AI data management and annotation startup Dataloop today announced that it raised $16 million in funding, a combination of an $11 million series A round and a previously undisclosed $5 million seed round. A spokesperson says the funds will enable Dataloop to increase its recruitment efforts and grow its presence in the U.S. and Europe. Training AI and machine learning algorithms requires plenty of annotated data. But data rarely comes with annotations. The bulk of the work often falls to human labelers, whose efforts tend to be expensive, imperfect, and slow. Dataloop claims to solve the annotation challenge with a platform for automating data prep and data operations.
It was reported that Venture Capital investments into AI related startups made a significant increase in 2018, jumping by 72% compared to 2017, with 466 startups funded from 533 in 2017. PWC moneytree report stated that that seed-stage deal activity in the US among AI-related companies rose to 28% in the fourth-quarter of 2018, compared to 24% in the three months prior, while expansion-stage deal activity jumped to 32%, from 23%. There will be an increasing international rivalry over the global leadership of AI. President Putin of Russia was quoted as saying that "the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world". Billionaire Mark Cuban was reported in CNBC as stating that "the world's first trillionaire would be an AI entrepreneur".
Wayve, a U.K.-based startup that's developing artificial intelligence (AI) that teaches cars to drive autonomously using reinforcement learning, simulation, and computer vision, has raised $20 million in a series A round of funding led by Palo Alto venture capital (VC) firm Eclipse Ventures, with participation from Balderton Capital, Compound Ventures, Fly Ventures, and First Minute Capital. Several notable angel investors also participated in the round, including Uber's chief scientist Zoubin Ghahramani and Pieter Abbeel, a UC Berkeley robotics professor and pioneer of deep reinforcement learning. Founded out of Cambridge, U.K., in 2017, Wayve's core premise is that the big breakthrough in self-driving cars will come from better AI brains rather than more sensors or "hand-coded" rules. The company said that it trains its autonomous driving system using simulated environments and then transfers that knowledge into the real world, where it emulates how humans adapt to conditions in real time. Wayve's systems learn from each safety driver intervention to understand why the driver had to intervene, bypassing HD maps, lidar, and other sensors that have become synonymous with the burgeoning autonomous vehicle movement.
We believe that AI will be a force multiplier on technological progress in our increasingly digital, data-driven world. This is because everything around us today, ranging from culture to consumer products, is a product of intelligence. In this report, we set out to capture a snapshot of the exponential progress in AI with a focus on developments in the past 12 months. Consider this report as a compilation of the most interesting things we've seen with a goal of triggering an informed conversation about the state of AI and its implication for the future. This edition builds on the inaugural State of AI Report 2018, which can be found here: www.stateof.ai/2018 We consider the following key dimensions in our report: - Research: Technology breakthroughs and their capabilities.