Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most popular areas of technology to invest in currently. Millions upon millions are being thrown into various AI startups and projects across the world as the race to become leaders of the AI world continues.
Andrew Ng is co-founder of Google Brain which is a deep learning AI research project that was established back in 2011. He has also led various other AI projects at Chinese firm Baidu Inc in the past too. Earlier this month he announced to all how he had managed to raise a staggering $175 million to invest in AI startups. The money was sought from top venture capital firms including SoftBank Group Corp, Sequoia Capital, and New Enterprise Associates.
Ng intends to seek out new AI startups with potential and inject the cash they need to get them up and running successfully. Previously Ng worked at Baidu where he led an AI project where they released a virtual assistant system similar to that of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. He was also working on other projects such as the development of self-driving cars and facial recognition technology. “Based on that experience, I have an unusual point of view on the building if AI businesses. I think it’s a more systematic, repeatable process than most people think,” said Ng.
The first AI startup to receive money from Ng’s AI fund will be Landing.ai, a company which was founded by Ng. The aim of this company is to use AI to make more efficient manufacturing processes. A lot of factories use human workers to look for defects in parts. With Landing.ai, a digital camera hooked up to a computer looks for any defects. Already the system is beating its competitors as the company says it can train the system using just five images.
As well as Landing.ai and Google Brain, Ng also co-founded an online learning site called Coursera. For that enterprise he is working on developing new tools to help train workers whose jobs are at risk from being taken over by AI. “When you go to Japan, there is such a talent shortage that the debate about AI taking jobs is almost non-existent,” said Ng. “The debate is, how can we automate this so we can get all the work done?”