Thursday, May 24

Intel among VCs funding $20mn for AI that explains what it’s thinking

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AI start-up Gamalon raised $20 million with lead investor Intel Capital joined by .406 Ventures and Omidyar Technology Ventures.

This brings the total investment in US-based AI firm to more than $32 million including the largest single investment by the US Government in next-generation machine learning over the past five years.

Existing investors Boston Seed Capital, Felicis Ventures and Rivas Capital also participated in the Series A round.

According to Gamalon, it’s the first artificial intelligence system that can process natural language and then explain what ideas are present and how they are organized.

The first application of technology will be for enterprises to read, understand, and interact with billions of customer messages and provide individual responses.

Existing “black box” machine learning approaches to natural language are able to summarize by extracting statistically significant text or to categorize by following human-categorized examples, but these systems have not been able to structure, organize, and assemble compositions of ideas and sentiments from text, and then communicate this learned structure of ideas to people.

“It’s easy enough for a business analyst to get started providing return on investment right away,” said Ben Vigoda, Gamalon’s founder and CEO in a statement.

“In the hands of a data scientist Gamalon can also be a sophisticated machine learning tool to perform data prep on many different sources of unstructured enterprise natural language – you can set it up to populate a target table or schema from the text,” he added.

The powerful advances in machine learning are boosted by diversification of compute infrastructures and fueled by the fast-growing volumes of complex, free-form text, said Naveen Rao, corporate vice president and general manager of the Artificial Intelligence Products Group at Intel Corporation.

“We want enterprises of all levels of AI capability to take full advantage of this growing volume and complexity of data. We think Gamalon’s approach can help users better understand billions of customer communications, customize individual responses, and take action to better serve those customers,” Rao said.

Gamalon is already used by Fortune 500 enterprises across automotive, finance, insurance, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Its system learns orders of magnitude faster than the state of the art approaches, is auditable and is easily extendable to specific domains, said Todor Tashev, managing partner at Omidyar Technology Ventures.

OTV is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm created and solely funded by eBay founder, technologist, and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar.

The funding will be used for R&D and to expand sales and marketing efforts to the enterprise.

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