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IndyGeneUS AI (pronounced "indigenous", a South Africa Founder Institute portfolio company) opens its seed round with a $1.5M investment from South African based venture capital company IsimoVest Venture Capital Partners in addition to an undisclosed amount from a South African angel investor. Located in Cape Town, IsimoVest is a Pan-African venture capital company that specializes in early stage, high-potential technology ventures that will likely provide highly impactful corporate social investment solutions. As a cutting-edge investment firm, IsimoVest is dedicated to economically empowering communities for the benefit of Africans. To that end, the firm will support IndyGeneUS AI in establishing its sequencing facility in Cape Town and establishing local key strategic partnerships. IndyGeneUS AI is developing a Multiomic data analysis and management platform that can detect new signature sequences such as biomarkers or polygenic risk scores by integrating "omics" data, meta data and textual information such as Electronic Healthcare Record data.
Gartner recently unveiled its top predictions for IT organizations and users in 2022 and beyond. Africa will become an innovation hotbed in the next five years as an influx of developers turns the continent into a "world-leading start-up ecosystem," according to Gartner. The analyst predicts that a 30% increase in developer talent in Africa, which has in recent years seen an influx of venture capital funding, will see the region evolve into a software development powerhouse rivalling Asia by 2026. A number of African nations have established innovation hubs in an effort to attract coders and tech talent to the region, and draw investment from overseas. This includes Kenya's $1 billion tech ecosystem – dubbed'Silicon Savannah' – which continues to attract entrepreneurs, investors and technologists from Africa and further afield.
These and many other fascinating insights are from an analysis of AI startups' funding rounds in 2019 using Crunchbase Pro research. AI startups who have had seed, early-stage venture or late-stage venture funding since December 31, 2018, and are U.S.-based are included in the analysis which is provided here. Crunchbase Pro found 499 startups meeting the search criteria as of today. Their AI strategies include improve every aspect of the customer's lifecycle from pricing through scheduling post-stay cleans. The company manages a growing portfolio of more than 14,000 vacation homes in the U.S, Europe, Central, and South America, and South Africa.
How ready is India for the world of artificial intelligence (AI)? This question is answered in one of the latest global lists researched and created by Oxford Insights and commissioned by Canada's International Development Research Centre. It is called the Government Artificial Intelligence Readiness Index. The just released index measures 194 countries on a scale of 1-10 on how ready their governments are to embrace and make use of a world dominated by artificial intelligence. At the very top of the list is Singapore with a score of 9.186 and at the bottom is Somalia which scores 0.168.
AI training data provider Samasource has raised a $14.8 million Series A funding round led by Ridge Ventures. The San Francisco headquartered company delivers Fortune 100 companies with the inputs they need for machine learning development in fields including autonomous transportation, e-commerce and robotics. And it does so with a global work-force of data-specialists, a large number of whom are located in East Africa. In addition to San Francisco, New York and the Hague, Samasource has offices and teams in Kenya and Uganda. The company has a global staff of 2900 and is the largest AI and data annotation employer in East Africa, according to CEO and founder Leila Janah.
In Africa, like everywhere else in the world, artificial intelligence (AI) is moving up the agenda as companies, entrepreneurs and governments work out how to keep pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. While the continent has a long way to go when it comes to AI adoption, these technologies already play a prominent role in many individual organizations: Nigerian mobile-lending platform Carbon uses machine learning to evaluate credit applications, South African fashion retailers rely on algorithms to predict the next season's top sellers and Kenyan ride-hailing app Little has implemented AI to assess driver performance. For the continent to remain relevant on the global stage, it is not only vital that companies embrace AI, but also that local entrepreneurs have equity in these technologies. That said, building an AI-powered start-up in Africa comes with a unique set of challenges not experienced by entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, particularly in terms of raising capital, human resources and market receptiveness. Entrepreneur Vian Chinner has first-hand experience of both worlds.
South Africa has no shortage of aspiring Zuckerbergs, and potential financiers, if their ideas are original and viable, judging from the impressive queue at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday morning. Though billed as an artificial intelligence (AI) gathering, the dominant theme of the AI Summit appeared to be tech start-up funding. I started the day attending a presentation by former FNB CEO turned venture capitalist Michael Jordaan in the JSE-sponsored'scale-ups' room. Jordaan ended his talk by begging the young, educated members of the audience not to emigrate, but to remain in South Africa and start businesses offering solutions to the country's many serious problems. "Entrepreneurs can do more for this country than politicians or anyone else," he says.
The recent surveys, studies, forecasts and other quantitative assessments of the health and progress of AI estimated the impact on productivity of human-machine collaboration, the number of jobs that could be automated in major U.S. cities, and the size of the future AI in retail and healthcare markets; and found AI optimism among the general population, algorithms outperforming (again) pathologists, and that our very limited understanding of how our brains learn may improve machine learning. Do you think securing your devices and personal data will become more or less complicated over the next 12 months? DeepMind has developed a machine learning model that can label most animals at Tanzania's Serengeti National Park at least as well as humans while shortening the process by up to 9 months (it normally takes up to a year for volunteers to return labeled photos) [Engadget] In a simulation, biological learning algorithms outperformed state-of-the-art optimal learning curves in supervised learning of feedforward networks, indicating "the potency of neurobiological mechanisms" and opening "opportunities for developing a superior class of deep learning algorithms" [Scientific Reports] The AI in retail market is estimated to reach $4.3 billion by 2024 [P&S Intelligence] [e.g., Nike acquires Celect, August 6, 2019] The AI in healthcare market is estimated to reach $12.2 billion by 2023 [Market Research Future] [e.g., BlueDot has raised $7 million in Series A funding, August 7, 2019] AI companies funded in the last 3 months: 417 for total funding of $8.7 billion Data is eating the world quote of the week: "Although it is fashionable to say that we are producing more data than ever, the reality is that we always produced data, we just didn't know how to capture it in useful ways"--Subbarao Kambhampati, Arizona State University AI is eating the world quote of the week: "We advocate for a new perspective for designing benchmarks for measuring progress in AI. Unlike past decades where the community constructed a static benchmark dataset to work on for the next decade or two, we propose that future benchmarks should dynamically evolve together with the evolving state-of-the-art"--Keisuke Sakaguchi, Ronan Le Bras, Chandra Bhagavatula, Yejin Choi, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the University of Washington
When artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on jobs and the economy comes up, the conversation centers on blue collar jobs. Per The State of Automation Report, there are 4.6M such jobs at risk in the USA due to AI. But, the jobs of MBAs and their white-collar brethren will also be impacted dramatically by AI. A growing wave of AI-infused Expert Automation & Augmentation Software (EAAS, pronounced /ēz/) platforms will usher in a new era of AI-assisted or AI-enhanced productivity. This AI-enhanced productivity is threatening jobs at the lower end of the white-collar spectrum as evidenced by these recent headlines. But to start, Expert Automation & Augmentation Software will be more focused on augmentation, i.e., helping humans do countless complex tasks that are either beyond human cognition and/or inefficient for human beings to do (read thousands of pages of patents and understand key topics). Think of these AI-enhanced assistants as junior analysts (lawyers, journalists, etc) who never tire and who can process information beyond human capacity but who will still need the steady eye of a manager to make subjective judgments.
We take a look at categories where AI startups are beginning to emerge. A majority of them are in the early stages of funding. We take a look at categories where AI startups are beginning to emerge. A majority of them are in the early stages of funding. Artificial Intelligence is being hailed as the new linchpin of the tech industry.