If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Robots in factories have historically been unwieldy, dangerous, and confined to large industrial settings. But now, smaller collaborative robots are overcoming traditional challenges in the robotics industry. They're paving the way for robot technology that gets us much closer to our Jetsons-like future. When George C. Devol, inventor of the automatic garage door opener, pitched his programmable Unimate arm, he was initially met with skepticism. However, "the robot had one advantage immediately," said Devol. "And that is that a robot can work three shifts, or 24 hours a day." Get the free data-driven report to see how robots are revolutionizing factories and manufacturing.
As image recognition advances continue to accelerate, startups with a mind towards security applications are seeing some major interest to turn surveillance systems more intelligent. AnyVision is working on face, body and object recognition tech and the underlying system infrastructure to help companies deploy smart cameras for various purposes. "It's not just how accurate the system is, it's also how much it scales," Etshtein tells TechCrunch. "You can put more than 20 concurrent full HD camera streams on a single GPU." The Tel Aviv-based AI startup announced today that it has closed a $28 million Series A funding round led by Bosch.
Digital Surgery, a health tech startup based in London, today launched what it's calling the world's first dynamic artificial intelligence (AI) system designed for the operating room. The reference tool helps support surgical teams through complex medical procedures -- cofounder and former plastic surgeon Jean Nehme described it as a "Google Maps" for surgery. "What we've done is applied artificial intelligence … to procedures … created with surgeons globally," he told VentureBeat in a phone interview. "We're leveraging data with machine learning to build a [predictive] system." Well-funded hospital systems have shown an interest in automation.
Earlier this month, Aaron Levie, CEO of Box teased of new growth at the end of 2018 and some small acquisitions in the future. He mentioned that the company had plans to invest more into core technologies, like artificial intelligence, security and workflow. "We might make small acquisitions ourselves in terms of growing that technology. We are very confident in the position we occupy and just want to expand that from there," and so they did! With the recent acquisition of Butter.ai, a startup that helps customers search for content across all business applications powered by machine learning.
This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday. News of this deal comes just four months after President Trump blocked Broadcom from acquiring chipmaker Qualcomm in a $103 billion hostile takeover on national security grounds. The new terms give Facebook explicit permission to audit developers' use of data, in what looks an effort to prevent a second Cambridge Analytica-style scandal. Musk was responding to a Twitter user who said he had been told Musk wouldn't be able to help bring clean water to Flint. According to an excerpt of the account in Vanity Fair, employees feared Brin's behaviour would lead to a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Planck Re, a startup that wants to simplify insurance underwriting with artificial intelligence, announced today that it has raised a $12 million Series A. The funding was led by Arbor Ventures, with participation from Viola FinTech and Eight Roads. Co-founder and CEO Elad Tsur tells TechCrunch that the capital will be used to expand Planck Re's product line into more segments, including retail, contractors, IT and manufacturing, and grow its research and development team in Israel and North American sales team. The Tel Aviv and New York-based startup plans to focus first on its business in the United States, where it has already launched pilot programs with several insurance carriers. Tsur says that Planck Re's clients generally use it to help underwrite insurance for small to medium-sized businesses, including business owner policies, which cover property and liability risks, and workers' compensation. Founded in 2016 by Tsur, Amir Cohen and David Schapiro, Planck Re poses its technology as a more efficient and accurate alternative to the lengthy risk assessment questionnaire insurers ask clients to fill out.
Somewhere in the spare room of a home in the US or overseas, a recent high school grad and soon to be member of the Class of 2022 at a school like Stanford or Georgia Tech is gathering up the clothes, gadgets, and dorm room basics that they will need for freshman year. Four years after that traumatic (for the parents) drop-off day, that skinny but brilliant freshman will graduate and join a six-person start-up company, where he or she will play an integral part in building the game-changing technology that you and your organization will use just a few years later. Some of the companies and technologies that will be in the must-have category are pulling in venture capital investments today. This is the first in an occasional series of roundups of just a few of the noteworthy startup reporting investments. We have reviewed dozens of June press releases and posts on TechCrunch to get a sense of what already is coming down the road.
French startup Doctrine is raising a $11.6 million funding round (€10 million) from existing investors Otium Venture and Xavier Niel. Doctrine is building a search engine for court decisions and other legal texts. This is a key tool if you're a lawyer or you're working in the legal industry in general. There are now a thousand companies using the service. It currently costs around €129 per user per month.
On April 20, 2010, when BP's deep-water drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil giant claimed that the spill was just 1,000 barrels per day. A small non-profit in West Virginia, SkyTruth, studied the satellite observations of the oil slick, cataloged its computations, and concluded that the spill was at least 20 times bigger than what was being claimed. The report was quickly picked up by the media, and lead the US government to straightaway increase the estimate to 5,000 barrels of oil per day. The same year, UBS Investment Research had two teams quietly working on Wal-Mart's quarterly earnings preview – one using time-honored traditional methods, the other studying the satellite pictures of the American retail brand's parking lots to gauge the customer footfall. Each came up with a different revenue forecast.
AI, computational linguistics, computational vision, machine learning, and natural language processing skills receive some of the most eye-popping equity premiums. The following is a guest post by Kyle Holm (Partner, Pre-IPO Compensation Practice Leader at Radford) and Kelsey Owen (Director, Pre-IPO Compensation Practice at Radford). The race to build computers that act, see, speak, and think like humans is as competitive as ever. While some worry that artificial intelligence (AI) will someday lead to robots rampaging their way to world domination, AI-related startups have not stopped attracting intense interest from talent and capital. Just weeks ago, China-based AI startup SenseTime Group received one of the largest venture capital investment in the AI space -- a $600M Series C investment led by Alibaba.