As the global population ages, the number of cancer cases is going up. New cancer diagnoses are expected to rise by 70% in the next 2 decades, from 14 million to around 22 million, according to an estimate by the World Health Organization. Corporate giants like Google and IBM are already focusing on making breakthroughs in oncology, using advanced AI algorithms for early detection and personalized treatment of cancer. We used the CB Insights database to find equity-funded startups that are using artificial intelligence to fight cancer. California-based CureMetrix has developed an algorithm for image analysis, which is currently being tested to identify lung cancer in x-rays and for breast cancer detection in mammograms.
A Silicon Valley chip designer has launched a USB stick with a supercomputer onboard. Movidius, based in San Mateo, California, has essentially put a deep learning chip inside a USB drive. Deep learning involves "training" a computational model so it can decipher natural language. The "Fathom Neural Compute Stick" has been designed to connect to existing systems (running Linux) and increase the performance of deep learning tasks by 20-30 times. Movidius chips are also used to help drones to avoid obstacles and thermal cameras to spot people in a fire.
As recently as 2013, the [deep learning] space saw fewer than 10 deals. Computer Vision: Startups here are using deep learning for image recognition, analytics, and classification. Aerial image analytics startup Terraloupe was seed-funded this year by Germany-based Bayern Kapital. New York-based Calrifai -- backed by investors including Google Ventures, Lux Capital, and NVidia -- entered the R/GA accelerator this year, after raising 10M in Series A in Q2'15. Captricity, which extracts information from hand-written data, has raised 49M in equity funding so far from investors including Social Capital, Accomplice, White Mountains Insurance Group, and New York Life Insurance Company.
Nvidia chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang said that deep-learning artificial intelligence has become a new computing platform, and the company is dealing with hundreds of startups in the space that plan to take advantage of the platform. Speaking at the GPUTech conference in San Jose, California, Huang noted that 5 billion was invested last year in A.I. startups, and there are probably a thousand companies working on the technology for applications ranging from face recognition to self-driving cars. "Deep learning is not an industry," he said. "Deep learning is going to be in every industry. Deep learning is going to be in every application."
IBM is about to deliver the foundation of a brain-inspired supercomputer to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the federal government's top research institutions. The delivery is one small "blade" within a server rack with 16 chips, dubbed TrueNorth, and is modeled after the way the human brain functions. Silicon Valley is awash in optimism about artificial intelligence, largely based on the progress that deep learning neural networks are making in solving big problems. Companies from Google to Nvidia are hoping they'll provide the AI smarts for self-driving cars and other tough problems. It is within this environment that IBM has been pursuing solutions in brain-inspired supercomputers.