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IBM Research at Think 2018

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Quantum computing, future of AI and celebrity guest speakers make up the IBM Research lineup for Think 2018, IBM’s upcoming megaconference in Las Vegas.

IBM Research will be the feature of over 45 sessions at Think 2018, taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 19-22. IBM’s biggest industry and innovation event of the year will include a quantum computing track, showcasing the industry’s first use cases of quantum computing on the cloud across the world’s largest partner and public access network; demos from the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, launched 6 months ago with a $240 million investment to propel scientific breakthroughs to unlock the potential of AI; predictions centered on five breakthrough technologies from IBM Research, and much more.

Featured Research sessions

IBM Research Science Slam: Unveiling five breakthrough technologies that will change the world
Arvind Krishna, SVP and Director, IBM Research
Hosted by Jamie Garcia,
Polymer Chemist, IBM Research
Monday, March 19  |  4:30
– 6:00pm PT
Think Theater, Mandalay Bay

Join IBM Research Director Arvind Krishna to kick off the 2018 THINK Conference with a “Science Slam” where we unveil predictions for the five technologies that will change our lives within five years. Sharing personal stories that bring technology to life, IBM researchers will reveal profound scientific breakthroughs in such areas as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, security and the environment that promise to change the way we all work, live and interact. Through a series of short, informal talks, you will meet both well-established and up-and-coming scientists as they explain their passion for changing the world as we know it.

AI for Industry
Sophie Vandebroek,
Chief Operating Officer, IBM Research
Monday, March 19  |  6:00
– 6:30pm PT
Business Reinvention and AI Campus, Small Theater 1

When core AI technologies are applied to difficult problems in Industry, a unique opportunity for innovation evolves. This presentation will focus on the value that AI brings for Industry and how to bring core AI capabilities to real-world problems. The application of high-impact technologies towards solving hard problems will result in a positive impact on individuals, clients, IBM, and the world.

From Sci-Fi to Reality: Quantum Computing is Here
Arvind Krishna
Senior Vice President, Hybrid Cloud, and Director of IBM Research
Jerry Chow
Manager and Distinguished Research Staff Member, Experimental Quantum Computing, IBM Research
Kohei Itoh
Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University
Talia Gershon
Senior Manager, AI Challenges and Quantum Experiences, IBM
SeongJun Park
Vice President, Samsung Electronics (Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology)
Wednesday, March 21  |  11:30am – 12:10pm PT
Mandalay Bay Events Center

There is a whole class of problems that are too difficult for even the largest and most powerful computers that exist today to solve. These exponential challenges include everything from simulating the complex interactions of atoms and molecules to optimizing supply chains. But quantum computers could enable us to solve these problems, unleashing untold opportunities for business. IBM Director of Research Arvind Krishna will describe how quantum computers have become a reality at IBM. He’ll discuss what companies are doing to become “quantum ready” for a new era of computing. He’ll also present the roadmap for IBM Q, the first commercial quantum program that is expected to deliver powerful results for businesses within a few years.

The World of Quantum
Jessica Pointing,
Quantum Computing Researcher at MIT and Harvard, Founder of Optimize Guide
Wednesday, March 21  |  2:30
– 3:10pm PT
Micro Theater

Because atoms and subatomic particles behave in strange and complex ways, classical physics can not explain their quantum behavior. However, when the behavior is harnessed effectively, systems become far more powerful than classical computers… quantum powerful. Jessica Pointing, quantum computing researcher, unpacks this topic with a fascinating primer.

The Future of AI
Alex Gray, VP, AI Science, IBM Research
Thursday, March 22  |  8:30-9:10am PT
Business and AI Campus Theater A

As computing becomes increasingly powerful and oceans of data deepen further, the breadth of AI capabilities and new developments in neural networks and deep learning will grow as we find ways to integrate AI into nearly every aspect of how we work. IBM Research’s Vice President of AI Science, Alexander Gray, will share what IBM Research is working on to address the future capabilities of AI. He’ll cover teaching machines how to perform data science work automatically, creating the next wave of fundamental AI methodology beyond deep learning, and new ways to perform the computations at the heart of AI.

