12 of 50
Top 50 rank: 12
Rank in Information Technology Services: 1
(Previous rank: 1)
Overall score: 7.64
Why it's admired
While Watson's triumph on Jeopardy was perceived as a defeat by most of humanity, the supercomputer's creators see it differently.

The machine, which has an uncanny ability to synthesize human language, is the product of years of work on computing systems that can intelligently sift through data. The artificial intelligence technology is said to have far-reaching implications for improving health care and other aspects of human existence.

IBM pumps billions into research and development annually, and Big Blue says continued innovation helps juice its earnings -- IBM recently posted its biggest quarterly profit rise in a decade.

As human Jeopardy legend Ken Jennings famously wrote on his Final Jeopardy board when it was clear IBM technology would win the day: "I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords." Smarter planet, indeed. --A.V.

Should IBM be admired, or what?
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