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Former AMD CEO Forecasts ‘Intelligence Revolution’

Daily Ticker

As CEO of microchip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Hector Ruiz led the charge to sue his company’s behemoth competitor Intel for unfair business practices in an anti-trust lawsuit. AMD eventually received a $1.25 billion settlement from Intel in 2009. Intel (INTC) never admitted to any wrongdoing.

Ruiz has written a new book Slingshot about the whole saga. The former tech CEO sat down with The Daily Ticker to talk about his vision for the future of technology taking into account lessons learned from his battle with Intel.

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Ruiz believes that cognitive computing will be the technology that changes our lives looking ahead. He forecasts an “intelligence revolution” that will fuel innovation and market expansion the way the PC did for the last 30 years. Cognitive computing is essentially training computers to learn and think and providing solutions from health care, to financial transactions, to managing one's personal life.

Ruiz gives the relatable example of a computerized calendar assistant who can tell when you're running late to an appointment and assess the options for shuffling things around to help manage your schedule.

He sees a world of technology like this becoming so ingrained in our lives that it will be like expecting an electrical outlet when you walk into a room. You don’t think about it – you take for granted that it will be there.

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His time frame for this "intelligence revolution" is 10 years.

In terms of players leading the way and making major investments are companies like IBM (IBM), along with a number of smaller startups. In terms of headwinds, he names the massive amount of money required to make “bets” on these ideas.

What did Ruiz take away from his battle with Intel? He says he learned the importance of fair competition.

“The biggest source of transformational innovation is fair competition,” Ruiz says. He calls on regulators to be effective watchdogs and CEOs to encourage a culture of fairness in how they compete in the marketplace.

“I think we’ve veered away from that,” he goes on. “I think there needs to be a sea change in how cultures of companies evolve so there is a fairness in competition.”

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