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MIT Technology Review
  • 1

    Why

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

    12,000:

    number of programs that software developers have published for Alexa

    Company Details
  • 2

    Why

    Despite the high-profile loss this year of its well-regarded head of AI, Andrew Ng, the company is doing important work in the field, including leading China’s National Engineering Lab of Deep Learning Technology and Application.

    1,300:

    number of employees dedicated to working on AI

    Company Details
  • 3

    Why

    After a drop in sales last fall, unveiled a new machine, NovaSeq, that will be capable of sequencing 48 entire human genomes in two and a half days—and could one day push the cost of genome sequencing down to $100.

    $850,000:

    price of the cheaper of its two NovaSeq models

    Company Details
  • 4

    Why

    While advancing autopilot technology in its Model S and X cars, the company is taking electric vehicles mainstream with its $35,000 Model 3 car, which already has 400,000 pre-orders.

    50 percent

    According to CEO Elon Musk, drivers have a 50 percent lower chance of having an accident when driving with Tesla Autopilot.

    Company Details
  • 5

    Why

    Its innovative batteries for the power grid make this startup unusually successful in a tough industry.

    Backers

    Include Bill Gates, Shell.

    Company Details
  • 6

    Why

    A leader in making driver assistance technology such as collision warning systems for clients including Tesla, General Motors, and Volkswagen, among others, it is working on advances that will enable fully autonomous cars.

    600

    Number of employees who are annotating the images used to train its autonomous driving system.

    Company Details
  • 7

    Why

    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
  • 8

    Why

    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
  • 9

    Why

    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
  • 10

    Why

    This Chinese telecommunications giant is now the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor thanks to strong sales in both premium and entry-level devices.

    27.5 million

    Number of smartphones Huawei shipped in the first quarter of 2016, according to market researcher IDC.

    Company Details
  • 11

    Why

    Making advances in cadmium telluride cells; building three of the five largest solar projects in the U.S.

    $2.9 billion:

    estimated 2017 revenue

    Company Details
  • 12

    Why

    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
  • 13

    Why

    Last summer a hospital in London used Cellectis’s gene-editing technology to heal a child with otherwise untreatable leukemia.

    $300 million

    Though not profitable, the company has over $300 million in cash, enough to last through 2018.

    Company Details
  • 14

    Why

    A number of Australian radiologists are now using the company’s deep-learning software to analyze x-rays.

    50 percent

    Claims its algorithm read chest CT images 50 percent more accurately than experts in its own test.

    Company Details
  • 15

    Why

    Despite controversies over fake news, live streaming video, and discriminatory advertising, and poor sales of its Oculus VR headset, it continues to work on interesting applications of AI and VR, and its Instagram business is singing.

    20:

    number of natural-language data sets built into the company’s AI research tool, ParlAI.

    Company Details
  • 16

    Why

    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
  • 17
  • 18

    Why

    Building an operating system for commercial drones, as well as a traffic control system that could increase their usefulness.

    Leader

    Airware’s founder and CEO also leads an investment fund that supports businesses creating technologies for commercial drones.

    Company Details
  • 19

    Why

    Its large-scale desalination process is winning big contracts in China and Australia.

    30 percent

    By October IDE will be producing 30 percent of Santa Barbara’s water.

    Company Details
  • 20

    Why

    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
  • 21

    Why

    Apple’s $1 billion investment, part of $7 billion raised this year, will help the Chinese ride-hailing app continue to fend off Uber.

    14 million

    Number of rides its drivers complete a day.

    Company Details
  • 22

    Why

    Twelve years and $200 million in the making, its inexpensive, portable genetic analyzer has been successfully tested from Antarctica to space and shows promising for on-the-spot diagnostic testing, germ monitoring, and more.

    882,000 letters:

    record length of a single DNA strand read continuously by one of its machines

    Company Details
  • 23

    Why

    Created a more efficient lithium-ion battery that could reduce the cost of energy storage for the electric grid and electric vehicles.

    50 percent

    The company claims it can reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries by 50 percent.

    Company Details
  • 24

    Why

    Quickly expanding the artificial intelligence in its Alibaba Cloud platform, including industry-specific products, and launching a global electronic trade platform to build its business with small and medium-size companies around the world.

    57 percent:

    Alibaba’s share of Chinese online commerce

    Company Details
  • 25

    Why

    Uses of its life-saving immunotherapy, Opdivo, has expanded to lung cancer, advanced renal-cell carcinoma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

    Five years

    One-third of patients with advanced melanoma survived for five years in a study of Opdivo.

    Company Details
  • 26

    Why

    Its fast-growing cloud business has reduced the software giant’s reliance on PC sales. Its expanding team of quantum computing experts hopes to develop commercially viable products to compete with efforts by Google and IBM.

    $15 billion:

    projected annual revenue for its commercial cloud business

    Company Details
  • 27

    Why

    World’s largest maker of industrial robots is incorporating machine learning.

