties, with interest in more than 70 buildings totaling 34.9 million square feet. In the face of climate change and quickly evolving societal challenges, SL Green is committed to a broad set of sustainability initiatives and goals – from environmental efforts such as optimizing energy, water and waste management, to sustainable development of new properties, and programs to benefit the health and safety of both tenants and the local community. In 2021, SL Green aligned with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Net Zero by 2050 goal of carbon neutral building operations and remains committed to setting a Science-Based Target for greenhouse gas emissions.

Having access to the right data is crucial for many organizations to make meaningful progress toward their sustainability goals but this data is often highly fragmented across various formats and locations, making it difficult for all relevant parties to leverage. In a recent IBM study, 44% of surveyed CEOs cited “lack of insights from data” as a leading challenge to achieving their sustainability objectives.1 In January, IBM acquired Envizi to offer organizations technology to help streamline and automate their collection, analysis and reporting of ESG data, with simplified dashboards and visualizations that can make these insights more accessible to stakeholders of all types.

“As the largest owner of office real estate in New York, we have been pioneers in ESG, taking action to support the City’s vital sustainability initiatives,” said Laura Vulaj, Senior Vice President & Director of Sustainability at SL Green. “Being committed to making data-driven decisions has been a crucial differentiator for us, and Envizi’s advanced technology can enable us to further streamline these initiatives in a transparent and measurable way for our stakeholders.”

Working with IBM, SL Green will use Envizi software as a service (SaaS) to help manage and accelerate sustainability initiatives across its portfolio. For example:

  • Create a single system of record for sustainability and ESG data: Envizi can help SL Green streamline the collection of data from a wide range of sources such as utility data, renewable energy certificates, waste data, business travel, purchased goods and services, in order to provide all stakeholders with consistent data for reporting, analysis and decision making – for example, to support Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emission calculations.
  • Analyze data to inform sustainability decision-making: SL Green can apply Envizi’s advanced analytics to transform this data into insights on the performance of its portfolio, which can help drive better decisions and meet sustainability goals. For example, Envizi could help SL Green calculate greenhouse gas emissions, set decarbonization targets and track progress towards its emissions reduction goals.
  • Streamline ESG and sustainability reporting: SL Green is committed to transparent ESG disclosures and reports its performance under a wide variety of ESG reporting frameworks including CDP, SASB, TCFD, GRI, CSA (DJSI) and SBTi. Envizi’s ESG reporting capabilities can make it easier for SL Green to streamline these reporting processes, with all reporting questions and responses managed within a single software interface.

“The ability to transform widespread operational and environmental data into insights that business leaders and stakeholders can understand is a foundational step towards making sustainability initiatives effective and scalable,” said Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D., General Manager, IBM Sustainability Software. “By taking a 360-degree approach, supported by connections between data, technologies and processes, companies can operationalize sustainability initiatives across their organization.”

This collaboration between IBM and SL Green comes on the heels of the recent announcement that IBM has signed on as an anchor tenant for One Madison Avenue, SL Green’s 1.4 million square foot, state-of-the-art redevelopment scheduled for completion in November 2023.

More than $18-million investment to strengthen research and innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN’S, NLMay 27, 2022  — Memorial University, IBM Canada, the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador today announced the launch of two new initiatives – the Centre for Analytics, Informatics and Research (CAIR) and the Accelerated Analytics and Machine Learning (AAML) project.

Led by Memorial, the two initiatives will focus on innovation and research in such diverse fields as data science and astrophysics, genetic analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning, image analysis and scientific computing.

CAIR will be equipped with powerful high-performance computers able to process huge amounts of complex data, leading to faster insights for projects such as AAML.

Memorial will receive a more than $18-million investment from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, as jurisdictional partners, and private-sector partner IBM. This includes a $16-million, in-kind investment of hardware, software and staffing from IBM during a period of four years. IBM will also provide free development and cloud credits to early stage entrepreneurs and startup companies via the Startup with IBM program. ACOA is providing $1.4 million towards the two initiatives and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will contribute $1.35 million.

Working with Memorial, IBM will also help drive further economic development in the province by supporting skills growth via the IBM SkillsBuild program. The free digital training program helps learners develop valuable new skills and find jobs, regardless of their background or education. SkillsBuild provides learners with professional workplace readiness and technical skills and enables them to earn digital badges recognized by the market. Globally, IBM is committed to providing 30 million people with new skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow by 2030.

