Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘talent management’ Category

AI Funding and Talent

leave a comment »

I was too busy to blog yesterday, but a couple of stories about AI funding did hit my radar that I wanted to mention.

TechCrunch reported first that a startup out of London, BenevolventAI, announced that it had raised $115 million “to continue developer its core ‘AI brain’ as well as different arms of the company that are using it specifically to break new ground in drug development and more.”

That round values the company at $2.1 billion. 

Some background:

The core of BenevolentAI’s business is focused around what Mulvaney describes as a “brain” built by a team of scientists — some of whom are disclosed, and some of whom are not, for competitive reasons; Mulvaney said: There are 155 people working at the startup in all, with 300 projected by the end of this year. The brain has been created to ingest and compute billions of data points in specific areas such as health and material science, to help scientists better determine combinations that might finally solve persistently difficult problems in fields like medicine.

The crux of the issue in a field like drug development, for example, is that even as scientists identify the many permutations and strains of, say, a particular kind of cancer, each of these strains can mutate, and that is before you consider that each mutation might behave completely differently depending on which person develops the mutation.

This is precisely the kind of issue that AI, which is massive computational power and “learning” from previous computations, can help address. (And BenevolventAI is not the only one taking this approach. Specifically in cancer, others include Grail and Paige.AI.)

Another one that caught my attention was Eightfold.ai, “a new technology service aimed at solving nothing less than the problem of how to provide professional meaning in the modern world.”

Founded by former Googler and IBM researcher Ashutosh Garg (who is a search and personalization expert), the company “…boasts an executive team that has a combined 80 patents and more than 6,000 citations for their research.

What’s more interesting to me is their mission: “To bring the analytical rigor for which their former employers are famous to the question of how best to help employees find fulfillment in the workforce.”

Lightspeed Ventures and Foundation Capital are among those backing the venture to the tune of $24 million.

How it works:

“We have crawled the web for millions of profiles… including data from Wikipedia,” says Garg. “From there we have gotten data round how people have moved in organizations. We use all of this data to see who has performed well in an organization or not. Now what we do… we build models over this data to see who is capable of doing what.”

There are two important functions at play, according to Garg. The first is developing a talent network of a business — “the talent graph of a company,” he calls it. “On top of that we map how people have gone from one function to another in their career.”

Using those tools, Garg says Eightfold.ai’s services can predict the best path for each employee to reach their full potential.

Did you get that? “Building models for the talent graph of a company and how people have gone from one function to another in their career. I’m calling it a Maslowe AI play!

As for how hot the war for AI talent is, check out this New York Time’s article.  It reveals that AI specialists with little or no industry experience can make between $300K and $500K a year in salary and stock. 

Might be time to go back to school!

Written by turbotodd

April 20, 2018 at 12:47 pm

IBM To Acquire HR And Talent Management Firm Kenexa

with one comment

IBM today announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kenexa Corporation, a publicly held company headquartered in Wayne, PA, in a cash transaction at a price of $46 per share, or at a net price of approximately $1.3 billion.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” says Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM, explaining IBM’s rationale for acquiring HR and talent management provider Kenexa Corporation for $1.3 billion cash earlier today.

The acquisition bolsters IBM’s leadership in helping clients embrace social business capabilities while gaining actionable insights from the massive streams of information generated from social networks every day.

The adoption of social business technology is supporting the growth of big data and the need for analytics in the enterprise. A recent global IBM study revealed that 57 percent of CEOs identified social business as a top priority and more than 73 percent are making significant investments to draw insights into available data.

The survey also reveals that 70 percent cite human capital as the single biggest contributor to sustained economic value. The combined strengths of IBM and Kenexa are key differentiators at a time when organizations of all sizes are looking to increase workforce efficiencies and gain more insight from their business information.

Kenexa: Providing World-Class Social Business Capabilities

Kenexa is a leading provider of recruiting and talent management solutions. They bring to IBM a unique combination of cloud-based technology and consulting services that integrates both people and processes, providing solutions to engage a smarter, more effective workforce across their most critical business functions.

Kenexa complements IBM’s strategy of bringing relevant data and expertise into the hands of business leaders within every functional department, from sales and marketing to product development and human resources. As a result of this synergy, clients will be able to attract and develop the right skills to build the right teams, for the right projects, the first time.

Social media has pervaded the lives of consumers, helping them connect with each other in new ways. However, a shift is occurring in the enterprise as business leaders look for ways to generate real value through the use of social technologies to evolve their front-line business operations.

According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM. “IBM is uniquely positioned to help clients generate real returns from their social business investments, while helping them gain intelligence into the data being generated in these networks to be more competitive in their markets.”

Social Business Creating Value In The Enterprise

Today, Kenexa supports more than 8,900 customers across a variety of industries, including financial services, pharmaceuticals, retail and consumer, including more than half of the Fortune 500.

With Kenexa’s world-class front-office process solutions, IBM will be able to offer strategic consulting, a social technology platform, and expertise on a global scale to help clients enable a smarter workforce and gain a competitive advantage in any market.

By creating a smarter workforce, employees can resolve problems before they arise to improve customer service, drive innovation to bring products and services to market faster, and increase sales by building new skills — linking the right experts to the right clients.

The Kenexa acquisition will complement IBM’s social business and HR business services leadership. More than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have licensed IBM’s solutions for social business.

Through its combination of social software, analytics, content management, and deep industry expertise, IBM is uniquely positioned to help organizations capture information, create insights and generate interactions that translate into real business value.

With operations in 21 countries worldwide, Kenexa has approximately 2,800 employees. Consistent with its strategy, IBM plans to continue to support Kenexa clients and enhance Kenexa technologies while allowing these organizations to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.

IBM expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to Kenexa shareholder and regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

%d bloggers like this: