You hear this all the time. You’re starting a business and you get told it’s probably going to fail. Whilst this is a very real possibility and one that is true nine times out of ten, there’s still that 10% that not only succeed in making a profit, but go on to get acquired by huge corporations or secure large rounds of funding.
With AI advancing at groundbreaking speed, an increasing number of players entering the race are startups who have been acquired by the likes of Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Apple and other huge names. At every RE•WORK summit we welcome thriving startups and entrepreneurs that are working to make an impact on business and society to learn about their advances in AI, so we’re taking a look to see where some of them are now.
Scyfer - Acquired by Qualcomm, August ‘17
Specialising in bringing artificial intelligence into business, Scyfer has built AI solutions for companies across the globe in a variety of industries including healthcare, finance and manufacturing. Tijmen Blankevoort, deep learning engineer, presented his research on ‘The Future of AI: Active Learning’ at the Machine Intelligence Summit in Amsterdam earlier in the summer. He explained that AI has the potential to make everyones work and home environments smarter with softwares with greater intelligence and become tailored to the user. Qualcomm’s technologies ‘powered the smartphone revolution and connected billions of people’ and are now keen to employ Scyfer’s cutting-edge machine learning techniques.
Deeplearning.ai, Andrew Ng - Raising a $150M AI fund, August ‘17
Following his departure from Baidu as Chief Scientist, earlier this summer Andrew Ng announced Deeplearning.ai; Deep Learning courses hosted on his online platform, Coursea to help ‘build your career in AI’. Having attended several RE•WORK events, Andrew has shared his progress with Coursea and his popular introductory machine learning class. Andrew's goal is to ‘help bring about an AI-powered society’, and the venture capital fund will focus on investing in innovative AI startups. Watch this space to see which startups are going to catch the AI guru’s eye.
Mindmeld - Acquired by Cisco, May ‘17
Returning to participate in another RE•WORK event later this month, Mindmeld will be discussing how they are ‘beating state-of-the-art named entity recognition models for noisy datasets using LSTMs and domain specific lookup tables’ at the AI Assistant Summit in London. Originally ‘Expect Labs’, MindMeld launched back in 2012 and have expanded from their initial concept of an iPad app to a suite of APIs for parsing, reasoning about, and generating language. As Cisco work hard to define themselves as a software company, their acquisition of MindMeld ‘will enhance their Collaboration suite, adding new conversational interfaces to collaboration products starting with Cisco Spark’ said their head of corporate development, Rob Salvagno. In advance of his presentation of the event, we spoke with ML researcher, Vijay Ramakrishnan who shared his thoughts on the future of AI assistants on the RE•WORK blog.
Maluuba - Acquired by Microsoft, January ‘17
Maluuba is a Canadian artificial intelligence company that’s teaching machines to think, reason and communicate with humans. Maluuba’s main focus is natural language processing (NLP) and Layla El Asri who will be appearing at the Women in Machine Intelligence Dinner in Montreal recently explained in a guest post how she is creating conversational agents and how dialogue systems work. Microsoft are particularly interested in their use of reinforcement learning to increase the proficiency and effectiveness of computer-based systems that can answer questions and make decisions to help with ‘Microsoft’s goal of making AI more accessible and useful to the general public.’