This undertaking builds on the tremendous success of the partnership first formed in 2014 between IBM, Memorial and both governments.

Quotes:

“Ongoing collaborations with our government and industry partners allow Memorial to meet the challenges and opportunities of our province and beyond. These significant investments will further enhance Memorial’s capacity in strategic areas, provide world-class scientific training opportunities for faculty and graduate students and allow Memorial to continue supporting the tremendous growth of the local technology industry.”
Dr. Vianne Timmons
President and vice-chancellor, Memorial University

“Our goal is to deliver more diverse computing services to teaching and research communities, to speed up their processes of scientific and technical innovations, and to further increase our contributions in Newfoundland and Labrador. This investment is a testament to our continued commitment to support and collaborate with Memorial University and both levels of government to help further advance Canada’s ability to innovate, address a critical skills gap, and drive research and innovation.”
Frank Attaie
General Manager-Technology, IBM Canada

“The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is committed to working with key partners to help build the digital economy and support long-term economic growth in this region. By investing in high-tech equipment and skills development at Memorial University, we are supporting innovative learning, advanced research and opportunities to grow the technology industry.”
Joanne Thompson
Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Industry has made it clear that as our innovation economy grows, there is a greater need for more highly qualified people or talent. This collaboration will provide access to high performance computing within our province, allowing for even more opportunities for researchers, industry partnerships and the start-up community to meet the growing needs of our tech sector.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Quick Facts:
  • Principal investigator for the Centre for Analytics, Informatics and Research (CAIR) is Dr. Brendan Barrett, professor, Faculty of Medicine.
  • Principal investigator for the Accelerated Analytics and Machine Learning (AAML) project is Dr. Terrence Tricco, assistant professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science.
  • CAIR is a high-performance computing centre with the capacity to rapidly process and analyze vast amounts of data, providing secure storage with off-site backups.
  • CAIR is a local dedicated resource with qualified personnel who can assist research teams in planning their data management approach and provide flexible and timely access to necessary computer resources.
  • The hardware at CAIR will be used by Department of Computer Science faculty and students to undertake research in many key areas that are driven by large data sets, such as image processing, artificial intelligence and deep learning.
  • The AAML project will support training of highly qualified professionals on CAIR hardware.
  • As the local technology industry continues to grow rapidly, the demand for highly qualified professionals in technology-related fields such as data science will certainly increase. CAIR’s hardware infrastructure and supportive staffing complement will be instrumental in meeting training and research needs, ensuring professional training that meets regional and national competitiveness.

IBM and MBZUAI Join Forces to Advance AI Research with New Center of Excellence

ABU DHABI, United Arab EmiratesMay 25, 2022 — Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI)—the world’s first graduate, research university dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI)—has announced plans for a strategic collaboration with IBM. Senior leaders from both organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at advancing fundamental AI research, as well as accelerating the types of scientific breakthroughs that could unlock the potential of AI to help solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

Professor Eric Xing, President of MBZUAI, delivered short remarks, as did Jonathan Adashek, IBM’s Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, and Saad Toma, General Manager, IBM Middle East, and Africa. The agreement was then signed by Sultan Al Hajji, Vice President for Public Affairs and Alumni Relations at MBZUAI and Wael Abdoush, General Manager IBM Gulf and Levant.

“We’re excited to to be among the first research universities in the MENA region to host a Center of Excellence for AI research and development with technology and expertise from a world-leading technological giant like IBM. This center will provide highly valuable resource and collaborative environment to our faculty and students to broaden their work in AI. IBM has a long history of technological innovation, and we look forward to joining their latest efforts in our region and together advance AI technology and commercialization for mutual good,” MBZUAI President, Professor Eric Xing said.

Saad Toma, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Africa, said: “This collaboration will help drive innovations in AI which is critical for the future of business and society. We’re bringing together some of the brightest minds across both the industry and academia, while reinforcing IBM’s commitment to promoting knowledge and skills in critical areas for the UAE’s development, where the use of technologies like AI is fundamental.”

Central to the collaboration is the establishment of a new AI Center of Excellence to be based at the university’s Masdar City campus. The Center will leverage the talents of IBM researchers, in collaboration with MBZUAI faculty and students, and will focus on the advancement of both fundamental and applied research objectives.