And in addition to coming face-to-face with IBM’s 50-qubit prototype quantum computing system, you can find over a dozen featured Quantum Computing sessions, including Think Tanks and keynotes, here: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/systems/enter-the-world-of-quantum-computing-at-think-2018/

Quantum Potential
Bob Sutor, IBM
Scott Crowder,
Thursday, March 22 | 12:30 PM – 1:10 PM
Modern Infrastructure Campus Theater A

Quantum computers are incredibly powerful machines that take a new approach to processing information. Built on the principles of quantum mechanics, they exploit complex and fascinating laws of nature that are always there, but usually remain hidden from view. By harnessing such natural behavior, quantum computing can run new types of algorithms to process information more holistically. This may one day lead to breakthroughs in materials and drug discovery, optimization of complex manmade systems, and AI. We expect quantum computing to open doors that we once thought would remain locked indefinitely. Acquaint yourself with the exciting world of quantum computing and learn about the next steps needed to make it a reality.

Quantum Algorithms and Applications
Christopher Wood, IBM
Monday| 3:30 PM – 4:10 PM
Reef C

Come get a deep technical overview of IBM Q quantum computing research and development of the first quantum algorithms and applications.

Get Hands-On with the IBM Q Experience and QISKit Quantum SDK
Erick Winston, IBM
Tuesday | 1:30 PM – 2:10 PM
Breakers L

Experience a deep technical overview of IBM Q quantum computing research and how to access and experiment with IBM Q quantum computers through the IBM Q Experience and QISKit, an open source quantum software development kit.

Does Quantum Computing Matter to My Business Yet?
Christopher Schnabel, IBM
Thursday | 2:00 PM – 2:20 PM
Modern Infrastructure Campus Think Tank A

Quantum technology has reached an inflection point. Scientists continue to make significant progress through the entire quantum computing technology stack, bringing quantum computing from science fiction to reality. Develop an understanding of which industries may be disrupted first by quantum, and the actions that any business must take now to get quantum-ready.

The Quantum Marathon: The First Quantum Applications
Christopher Wood, IBM
Thursday | 1:30 PM – 1:50 PM
Modern Infrastructure Campus Think Tank D

Following Watson and Blockchain, quantum computing may provide the next powerful set of services delivered via the IBM Cloud. During this session, attendees will learn about quantum computing and what could be quantum’s first use case.


  • Botshield: integrates PPI protection into existing chat bots at the push of a button
  • PAIRS Geoscope: capturing the value of place and time with geo-spatiotemporal insights
  • Crypto Anchor Verifier: integrates the physical objects and digital world with AI and optical analytics
  • MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab: demos on 3 accepted projects from the MIT-IBM Watson AI lab as well as the propelling scientific breakthroughs this research initiative is enabling.
  • Future of Cloud Programming: kubernetes extensions to orchestrate and manage cloud solution architectures
  • Cloud Security: Secure Containers of the Future – integrity, isolation and compliance
  • Cloud DevOps: Troubleshooting, SRE, and Canary Deployments with Istio and Skydive


IBM Research will debut a new TJBot activation in the DevZone, which is designed to showcase demos and activations targeted to developers. Attendees can build their own virtual TJBot on iPads, customize it, and share on social media. Watch the Facebook Live on Wednesday, March 21 at 9:00am PT.

Immersive Gallery

A larger-than-life Immersive Gallery at Think will connect stories from IBM Research and featured Think Theater presenters around a theme, showcasing ways that IBM is changing the world. The gallery will include data visualizations and rich visual content to give attendees insights into research conducted at IBM and connections between projects and the efforts of the presenters. Themes are Air & Water, Brain & Body and Energy & Commerce. Hear talks and see exhibits around plastics research, plankton and pollution monitoring, precision medicine, computational psychiatry, methane detection, cryptoanchors, and much more.

Don’t miss the chance to learn from dozens of industry luminaries, 800+ IBM experts, 400+ developers, and 200+ distinguished engineers at Think 2018! Visit https://myibm.ibm.com/events/think/watson to add Research sessions to your Think agenda and explore the full program and https://www.ibm.com/events/think/watch/ to tune in virtually to select sessions throughout the week.

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