Often leveraging cloud computing and edge computing, AI companies mix and match myriad technologies to meet and exceed use case expectations in the home, the workplace, and the greater community. Machine learning leads the pack in this realm, but today’s leading AI firms are expanding their technological reach through other technology categories and operations, ranging from predictive analytics to business intelligence to data warehouse tools to deep learning, alleviating several industrial and personal pain points.
AI companies attract massive investment from venture capitalist firms and giant firms like Microsoft and Google that see the potential for further growth in corporate and personal use. Academic AI research is growing quickly in quantity and complexity, as are AI job openings across a multitude of industries. All of this growth and the exciting potential for new growth are documented in the AI Index, produced by Stanford University’s Human-Centered AI Institute.
Consulting giant Accenture argues that AI has the potential to boost rates of profitability by an average of 38% and could lead to an economic boost of a whopping $14 trillion in additional gross value added (GVA) by 2035.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, fields like healthcare have grown their interest and investment in AI, hoping to propel patient experiences forward in telemedicine, digital imaging, and a variety of other areas that give the patient greater access to medical resources they need.
Artificial intelligence clearly holds many possibilities, but IT professionals and other users should be cautious of a plethora of risks, such as job displacement. “It will have a huge economic impact but also change society, and it’s hard to make strong predictions, but clearly job markets will be affected,” said Yoshua Bengio, a professor at the University of Montreal, and head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms.
To keep up with the AI market, we have updated our list of top AI companies playing a key role in shaping the future of AI.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic where most industries reduced their total expenses to stay afloat, many companies actually increased their AI investments in 2020.
Top AI Companies: The Leaders in the Cloud
The AI vendors are leading the market by providing AI and ML through their popular cloud platforms, enabling companies to incorporate AI into applications and systems without the expense of in-house development.
The clear leader in cloud computing, AWS offers both consumer and business-oriented AI products and services, and many of its professional AI services build on the Ai services available in consumer products. Amazon Echo brings artificial intelligence into the home through the intelligent voice server, Alexa. For AWS, the company’s primary AI services include Lex, a business version of Alexa; Polly, which turns text to speech; and Rekognition, an image recognition service.
Google, a leader in AI and data analytics, is on a massive AI acquisition binge, having acquired a number of AI startups in the last several years. Google is deeply invested in furthering artificial intelligence capabilities. In addition to using AI to improve its services, Google Cloud sells several AI and machine learning services to businesses. It has an industry-leading software project in TensorFlow, as well as its own Tensor AI chip project.
IBM has been a leader in the field of artificial intelligence since the 1950s. Its efforts in recent years center around IBM Watson, an AI-based cognitive service, AI software as a service, and scale-out systems designed for delivering cloud-based analytics and AI services. It has been acquisitive, purchasing several AI startups over several years. It benefits from having a strong cloud platform.
Microsoft offers a mix of consumer-facing and business/IT AI projects. On the consumer side, it has Cortana, the digital assistant that comes with Windows and is now available for smartphones other than Windows Phone, and the chatbot Zo that talks like a teenager. On its Azure cloud service, Microsoft sells AI services such as bot services, machine learning, and cognitive services.
The leading cloud computing platform in Asia, Alibaba offers clients a sophisticated Machine Learning Platform for AI. Significantly, the platform offers a visual interface for ease of use, so companies can drag and drop various components into a canvas to assemble their AI functionality. Also included in the platform are scores of algorithm components that can handle any number of chores, enabling customers to use pre-built solutions. Expect huge AI growth from Alibaba in the years to come.
Top AI Companies: Notable Vendors
These top AI providers are demonstrating that artificial intelligence can be used in a dazzling number of ways, across virtually every industry sector.
Palmer Luckey is one of the most intriguing figures in today’s emerging tech. He co-founded Oculus, which Facebook bought for a cool $2 billion in 2014. Post-Facebook and at the ripe age of 27, he launched Anduril, which adds sophisticated sensors, vehicles, and drones to create a threat protection zone. Products include Sentry Tower (autonomous awareness), Ghost 4 sUAS (intelligent air support), and Anvil sUAS (precision kinetic intercept).
