The best of IBM 2016

Watson collaborated on a hit song, the Internet of Things revved into high gear and quantum computing was opened to the public. In a year filled with breakthroughs and achievements, here are some of the memorable moments from 2016.

Cognitive collaboration opened a new frontier for music

GRAMMY®-winning producer Alex Da Kid teamed up with Watson to create music inspired by the emotions of the audience. Watson read and analyzed enormous volumes of news, social media and existing music to provide Alex with a new perspective on the human condition.

IoT developers hacked the world

2016 was a breakout year for the Internet of Things. Armed with the Watson IoT platform on IBM Bluemix — and endless creativity — even first-time builders were connecting and customizing their world. Whether you want to add voice control to your toy robot, or cognitive analytics to a large-scale manufacturing operation, it’s easy to get started.

Conversations, powered by Watson

With the launch of Watson Conversation services in July, developers everywhere can tap the power of Watson to deploy natural language chat bots. From simple Q&A to sophisticated virtual agents and robots, automated service can have a human touch.

Weather data fueled decision engines

IBM closed its acquisition of the Weather Company in January, gaining access to an extraordinary volume of real-world data. From hyper-local forecasts to broad trends, cognitive systems can transform weather data into business insights.

The birth of quantum cloud computing

The IBM Quantum Experience launched in May, giving researchers, students and enthusiasts cloud-based access to an experimental quantum computing platform. As computing moves beyond the classic binary system, bits with infinite positions will unlock infinite possibilities. Platform users can learn quantum principles, experiment with new algorithms and more.

IBM Fellows: The standouts who are changing your world

Every year, a handful of truly elite engineers and scientists are recognized as IBM Fellows. Their collective work has produced thousands of patents, five Nobel prizes and countless advances in science and technology. From achievements in cognitive and cloud to healthcare and genomics, these IBMers are changing the world.

The blockchain boom

When IBM and 29 other member companies joined forces to launch the Hyperledger Project in February, most people had never heard of blockchain. Today, over 100 member companies have joined and businesses are lining up for adoption on a massive scale. It’s open, it’s secure, and it’s changing everything.

High tech met haute couture on the red carpet

In a bold collaboration, Watson worked with Marchesa designers to help create a unique dress for the Met Gala in May. Watson observed and analyzed Marchesa design principles to offer suggestions. The result was a stunning dress that could change color in response to social media sentiment.

Cancer patients got gene-specific treatment

The power of Watson was put to work for a program launched in October that helps oncologists customize treatment programs for each patient’s unique cancer. Doctors can eliminate much trial-and-error, identifying with greater confidence which drugs and treatments are likely to be effective in any given case.

Connected cars drove the information superhighway

Vehicles were further integrated into to the IoT to create powerful new ways of understanding not only the state of the vehicle, but also the status of drivers, roads, cities and more. This paradigm shift is changing how humans produce, use and maintain transportation infrastructure.

Hidden history inspired a new generation of STEM leaders

Hidden Figures, a new film from 20th Century Fox launching on December 25, tells the story of three African-American women who developed advanced math and mastered a new IBM system to help NASA send John Glenn into orbit.