MIT: Apple is smarter than Snapchat, dumber than Google

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Tim Cook commencement
S-M-R-T.
Photo: George Washington University

Tesla Motors is the smartest company in the world, according to MIT Tech Review’s latest survey of the brainiest corporations. Apple, which was not on last year’s list returns at number 16, beating out other firms like ride-sharing company Uber and smartbulb-maker Philips. MIT cites the newly released Apple Watch and touchless payment method Apple Pay as its reasons for inclusion, saying that these two products “set the pace for competitors.”

You can see the full list of smartiespants in the table below.

MIT 50 smartest companies
Take that, Enlitic. With your brilliant, tumor-spotting A.I.
Photo: MIT Tech Review

“To make the list, a company must have truly innovative technology and a business model that is both practical and ambitious, with the result that it has set the agenda in its field over the past 12 months,” the post announcing the winners says. Electric-car manufacturer Tesla topped the list with its recent announcement of a line of high-capacity batteries aimed at commercial and consumer use.

MIT also praised Google’s Project Loon, which aims at using high-altitude balloons to expand Internet access into underserved areas, and IBM’s artificial-intelligence work, which has broad applications for cancer treatment.

Microsoft was also off of last year’s list, but it earned a spot this year with its HoloLens augmented-reality glasses.

Notable absences this year include social-media platform Twitter; Apple Watch display maker LG, which likely has some cool things coming up in the area of flexible screens; and Apple’s constant co-litigant Samsung, which came in fourth on last year’s list. But since the round-up emphasizes innovation and exciting new tech, some of those exclusions make more sense than the others.

That’s diplomacy, right there.