Formerly known as Sift Science, the company provides multiple online fraud management services in one platform. Sift mines thousands of data points from around the web to train in detecting fraud patterns. Its machine learning tools, bolstered by data analytics, seek insight into fraud before it happens.
Nauto offers an AI-powered driver behavior learning platform. So instead of self-driving cars, Nauto is an AI technology designed to improve the safety of commercial fleets and autonomous fleets. The platform assesses how drivers interact with the vehicle and the road ahead to reduce distracted driving and prevent collisions.
Tempus – “data-driven precision medicine” – uses AI to fight disease and bolster patient outcomes. It gathers and analyzes massive pools of medical and clinical data at scale to provide precision medicine that personalizes and optimizes treatments to each individual’s specific health needs. Applications include neurology, psychiatry, and oncology.
In recent years, Salesforce has acquired a handful of AI companies and sharpened features of Salesforce Einstein, their artificial intelligence service. Their latest initiative, which includes an extensive team of data scientists, uses machine learning to help employees more efficiently perform tasks by simplifying and speeding them up. In addition to Salesforce’s employees, Einstein is available for customers who can build their own applications and are interested in features like Recommendation Builder, scorecards, and in-depth navigation insights.
A dominant vendor in the small but growing Robotic Process Automation market – it actually coined the term RPA – Automation Anywhere makes great use of AI. Its applications include “attended” RPA, which helps office employees do mundane, repetitive tasks much more efficiently, employing the power of machine learning. A vendor to watch.
SenSat builds digital copies of physical environments and applies AI modeling to understand the parameters of that environment and provide valuable feedback. For example, it can give spatial and volume statistics about a roadway that is about to undergo repair work. Boosting its fortunes, in October 2019, Tencent led a $10 million investment in SenSat.
Phrasee specializes in natural language generation for marketing copy. Its natural language generation system can generate millions of human-sounding variants of marketing at the touch of a button, allowing customers to tailor their copy to targeted customers. Retail/marketing and AI is a combination on a rapid growth curve in the AI sector. During the COVID-19 pandemic, several retailers, such as Walgreens, used Phrasee to boost customer engagement related to vaccination.
Using a combination of human freelancers and a system built with machine learning automation, Defined Crowd provides a data set that companies can leverage to improve the performance of their algorithms. This union of the human with AI is a brilliant stroke – other startups are catching on, and you can expect many more startups to test out this combo.
Based in New York City, Pymetrics leverages AI to help companies hire the optimal candidates, by examining more than a resume scan. Customers have their best employees fill out the Pymetrics assessment, which then creates a model for what future ideal candidates should bring to the table. In essence, the AI-based system is attempting to find more new staff that will fit in well with the existing top staff, using AI and behavioral science.
Siemens, the famed legacy German multinational, focuses on areas like energy, electrification, digitalization, and automation. They also work to develop resource-saving and energy-efficient technologies and are considered a leading provider of devices and systems for medical diagnosis, power generation, and transmission. Yes, the Siemens website actually refers to “AI at the beer garden.”
Given how lucrative it is for hackers, will identity theft ever go away? It’s unlikely, but New York City-based Socure is using AI to fight it. Its AI-enabled system monitors and checks the quality of countless data sources – far more than a human, of course, but more importantly, far more than a legacy system that doesn’t have the speed, flexibility, and insight of AI. Its motto is “identify more real people in real-time.” Socure was named a Cool Vendor 2020 in Gartner’s “Cool Vendors in AI for Banking and Investments”.
AEye builds the vision algorithms, software, and hardware used to guide autonomous vehicles. Its LiDAR technology focuses on the most important information in a vehicle’s sightline, such as people, other cars, and animals, while putting less emphasis on other landscape features like the sky, buildings, and surrounding vegetation. In February 2021, AEye entered into a merger agreement with CF Finance Acquisition Corp. III, so if/when the deal closes, expect more investment and innovation in the near future.
