Digital transformation projects cry out for a human touch- Valutrics

CIO news roundup for week of June 5

SearchCIO was in the Big Apple talking to CIOs about digital transformation projects. Meantime, here’s what was grabbing headlines.

SoftBank scoops up Boston Dynamics. Japanese telecommunications giant Softbank is buying Waltham, Mass., robotics firm Boston Dynamics from Alphabet, SoftBank announced Thursday. “We look forward to working with SoftBank in our mission to push the boundaries of what advanced robots can do and to create useful applications in a smarter and more connected world,” Marc Raibert, CEO and founder of Boston Dynamics, said in a statement. SoftBank strives to make smart robotics a key driver of the next stage of the “information revolution,” and the company aims to aid Boston Dynamics in its journey to advance the field of robotics, SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son said in a statement. As part of the deal, SoftBank is also buying bipedal robotics firm Schaft. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Apple unveils Siri-powered HomePod. Apple launched HomePod, a voice-activated wireless speaker powered by its digital assistant Siri, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. With HomePod, Apple is “making a long-term play for the concept of ambient computing, in which everything you own is connected and powered by an underlying artificial intelligence,” according to a Business Insider article. Apple also unveiled macOS High Sierra, the latest version of its desktop operating system that features new core storage, video and graphics technologies. “macOS High Sierra delivers important forward-looking technologies and new opportunities for developers wanting to tap into the power of machine learning and create immersive VR content on the Mac,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said in a statement.

Microsoft acquires Hexadite. The Redmond, Wash., tech giant is acquiring Israeli startup security firm Hexadite, Microsoft announced Thursday. Hexadite, headquartered in Boston, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect and defend against cyberattacks. Microsoft didn’t disclose the terms of the agreement, but TechCrunch reported the deal price to be $100 million. “Our vision is to deliver a new generation of security capabilities that helps our customers protect, detect and respond to the constantly evolving and ever-changing cyberthreat landscape,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group, in a statement. Hexadite’s technology and talent will help expand Microsoft’s existing capabilities, while adding new tools and services to Microsoft’s portfolio of enterprise security offerings, Myerson added.

Assistant editor Mekhala Roy contributed to this week’s Searchlight.

Check out our previous Searchlight roundups on the MIT Sloan CIO extravaganza, the WannaCry ransomware attack and the OpenStack Summit Boston