The initiative seeks to develop, validate, and incubate technologies that harness the capabilities of AI to address civic, social, and business challenges. Further, the collaboration aims to provide real-life applications, particularly in the fields of natural language processing, as well as AI applications that seek to further climate and sustainability goals, and accelerate discoveries in healthcare.

IBM will provide targeted training and technologies as part of the initiative, which supports the university’s vision to be a global leader for advancing AI and its application for the good of society and business. For example, through the IBM Academic Initiative, IBM will provide MBZUAI students and faculty  with access to IBM tools, software, courseware and cloud accounts for teaching, learning, and non-commercial research. In addition, through the IBM Skills Academy program, MBZUAI will have access to curated AI curricula, lectures, labs, industry use cases, design-thinking sessions, and an AI Practitioner certification.

The planned relationship is subject to the parties reaching definitive agreements.

IBM and Red Hat Technology Launch to Space on EnduroSat’s Shared Sat Service

Sofia, Bulgaria – May 25, 2022 — EnduroSat, leading provider of software-defined NanoSats and Space services for business and academia, announced that open source, hybrid cloud and AI technologies from IBM and Red Hat are part of its second mission, which is scheduled to launch to low earth orbit at 2:25 PM ET today.

An Earth Observation and in-orbit Edge Computing payloads from IBM were integrated on EnduroSat’s software-defined NanoSat and are due to launch from Cape Canaveral, FL. These solutions use a minimal footprint distribution project of Red Hat OpenShift, which is optimized to work directly on edge devices to run containers in space.

EnduroSat is working with IBM to provide developers and students around the globe with a fast and easy way to process space data even before getting it back to the ground. IBM’s project, codenamed “Endurance,” uses IBM’s edge computing in space solution. It is designed to help more people discover the wonders of space, using IBM and Red Hat hybrid cloud technologies. In a hybrid cloud environment, student participants will be able to securely host, access and push code on IBM Cloud, which will connect to EnduroSat’s Digital Mission environment, then a ground station, and ultimately, the NanoSat. The code will be used to access data from various sensors, take pictures, perform calculations, and get the results back to earth.

Through its Shared Satellite Service, EnduroSat aims to provide visionary entrepreneurs, scientists, and technologists easy access to space, helping them to drive innovation at this final frontier. The company`s software-defined NanoSats enable plug & play payload integration and open unique capabilities to fly fast and improve the usage of technology in space.

“We are thrilled to welcome IBM onboard our Shared Sat Missions. We are excited to see the rapid data services deployment and the innovations that our partners are unleashing in orbit. The collaboration between EnduroSat and IBM is a major step in bringing space closer to users on the ground.”

  • Raycho Raychev, Founder & CEO of EnduroSat

The IBM team’s project goal for this mission is to help streamline the process for getting school-aged children access to the wonders of space using technology so participating students can interact directly with a CubeSat, a type of NanoSat built in cube form, in Low Earth Orbit.

By running experiments on EnduroSat’s Cube satellite, the IBM team is taking data processing closer to where data is being produced, to get near real-time results. The workload uplink request initiates in IBM Cloud to send code up and receive data back. The project provides not only an opportunity to save bandwidth, but also expedite data processing by sorting images at the “edge” and downloading only the valuable data via IBM Cloud.

As part of IBM’s ongoing skills-building initiatives, five teams of students who participate on IBM skilling programs have been selected to work with the IBM development and volunteer teams for this project. IBM Cloud provides a development environment for the students to build code and send it into space. The teams are from P-TECH 535 (Rochester, MN, U.S.), Falcon Tech (Longmont, CO, U.S..), Leeds City College (Leeds, U.K.) and two teams from National Taipei University of Technology (Taiwan). Each team will have the opportunity to learn from IBMers on topics such as engineering and coding. Workplace skills such as collaboration, analytical thinking, agility and entrepreneurship will also be conveyed.

“This work to help democratize access to space will help further accelerate space exploration and innovation. IBM’s edge computing in space experiment will run containers in space and apply AI on the raw data being produced on the satellite. The actionable insights gained will be communicated back to IBM Cloud on earth, a hybrid solution extending from terrestrial networks to the far edge in space. We are ecstatic about our Endurance project, and to be ‘going to space’ in collaboration with EnduroSat. The sky is not the limit.”