In a world with a vast ocean of podcasts and videos to transcribe, Rev uses AI to find its market. An AI-powered – but human-assisted – transcription provider, the company also sells access to developers, so tech-savvy folks can use its speech recognition technology. But the key part here is the combination of humans with AI, which is a sweet spot in the effective use cases for artificial intelligence. With a growing need for accessibility features in audiovisual production especially, expect more AI companies to take advantage of a similar business model in the future.
It’s not enough that Suki offers an AI-powered software solution that assists doctors as they make voice notes on a busy day. Suki’s aim – using the power of AI to learn over time – is to mold and adapt to users with repeated use, so the solution becomes more of a time saver and efficiency booster for physicians and healthcare workers over time. As a sign of the times, Suki was delivered with COVID-19 data and templates to speed the critically important vaccination and health tracking processes.
In the future, everything will be tracked by intelligent cameras. Verkada is working to create that future by offering a network of AI-assisted cameras that can handle sophisticated movement monitoring, through a “software-first” approach to security. Given all the uses for such cameras, which employ the cloud, it’s no surprise that the company’s clients range from schools to shopping malls.
DataVisor uses machine learning to detect fraud and financial crime, utilizing unsupervised machine learning to identify attack campaigns before they result in any damage. DataVisor protects companies from attacks such as account takeovers, fake account creation, money laundering, fake social posts, fraudulent transactions, and more.
Founded in 2016, People.ai’s goal is to streamline the life of salespeople, assisting them in putting the reams of small details into relevant CRM systems, chiefly Salesforce. Think of all those pesky info bits from texting, your calendar, endless Slack conversations – People.ai aims to help you with all of that. Plus: the system attempts to coach sales reps on the most effective ways to manage their time.
AlphaSense is an AI-powered search engine designed for investment firms, banks, and Fortune 500 companies. The search engine focuses on searching for important information within earnings call transcripts, SEC filings, news, and research. The technology also uses artificial intelligence to expand keyword searches for relevant content.
The remarkable truth about AI is that it keeps moving up the food chain in terms of the sophisticated tasks it can handle. Taking a big step up from simple automation, Icertis – with a decade under its belt – handles millions of business contracts through a method they call “contract intelligence”. Leveraging the cloud, the company’s solution automates certain tasks and scans previous contract details. The company has gained some big clients like Microsoft and has been named a Gartner 2020 Leader.
Casetext is an AI-powered legal search engine that specializes in legal documents, with a database of more than 10 million statutes, cases, and regulations. A recent study comparing legal research platforms found that attorneys using Casetext’s CARA AI finished their research more than 20% faster, required 4.4 times fewer searches to accomplish the same research task, and rated the cases they found as significantly more relevant than those found with a legacy research tool.
Blue River Technology
Blue River Technology is a subsidiary of Deere & Co. that combines artificial intelligence and computer vision to build smart farm tech – clearly a growing need, given population growth. The company’s See & Spray technology can detect individual plants and apply herbicide to the weeds only. This reduces the number of chemicals sprayed by up to 90% over traditional methods.
Nvidia’s emergence as an AI leader was hardly overnight. It has been promoting its CUDA GPU programming language for nearly two decades. AI developers have come to see the value in the GPU’s massively parallel processing design and embraced Nvidia GPUs for machine learning and artificial intelligence. One area Nvidia is making a big push is in self-driving cars, but it is one of many efforts on the horizon.
Automation in factories has been progressing for years, even decades, but Bright Machines is working to push it a quantum leap forward. Based in San Francisco, the AI company is leveraging advances in robotics like machine learning and facial recognition to create an AI platform for digital manufacturing. Its solutions can accomplish any number of fine-grain tasks that might previously have required the exactitude of a skilled human.
