Sunday, February 14, 2016

"How the Rest of Tech Is Playing Catch-Up to Facebook and Google in Artificial Intelligence" (FB; GOOG)

From re/code:
Facebook and Google are two of Silicon Valley’s leaders in artificial intelligence. They have both invested heavily in AI, hiring loads of top researchers to develop projects like the Facebook Messenger “smart” assistant M, or Google’s in-the-works AI-powered chatbot.

While Facebook and Google are duking it out in international competitions, the two companies are far from alone in their efforts to dominate the space. IBM has its “Jeopardy!”-winning and fitness-coaching Watson project, Apple is discreetly buying companies and Re/code recently had some fun with Microsoft’s image recognition tool for photos of dogs (and people).

As for the rest of Silicon Valley, research firm CB Insights recently published a report on the AI investments the tech industry is making. Here are some of its key findings:
  • Since 2010, over 45 companies and corporate VC arms have invested in AI startups. Bloomberg Beta, the venture firm of Bloomberg LP (its investments include Howdy, Domino Data Lab and DiffBot), Samsung Ventures (Expect Labs, Idibon and Winston) and Japanese ISP Rakuten’s venture arm (ViSenze and Algorithmia) were among the top corporate investors in AI last year.
  • Corporate investment in artificial intelligence peaked in Q4 2014, with $152 million invested across eight major deals. In all of 2014, startups landed $230 million in 21 different deals.