Despite predictions of a tech slowdown, big-name businesses like Facebook, Apple, and IBM are pouring resources into artificial intelligence (AI), changing the field and gaining the interest of venture capitalists everywhere. As investors actively seek innovative players in the AI space, more entrepreneurs are gravitating toward the technology as they build and grow their own companies.
Businesses such as Sentient, Context Relevant, and Scaled Inference all continue to work on their own multifunction AI platforms for computation and analysis, but this is only a small segment of the AI market. Multiple businesses now invest time and effort into purpose-built AI products. Here are a few of the businesses that are capturing attention in their respective industries for their AI work.
With total capital of $58 million, AI specialist Kensho is already showing just how serious investors are about the technology. Kensho's AI creation, Warren, has been called the "Siri of the financial world." Investors can ask Warren natural-language questions and get responses, similar to the way IBM's Watson is being programmed to answer medical questions from health professionals. Currently, the software can answer basic questions on a limited number of topics but engineers are working on expanding Warren to account for grammatical and linguistic differences.
LeadGenius uses a global network of more than 500 skilled researchers in 40 different countries to train a machine learning system for B2B sales. LeadGenius's data crawlers comb through websites, business directories, government filings, and credit agencies, much the same way Google's search engine crawls the web. LeadGenius researchers then clean, verify, and enrich that data, teaching the software what to look for the next time it searchers. LeadGenius also automates email outreach for sales teams by using a combination of human and machine intelligence to read sales emails and sort through the responses.
This San Francisco startup is serious about creating an AI-based medical diagnostics system that can accurately diagnose patients. Late last year, CIO reported that Enlitic plans to send engineers to dozens of medical imaging centers across the globe to install deep-learning algorithms. The goal is to learn as much as possible about reading medical images to create a system that will be able to interpret images from MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, x-rays, and nuclear medicine.
Data is more important than ever to businesses, but working with pages of numbers can be complicated. Narrative Science's AI system will find a way to turn those numbers into readable content, then deliver that content to the professionals who need it. Called Quill, the technology is already being used to report on sports scores and earnings statements. Financial firms are now paying Narrative Science to put the technology to use in writing in-depth reports on stock performance for investors and regulators.
X.ai's tool, Amy, schedules meetings for busy professionals. To put Amy to work, users simply copy Amy on an email where meeting times are suggested and Amy takes over, checking designated calendars and coordinating a time that works for both the user and the other party. Once a time has been chosen, Amy logs the time on the user's calendar and the meeting is set.
A letter from an attorney can cost hundreds of dollars, but new AI software may be able to do the work for people. Legal Robot can help consumers by providing legalese for letters and reviewing contract language. While AI can't yet fight cases in court for clients, the software would make it easier for professionals to handle day-to-day business without having to consult a high-priced attorney.
DIY tools have made it easier for anyone to create a website. However, the expertise that makes a professionally-designed website stand out can't be duplicated by design software. The Grid puts data to use in helping users create websites that bring results, giving them the information they need to know where to put a particular button or how to set up navigation on a certain type of site. Users enter information on what they're trying to accomplish and The Grid takes it from there.
Artificial intelligence is an exciting new field of technology that investors in most industries are interested in supporting. As venture capitalists continue to search for businesses that are innovators in this space, more entrepreneurs will find ways to work it into their startups in addition to the many existing businesses exploring the field.