Orbital Insight uses satellite geospatial imagery and artificial intelligence to gain insights not visible to the human eye. It uses data from satellites, drones, balloons, and other aircraft to look for answers or insight on things related to the agriculture and energy industries that normally wouldn’t be visible. The company touts itself as “the leader in geospatial analytics.”
Once a standalone company and now a division of MasterCard, Brighterion offers AI for the financial services industry, specifically designed to block fraud rates. The company’s AI Express is a fast-to-market solution – within 6-8 weeks – that is custom designed for customer use cases. Its solution is used by the majority of the 100 largest banks.
H2O.ai provides an open-source machine learning platform that makes it easy to build smart applications. Used by many thousands of data scientists across a large community of organizations worldwide, H2O claims to be “the world’s leading open-source deep learning platform.” H20.ai provides solutions for insurance, healthcare, telecom, marketing, financial service, retail, and manufacturing.
With a long legacy as the top chipmaker, Intel has both hardware and software AI initiatives in the works. Its Nervana processor is a deep learning processor, while Movidius is geared toward neural networks and visual recognition. Intel is also working on natural language processing and deep learning through software and hardware. Further indicating their commitment to AI, one of the company’s slogans is “accelerate your AI journey with Intel.”
Clarifai is an image recognition platform that helps users organize, filter, and search their image database. Images and videos are tagged, teaching the technology to find similarities in images. Its AI solution is offered via mobile, on-premise, or API. Beyond image recognition, Clarifai also offers solutions in computer vision, natural language processing, and automated machine learning.
Geared to assist the busiest of people, X.ai’s intelligent virtual assistant “Amy” helps users schedule meetings. The concept is simple — if you receive a meeting request but don’t have time to work out logistics, you copy Amy onto the email and she handles it. Through machine learning and natural language processing, Amy schedules the best time and location for your meeting based on your preferences and schedule. We all need a helper like this in our lives.
Zebra Medical Vision
Zebra Medical Systems is an Israeli company that applies deep learning techniques to the field of radiology. It claims it can predict multiple diseases with better-than-human accuracy by examining a huge library of medical images and specialized examination technology. It recently moved its algorithms to Google Cloud to help it scale and offer inexpensive medical scans.
Iris.AI helps researchers sort through cross-disciplinary research to find relevant information, and as it is used more often, the tool learns how to return better results. Since its launch, countless people have tried the service, some becoming regular users. Its Iris.AI release includes the Focus tool, an intelligent mechanism to refine and collate a reading list of research literature, cutting out a huge amount of manual effort.
Freenome uses artificial intelligence to conduct cancer screenings and diagnostic tests to spot signs of cancer earlier than possible with traditional testing methods. It uses non-invasive blood tests to recognize disease-associated patterns. The company’s solution has trained on cancer-positive blood samples, which enable it to detect problems using specific biomarkers.
Neurala claims that it helps users improve visual inspection problems using AI. It develops The Neurala Brain, a deep learning neural network software that makes devices like cameras, phones, and drones smarter and easier to use. AI tends to be power-hungry, but the Neurala Brain uses audio and visual input in low-power settings to make simple devices more intelligent.
Graphcore makes what it calls the Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU), a processor specifically for machine learning, used to build high-performance machines. The IPU’s unique architecture allows developers to run current machine learning models orders of magnitude faster and undertake entirely new types of work not possible with current technologies.
CognitiveScale builds customer service AI apps for the healthcare, insurance, financial services, and digital commerce industries. Its products are built on its Cortex-augmented intelligence platform for companies to design, develop, deliver, and manage enterprise-grade AI systems. It also has an AI marketplace, which is an online AI collaboration system where business experts, researchers, data scientists, and developers can collaborate to solve problems.
iCarbonX is a Chinese biotech startup that uses artificial intelligence to provide personalized health analyses and health index predictions. It has formed an alliance with seven technology companies from around the world that specialize in gathering different types of healthcare data and will use algorithms to analyze genomic, physiological, and behavioral data. It also works to provide customized health and medical advice.
