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) …
When Kumesh Aroomoogan was working in the public finance department at Citigroup, he spent hours looking at financial statements, copying and pasting from one document to the next, arranging and rearranging his Excel sheet, and performing a lot of repeated manual tasks. "They were scaling on labor versus technology," Aroomoogan says. "I thought there has to be a better way to automate this entire process." So in 2014, Aroomoogan, who had an idea for a product, teamed up with Anshul Vikram Pandey, a data visualization PhD student at NYU at the time, and the two started working in Aroomoogan's basement in Queens, NY. What came out of the effort of the two entrepreneurs is Accern, an enterprise whose AI Platform contains ready-made solutions for the financial service industry.
Customer experience automation vendor, ActiveCampaign, has secured US$100 million in its latest series B investment round. Key investors this time include Susquehanna and Silversmith Capital Partners, which was the sole sponsor in the series A funding round in 2016. ActiveCampaign said it will use the funding to develop its CXA category through product innovations to advance beyond legacy marketing automation, traditional CRM and service technology, while continuing international expansion and building on its customer success team and partner ecosystem. ActiveCampaign is pitching its platform across the spectrum of small, midsize, and enterprise businesses and has 90,000 customers spanning 161 countries. Since its last funding round, the company said it had increased annual recurring revenue six-fold to more than $90 million, opened new offices in several locations including Sydney, and grown its employee base to 550 staff.
Oxford University spin-out Navenio has announced £9m in Series A funding for its efficiency-boosting location technology. The funding round was led by QBN Capital and includes G.K. Goh, Hostplus, Big Pi Ventures, Oxford Investment Consultants, as well as existing investors like Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), IP Group plc and the University of Oxford. Navenio provides infrastructure-free indoor location solutions to power a range of apps and platforms in sectors including healthcare. Hospitals, for example, can use Navenio's artificial intelligence (AI) led'intelligent workforce solution' to assign tasks to healthcare teams based on their location. This helps prioritise workload in real-time.
Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) provider Covariant is planning to scale up its technology for automated material handling applications across multiple industries, thanks to $40 million in new venture capital funding announced today. Berkeley, California-based Covariant raised the "series B" funding in a deal that was led by Index Ventures, along with Radical Ventures and participation from existing investor Amplify Partners and others. The investment raises the firm's total funding to $67 million, and will be used to accelerate Covariant's partnerships, introduce AI Robotics to new industries, and grow its research, engineering, and commercial teams, the firm said. The latest funding follows Covariant's moves to build partnerships with industrial robotics supplier ABB and with intralogistics systems supplier Knapp, both intended to accelerate the deployment of robotic stations to customers. "As the coronavirus crisis has exposed serious frailty in the global supply chain, we're seeing more demand than ever for our AI Robotics solutions," Peter Chen, Covariant's CEO and co-founder, said in a release.
"Having helped incorporate Paradox less than four years ago, we were proud to represent Paradox in this important financing, which signifies its status as one of Arizona's premier emerging growth companies," said David Lewis, the DLA Piper partner who led the firm's deal team. "Our extensive experience advising high-growth technology companies, like Paradox, as they navigate the evolving legal developments in the AI space, as well as our ability to develop and implement creative solutions to overcome potential roadblocks to the benefit of both parties, were important assets in our handling of this transaction."
Australia's Department of Defence and Gilmour Space Technologies have signed a deal to build a three-stage rocket to launch small payloads and satellites into orbit by 2022. Under a new strategic agreement, the partnership will see Defence Science and Technology (DST) and the Queensland-based company research and develop defence-related technologies including propulsion, materials, and avionics technologies, to help develop the rocket for launch. "The ultimate goal in the first deal is to help us get to space," Gilmour Space Technologies CEO and founder Adam Gilmour told ZDNet. He revealed how the pair have been in "close discussions" about the agreement for a number of years. "Many of [Defence's personnel have] come to visit our factory, we've gone to visit their premises, we've discussed a lot about technology," Gilmour said.
Quizlet, a global learning platform with artificial intelligence (AI) powered study tools, has raised $30 million in a Series C funding round led by growth equity firm General Atlantic. The proceedings from the funding round are expected to help in driving Quizlet's continued product innovation with a focus on data science and machine learning capabilities. Apart from that, the capital will also be used by the learning platform towards its strategic expansion opportunities that are in line with its objective to help people practice and master whatever they wish to learn. Quizlet is said to enable learners to create, share, and consume high-quality user-generated content. The learning platform is said to serve a diverse userbase across geographies and stages of education.
Covariant today announced the close of a $40 million series B funding round to bring its robotic control systems to additional industries and create more systems capable of picking, placing, and unloading objects in warehouses. Until now, Covariant has focused its efforts on ecommerce picking robots in highly automated warehouses. It may be best known for its work in robotic grasping, the task of picking up objects with a robotic hand or gripper. The startup -- whose founders who met at OpenAI and University of California, Berkeley -- has raised $67 million, to date. After emerging from stealth earlier this year with support from deep learning luminaries like Geoffrey Hinton, Jeff Dean, and Yann LeCun, Covariant stated that the Covariant Brain system is capable of picking and packing some 10,000 items with 99% accuracy.
Dascena Inc., a machine-learning diagnostic algorithm company, closed on a $50 million Series B financing round led by Frazier Healthcare Partners. The Oakland, California-based company targets early disease intervention, such as acute decompensation (heart failure), sepsis and acute kidney injury, to improve patient care outcomes. Ritankar Das, founder and CEO of Dascena, said in a written statement that more than 250,000 patients die of sepsis annually. Dascena's flagship sepsis algorithm, InSight, has helped reduce the number of deaths by 58 percent and decrease the length of hospital stay by 21 percent, in patients with sepsis, according to the company. "Machine learning is transforming how we solve problems across industries, and by applying this technology to health care, we will enhance the quality and efficiency of patient care," Das added.
Dascena, a machine learning diagnostic algorithm company that is targeting early disease intervention to improve patient care outcomes, announced it raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Frazier Healthcare Partners with participation from Longitude Capital, existing investor Euclidean Capital, and an undisclosed investor. This round of funding will enable Dascena to advance a suite of machine learning algorithms to inform patient care strategies and improve outcomes. And Dascena algorithms have been validated through eighteen peer-reviewed publications in several studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. According to a randomized controlled trial of hospitalized patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), Dascena's InSight algorithm resulted in a 58% reduction in patient mortality and a 21% reduction in length of hospital stay. And data from this prospective study of InSight were published in the BMJ Open Respiratory Research in 2017.