IBM Research: Happy Birthday to You
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No, there's no relation -- however, I have watched with great admiration at the innovations that have come out of the Watson Labs, many before I even set foot on this planet.
Here's just a select few of the Watson Lab breakthroughs: the world's first magnetic hard disk; the FORTRAN programming language; one-transistor dynamic RAM (better known today as DRAM); relational database technology; Reduced Instruction Set Computer architecture; the Scanning Tunneling Microscope...the list goes on and on.
Also emanating from Watson Research: The esteemed team who designed and programmed the Deep Blue super computer that dominated Gary Kasparov in the 1997 Kasparov v. Deep Blue rematch.
Since the mid 1990s, IBM has invested about $5 billion a year on research, and as a result has received more U.S. patents than any other company for 12 years running. The 2004 tally was 3,248 new patents, an average of nearly 9 patents per day.
But ultimately, it is the productive and business-enhancing use of these innovations by our customers in their own organizations which makes us the most proud.
Happy Birthday, Team Watson.