Sentient Technologies (USA) LLC, which has been quietly developing technology to distribute artificial intelligence software to millions of graphics and computer processors around the world, emerged Monday with $103.5 million in new funding.See also:
The Series C round comes from Access Industries and Tata Communications 500483.BY +1.77% and includes current investor Horizon Ventures, a Hong Kong-based firm founded by business magnate Li Ka-Shing. It takes total funding in the company to more than $143 million.
Sentient, which has about 60 employees, has been operating in stealth in San Francisco under the name Genetic Finance Holding Ltd. The company was started nearly seven years ago by a team that worked on the technology that later became Siri, the voice recognition software in Apple Inc.’s iPhone that understands and learns from human speech.
Chief Executive Antoine Blondeau said Sentient so far has proven its technology in the trading space, where it started out, and also in medical research. The company worked with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory team on detecting sepsis, which is a top killer of patients in intensive care units, by analyzing blood pressure in more than 6,000 patients in real time and predicting within about 30 minutes whether a patient was likely to succumb.
Artificial intelligence has been a popular area of investment, with many startups claiming to develop products in this area. But Mr. Blondeau argues that none of them so far have figured out how to scale and distribute artificial intelligence to the extent that Sentient has, although he does acknowledge work done at Google Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. and says they are potential partners for Sentient....MORE
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