Saturday, July 15, 2017

Technology Review's 50 Smartest Companies 2017

From MIT's Technology Review, June 27:
Our editors pick the 50 companies that best combine innovative technology with an effective business model.

Each year we identify 50 companies creating new opportunities by combining important technologies and business savvy. Some are large companies that seem to be growing ever larger, like Amazon and Apple. Others, like IBM, or General Electric are old-guard giants betting on technology renewal. And the list is full of ambitious startups like SpaceX, which is changing the economics of space travel with reusable rockets; Face ++, a pioneer in face recognition technology; and additive-manufacturing firms Carbon and Desktop Metal. For additional perspective on the list, which starts below, please see our essay, "It Pays to Be Smart."...MUCH MORE 
The top 10:

Continues to tweak its chips, originally developed for gaming, to help develop breakthrough technologies like deep learning and autonomous driving. 
$3 billion:
spending on R&D to create its new data-center chip
Company Details

Changing the economics of space travel with its successful landing and recycling of rockets to be recycled for multiple trips
10 percent:
price discount being considered for customers who agree to fly their payloads on reused rockets
Company Details


Creating an AI-powered store of the future with Amazon Go while expanding intelligent voice assistant Alexa into phones, cars, and more.

number of programs that software developers have published for Alexa
Company Details

Vindicated this year when the U.S. FDA granted permission to tell customers whether their DNA puts them at higher risk for some diseases.
1 million plus:
number of customers who have consented to have their genetic information used for scientific research
Company Details

Continues to dominate research into AI while expanding innovation in phone systems, virtual reality, and self-driving cars.
40 percent:
amount of energy the company says it saves applying machine-learning algorithms from its DeepMind subsidiary to cooling its data center.
Company Details

Its voice assistant technology is the Siri of China, and its real-time portable translator puts AI to remarkable use, overcoming dialect, slang, and background noise to translate between Chinese and a dozen other languages with surprising accuracy.
70 percent:
iFlytek’s share of China’s market in voice-based technologies
Company Details

Kite Pharma
Nearing FDA approval of its experimental immunotherapy that uses a patient’s own blood cells to combat cancer.
39 percent:
proportion of study participants very sick with lymphoma who showed no sign of the disease six months after a single treatment with Kite’s therapy
Company Details

Turning its insanely popular chat platform WeChat into a virtual operating system featuring mini programs.
50 percent:
proportion of WeChat’s 770 million daily users who are on the service at least 90 minutes a day
Company Details

The biotech company has a strong drug pipeline and track record treating eye and other diseases, and it’s testing treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and pain. 
number of U.K. volunteers whose genetic data it is helping sequence
Company Details

Spark Therapeutics
Its blindness treatment could be the first gene therapy approved in the U.S. to treat an inherited disease.
1 in 30,000:
estimated number of individuals affected by the disease, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy
Company Details

And if interested, do read the above noted article:
"It Pays to Be Smart."