IBM is pouring $240 million into a new AI research lab at MIT


On Thursday, IBM and the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) announced a new $240 million research center called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab that's focused, at least in part, on how new hardware can help energize and grow AI technologies. "The field of artificial intelligence has experienced incredible growth and progress over the past decade. One of those nascent technologies is quantum computing. It's a technology that excites AI researchers because it holds the potential of far greater computing power, thanks to its ability to hold bits in multiple states at once. Traditional computing can only have bits that are on or off (1s and 0s).

Pens, holograms and you: Microsoft's quest to make computing 'natural'


Microsoft's vision of "natural computing" will be a significant departure from the keyboard-and-mouse combination we're all familiar with today -- but several moving parts have to come together in order to make it work. Namely, those include touchscreens, smart pens and augmented-reality headsets. SEE ALSO: Microsoft wants a piece of the VR pie, and it's using HoloLens to get it Luckily, Microsoft brought all of those elements together on stage at the Computex trade show on Wednesday. It announced that Windows Hello and Windows Ink, two features that had been seen in beta earlier this year, will become real for Windows 10 users this summer via a free OS update. Li-Chen Miller, Microsoft's engineering manager for Windows experiences, showed them off in a demo where she logged into her laptop with wearable bands and a contactless ID card, eschewing the traditional password route.

Microsoft pushes ahead with its risky dream of conversational AI bots


And not just any bots -- bots powered by artificial intelligence that can carry meaningful conversations and handle tasks for you. On Wednesday, hours before Nadella took the stage, Microsoft accidentally re-activated Tay only to quickly pull it again after the bot started bragging about smoking weed. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple are all incorporating AI into tools ranging from personal assistants to personal assistants and even personal assistants. It looks like a real conversation," says Dennis Mortensen, CEO and founder of, a startup that has raised 11 million to building an AI personal assistant to schedule appointments.