Artificial Intelligence (AI) is growing at a rapid pace in recent times, with major advancements ranging from virtual assistants (such as Microsoft Cortana and Apple’s Siri) to fraud detection. The growing applications of AI in the day to day life have been possible due to huge investments made by firms and governments worldwide, which has ensured the continuation of research and innovation in this space.While behemoths of the technology world are at the front line of AI improvement, there are many smaller, research-centric organizations which are doing extraordinarily well and have attracted quite a few eyeballs. The Artificial Intelligence Industry is in a sprint, and almost 30 AI companies were acquired in the first part of 2017 alone.
The top 5 AI companies that are particularly noteworthy to mention due to their advancements in the AI space are:
- Google, Inc.
Google has been one of the top performers in the AI space for quite some time now. While the major focus of the company continues to be on machine learning and deep learning to help advance Google’s speech, language, translation, ranking and prediction, and visual processing capabilities, it is investing greatly in furthering AI in other areas of application as well. The company has made some high-cost acquisitions, one of the biggest being that of Deepmind in 2014. The company is a massive AI acquisition stint and has acquired 14 startups in the last four years. The projects have been equally grand, with Google Deepmind Health (for mining medical records to provide better and faster health services). People + AI Research initiative (PAIR) (for studying and redesigning how people interact with AI systems), Google Home, Google Brain, Tensorflow, TPU, Waymo and Quantum AI among others.
- International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)
Being one of the first players in the world of tech that we know of today, it is absolutely not surprising to see IBM as one of the leaders in the AI industry. The company is surging ahead with adoption of cognitive technologies like deep learning has recently broken some records for accuracy and speed, surpassing companies like Microsoft. One of IBM’s principal gift to the AI industry was Watson, a popularly identifiable name in the spectrum of AI. The applications of Watson had been to construct chatbots and virtual agents, specifically designed to reply to customer’s queries. The concept has been hugely popular use case and has helped organizations make admirable gains by automation of certain elements of the customer service process. IBM had also acquired a number of organizations in the AI space in the last five years, of which some are AlchemyAPI, Expert Personal Shopper, Vivisimo, The Weather Company, and Cognea. Some of the other popular internal projects are TureNorth and PowerAI.
- Microsoft Corporation
Another giant is showing the way into AI future, Microsoft provides an AI platform which harnesses a set of APIs; which is geared towards the futuristic approach of using language, speech and vision at the center of the process, streamlining traditional methods. The company has always been a major contributor to general progress within the AI space as Microsoft Research has made deep strides in areas like Deep Learning. On the acquisition front, Microsoft has also been taking long leaps and has acquired many smaller firms in the last five years like Genee, Netbreeze, Swiftkey, Equivio and Maluuba. The major internal high profile projects are Cortana, Azure ML platform, Cognitive Toolkit, Project Brainwave and Microsoft Pix.
- Apple, Inc.
Apple was a bit less vocal about AI during the beginnings and has now stormed into the spotlight by up-skilling developers to yoke the technology. After releasing its own assistant Siri in 2011, Apple has taken many steps now in putting in significant investments to ramp up the R&D on AI. In the AI space, the company has undertaken some great internal projects like Core ML, Neural Engine and Project Titan. The company has also acquired a number of firms in the last five years as well-Novauris, Vocalia, Init.ai, Emotient, Turi, Lattice, Perceptio, Regained and Realface.
- Intel Corporation
Having realized the importance of AI and their desire to maintain a leading position through investing and backing in AI technologies, the company has made a number of acquisitions in the last five years, acquiring Indisys, Itseez, Saffron, Nervana and Movidius. The company has also had their share of some notable internal projects like Laihi and Intel Nervana.
Author: Pratik Patra
Pratik is a Writer, Artist, and Technocrat from India. He is an engineer from IIT Bombay and is currently pursuing his MBA from XIMB.