    Eight

    Number of hours a Fanuc robot needs to learn a task with 90 percent accuracy.

    Company Details
  • 28

    Why

    Its smart batteries, which include software to manage energy use and can store energy for later, are transforming the electricity market in Germany.

    25 percent

    Electricity on its system is 25 percent cheaper than the electricity on the grid, according to the company.

    Company Details
  • 29

    Why

    Its virtual-world simulation platform is used to create VR software and test driverless cars.

    Funding

    Andreessen Horowitz is a major backer.

    Company Details
  • 30

    Why

    Its computer-vision chips are making mobile devices and drones smarter.

    On the radar

    Drones using Movidius technology can sense obstacles to avoid collisions.

    Company Details
  • 31

    Why

    The Oxitec division of this biotech holding company genetically engineers mosquitoes that could reduce the spread of Zika.

    $174 million

    Acquisitions increased sales from $8 million to $174 million in five years.

    Company Details
  • 32

    Why

    Its novel 3-D printing process makes it possible to fabricate parts out of a wide variety of plastics.

    100,000:

    number of pairs of shoes Adidas will print by the end of 2018 using Carbon technology

    Company Details
  • 33

    Why

    Advanced manufacturing facilities it is developing rely on connected sensors and sophisticated software to improve factory efficiency.

    $80 billion

    Record revenue generated in 2015.

    Company Details
  • 34

    Why

    Its flexible tool for diagnosing abnormalities more quickly has FDA approval for certain uses, including detecting a fungus that causes sepsis.

    35

    Number of customers who now use the company’s bench-top diagnostic system.

    Company Details
  • 35

    Why

    Plans to begin testing a powerful new form of gene repair in humans within two years.

    $94 million

    Money raised in its February IPO, and the stock is up 85 percent since then.

    Company Details
  • 36

    Why

    Food giant has jumped into microbiome research, working to develop “healthy gut” products.

    $2 billion

    At a slow time for its core food business, its nutritional therapies division has reached $2 billion in annual revenue in its first five years, and more strong growth is predicted.

    Company Details
  • 37

    Why

    Has begun first human trials of optogenetics, using light-triggered genetic changes to restore some vision to people with retinitis pigmentosa.

    $12 million

    Revenue raised from foundations and private investors as well as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

    Company Details
  • 38

    Why

    The Japanese messaging app is quick to add innovative features, such as group calls for up to 200 people, and plans an IPO this year.

    218 million

    Number of monthly active users.

    Company Details
  • 39

    Why

    This money-transfer service, with a peer-to-peer model for sending money abroad, aims to charge lower fees than traditional players.

    $750 million

    Money TransferWise helps users exchange every month.

    Company Details
  • 40

    Why

    Launched by well-regarded researchers and funded with venture capital backed by Chinese and U.S. pharmaceutical companies, it will sequence anyone’s genome for just $1,000 and interpret it, too. In 2017, it started offering to sequence newborns in China.

    1,250:

    number of conditions, risks, and traits it will tell parents about in their newborns

    Company Details
  • 41

    Why

    With clients like JPMorgan Chase, Sony Pictures, and Target, it’s creating a new model for computer security on a large scale.

    In the works

    New products focus on securing public and private clouds and detecting targeted e-mail attacks.

    Company Details
  • 42

    Why

    Its software makes it possible to analyze one of the world’s largest genomic data sets.

    11,000

    Number of patients that have contributed 33 cancer types and subtypes to its Cancer Genomics Cloud.

    Company Details
  • 43

    Why

    The workplace communications app burrows more deeply into workplaces. Now you can use your Slack login for all the software your company uses.

    Three million

    Number of daily active Slack users.

    Company Details
  • 44

    Why

    South Korea’s largest and fastest-growing online-only retailer is innovating in mobile commerce and same-day delivery.

    $5 billion

    Coupang’s most recent valuation.

    Company Details
  • 45

    Why

    Exploring new technologies like blockchain and cloud AI while continuing work on important long-term challenges like quantum computing.

    400:

    number of customers the company has worked with on blockchain applications

    Company Details
  • 46

    Why

    Building out its advertising business by partnering with Viacom to sell ads and with Nielsen for marketing campaign data.

    10 billion

    Number of videos that are seen on the app every day.

    Company Details
  • 47

    Why

    This e-commerce company is the continent’s first tech company to be valued at more than $1 billion.

    26

    Africa Internet Group operates in 26 African countries.

    Company Details
  • 48

    Why

    Maker of electronic building blocks has accelerated its growth with new funding, new investors, and new distribution.

    $299

    Basic kits sell for $99 to $299.

    Company Details
  • 49

    Why

    Acquisitions in computer vision and AI show it’s serious about adapting to new technology.

    46 percent:

    portion of revenues derived from areas beyond PC chips

    Company Details
  • 50

    Why

    Using RNA interference to create alternatives to conventional GMOs.

    $1.5 billion

    Money invested last year in research on new biotech traits, genomics, and more.

    Company Details