A.I. Acquisitions: The Evolving Deep Learning Landscape

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The world of startups is constantly moving and evolving. With the exponential growth of deep learning research and technologies in recent years, innovative new companies are often funded, acquired and transformed from startups to industry leaders extremely quickly. 

A growing number of new startups working to advance AI have been acquired by corporate giants competing in the space, including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Salesforce. Funding for deep learning startups has also reached an all time high this year, as the value of integrating technologies like pattern recognition, natural language processing and predictive intelligence becomes clearer to businesses globally.

We've found that keeping track of the progress of these startups is a great way to gauge how the deep learning landscape is evolving. As our next events in London are approaching, we're taking a look back at the huge successes of startups who have presented at the previous Deep Learning Summits.

This week we're looking at MetaMind, Emotient and Orbeus, who all joined us as speakers and partners at the first summit in San Francisco on 29-30 January 2015.

MetaMind acquired by Salesforce

Richard Socher, CEO and Founder of MetaMind, spoke at the inaugural Deep Learning Summit in San Francisco, where his presentation explored natural language processing (NLP) and dynamic memory networks for question answering, a model architecture and task combination that can solve a wide variety of deep learning problems, including those that require reasoning. 

He went on to present at subsequent Deep Learning Summits in 2015 & 2016, and told us he believes that bringing together these experts is important for sharing ideas openly and improving the field of AI. 

Founding MetaMind in 2014, Richard had a vision to improve artificial intelligence and make it easily accessible to businesses and the world, and less than 2 years later his company was acquired by Salesforce, where he is now Chief Scientist and working on a next generation AI platform for enterprise users. When we asked Richard what has been essential to the success of the company he accredited it to "a great team of super smart researchers, engineers and investors."

View Richard's most recent presentation at the Deep Learning Summit here.

Emotient acquired by Apple

Marni Bartlett, Co-Founder & Lead Scientist at Emotient, joined us at the same summit to explore computer vision and sentiment analysis. Her presentation described applications and studies of machine learning on facial expression dynamics, where machines outperformed humans in tests where the AI distinguished genuine emotion from faked pain, and correctly predicted when a financial offer would be rejected in an economic game.

Marni co-founded Emotient in 2012 to make facial expression software commercially available, believing that the potential for this technology is far-reaching, across fields of healthcare, education, advertising, and retail. In January 2016, a year on from Marni's presentation at the Deep Learning Summit in San Francisco, we were pleased to hear Apple acquired Emotient for an undisclosed sum. She is now working as a Research Scientist in Video Engineering at Apple.

View Marni's presentation (with a live demo of Emotient's technology) at the Deep Learning Summit here.  

Orbeus acquired by Amazon

As well as exhibiting at the inaugural Deep Learning Summit, Yi Li, CEO of Orbeus, took to the stage to present 'A Personal AI System of the People, by the People, for the People', focusing on the inner workings of their computer vision API ReKognition and mobile app PhotoTime, which uses deep learning to search, tag and organise images.

The talk delved into advanced object and face recognition, with Yi giving examples of deep learning algorithms that can annotate a photo with scenery and surroundings as well as the subjects race, emotion, gender, approximate age and more. Media coverage of her presentation noted the PhotoTime app "could be best application yet for letting everyday consumers benefit from advances in deep learning."

In April 2016, Orbeus hit the news again when the company announced it had been acquired by Amazon. Orbeus's technology could be useful to Amazon in many ways - it could improve their camera-based search function, accuracy in robotic delivery packing, their photo storage service and more.

View more presentation videos from our recent summits here.

The next Deep Learning Summit takes place in London on 22-23 September, and this year's event will also feature breakout sessions on Chatbots and FinTech. Previous events have sold out, so book early to avoid disappointment. For more information and to register, please visit the website here.

Are you working in deep learning and have an interesting topic for discussion, or know of someone who does? Let us know! Suggest a speaker using our form here.

We are holding events focused on AI, Deep Learning and Machine Intelligence in London, Amsterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco and Boston - see all upcoming summits here.

Machine Learning Deep Learning Startups Deep Learning Summit AI Machine Intelligence


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