  • Naeem Altaf, IBM Distinguished Engineer & CTO Space Tech

Responsibility for AI Ethics Shifts from Tech Silo to Broader Executive Champions, says IBM Study

-80% of respondents in this year’s survey pointed to a non-technical executive as the primary advocates for AI ethics, compared to 15% in 2018
– 79% of CEOs surveyed are prepared to implement AI ethics practices but less than a quarter of organizations have acted on it
– 68% of organizations acknowledge diversity is important to mitigating bias in AI, but respondents indicated their AI teams are: 5.5 times less inclusive of women, 4 times less inclusive of LGBT+ individuals and 1.7 times less racially inclusive

ARMONK, N.Y., April 14, 2022 — A new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study revealed a radical shift in the roles responsible for leading and upholding AI ethics at an organization. When asked which function is primarily accountable for AI ethics, 80% of respondents pointed to a non-technical executive, such as a CEO, as the primary “champion” for AI ethics, a sharp uptick from 15% in 2018.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: multivu.com/players/English/9002052-ibm-study-ai-ethics-action-enterprise-guide-progressing-trustworthy/

Which function is primary responsible for AI ethics?

The global study* also indicates that despite a strong imperative for advancing trustworthy AI, including better performance compared to peers in sustainability, social responsibility, and diversity and inclusion, there remains a gap between leaders’ intention and meaningful actions. The study found:

Business executives are now seen as the driving force in AI ethics

  • CEOs (28%) – but also Board members (10%), General Counsels (10%), Privacy Officers (8%), and Risk & Compliance Officers (6%) are viewed as being most accountable for AI ethics by those surveyed.
  • While 66% of respondents cite the CEO or other C-level executive as having a strong influence on their organization’s ethics strategy, more than half cite board directives (58%) and the shareholder community (53%).

Building trustworthy AI is perceived as a strategic differentiator and organizations are beginning to implement AI ethics mechanisms.

  • More than three-quarters of business leaders surveyed this year agree AI ethics is important to their organizations, up from about 50% in 2018.
  • At the same time, 75% of respondents believe ethics is a source of competitive differentiation, and more than 67% of respondents that view AI and AI ethics as important indicate their organizations outperform their peers in sustainability, social responsibility, and diversity and inclusion.
  • Many companies have started making strides. In fact, more than half of respondents say their organizations have taken steps to embed AI ethics into their existing approach to business ethics.
  • More than 45% of respondents say their organizations have created AI-specific ethics mechanisms, such as an AI project risk assessment framework and auditing/review process.

Ensuring ethical principles are embedded in AI solutions is an urgent need for organizations, but progress is still too slow

  • More surveyed CEOs (79%) are now prepared to embed AI ethics into their AI practices – up from 20% in 2018 — and more than half of responding organizations have publicly endorsed common principles of AI ethics.
  • Yet, less than a quarter of responding organizations have operationalized AI ethics, and fewer than 20% of respondents strongly agreed that their organization’s practices and actions match (or exceed) their stated principles and values.
  • 68% of surveyed organizations acknowledge that having a diverse and inclusive workplace is important to mitigating bias in AI, but findings indicate that AI teams are still substantially less diverse than their organizations’ workforces: 5.5 times less inclusive of women, 4 times less inclusive of LGBT+ individuals and 1.7 times less racially inclusive.

“As many companies today use AI algorithms across their business, they potentially face increasing internal and external demands to design these algorithms to be fair, secured and trustworthy; yet, there has been little progress across the industry in embedding AI ethics into their practices,” said Jesus Mantas, Global Managing Partner, IBM Consulting. “Our IBV study findings demonstrate that building trustworthy AI is a business imperative and a societal expectation, not just a compliance issue. As such, companies can implement a governance model and embed ethical principles across the full AI life cycle.”

The time for companies to act is now. The study data suggests that those organizations who implement a broad AI ethics strategy interwoven throughout business units may have a competitive advantage moving forward. The study provides recommended actions for business leaders including:

  • Take a cross-functional, collaborative approach – ethical AI requires a holistic approach, and a holistic set of skills across all stakeholders involved in the AI ethics process. C-Suite executives, designers, behavioral scientists, data scientists, and AI engineers each have a distinct role to play in the trustworthy AI journey.
  • Establish both organizational and AI lifecycle governance to operationalize the discipline of AI ethics – take a holistic approach to incentivizing, managing and governing AI solutions across the full AI lifecycle, from establishing the right culture to nurture AI responsibly, to practices and policies to products.
  • Reach beyond your organization for partnership – expand your approach by identifying and engaging key AI-focused technology partners, academics, startups, and other ecosystem partners to establish “ethical interoperability.”