Human Resources can be a bifurcated digital workspace, with different apps for each task that HR handles. OneModel is a talent analytics accelerator that helps HR departments handle employees, career pathing, recruiting, succession, exits, engagement, surveys, HR effectiveness, payrolls, planning, and other HR features all in one place and in a uniform way. The company’s core goal is to equip HR pros with machine learning smarts.
AI meets social media. Lobster Media is an AI-powered platform that helps brands, advertisers, and media outlets find and license user-generated social media content. Its process includes scanning major social networks and several cloud storage providers for images and video, using AI-tagging and machine learning algorithms to identify the most relevant content. It then provides those images to clients for a fee.
Next IT, now part of Verint, is one of the pioneers in customer service chatbots. It develops conversational AI for customer engagement and workforce support on any endpoint through intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs). The company’s Alme platform powers natural language business products that are continually enhanced through AI-powered tools that empower human trainers to assess performance and end-user satisfaction.
Pointr is an indoor positioning and navigation company with analytics and messaging features that help people navigate busy locations, like train stations and airport terminals. Its modules include indoor navigation, contextual notifications, location-based analytics, and location tracking. Its Bluetooth beacons use customer phones to help orient them around the building.
One of the largest social media companies to come out of China, Tencent has an advanced AI lab that developed tools to process information across its ecosystem, including natural language processing, news aggregators, and facial recognition. They also have one of China’s top video streaming platforms, Tencent Music. A giant in the field, they fund several AI efforts.
A fairly new startup in the AI copywriting space, Copy.ai uses basic inputs from users to generate marketing copy in seconds. It can create copy for a variety of different formats, including article outlines, meta descriptions, digital ads and social media content, and sales copy. In March 2021, it was announced that Copy.ai raised $2.9 million in investments from Craft Ventures and several other smaller investors. With its use of the GPT-3 language model to generate words, Copy.ai is a content-driven AI tool to keep an eye on.
Twilio is a cloud communications platform as a service (PaaS) company that allows software developers to integrate text messages, phone calls, and video calls into applications through the use of various APIs. Twilio’s services are accessed over HTTP and are billed based on usage. The Twilio Autopilot offering allows companies to build and train AI-driven chatbots.
ViSenze’s artificial intelligence visual recognition technology works by recommending visually similar items to users when shopping online. Its advanced visual search and image recognition solutions help businesses in eCommerce, mCommerce, and online advertising by recommending visually similar items to online shoppers.
Based in Asia, SenseTime develops facial recognition technology that can be applied to payment and picture analysis. It is used in banks and security systems. Its valuation is impressive, racking several billion dollars in recent years. The company specializes in deep learning, education, and fintech.
Using machine learning to mine health data for cancer research, Flatiron finds cancer research information in near real-time, drawing on a variety of sources. The company raised more than $175 million in Series C funding before being acquired by cancer research giant Roache.
Deep 6 uses AI to, in its own words, “find more patients in minutes, not months.” The patients in this sense are participants in clinical trials – a critical part of the research process in developing new medicine. Certainly one of the challenging issues that was faced during the quest for a COVID-19 vaccine was finding a community of appropriate candidates. Deep 6 finds these kinds of communities by using an AI-powered system to scan through medical records, with the ability to understand patterns in human health.
Considered one of the best AI-driven customer support tools out there, Directly counts Microsoft as a customer. It helps its customers by intelligently routing their questions to chatbots to answer their questions personally, or to customer support personnel. It prides itself on “intelligent automation.”
Based in Montreal, Element AI provides a platform for companies to build AI-powered solutions, particularly for firms that may not have the in-house talent to do it. Element AI says it supports app-building for predictive modeling, forecasting modeling, conversational AI and natural language processing, image recognition, and automatic tagging of attributes based on images. The company was founded in 2016.
Pony.ai develops software for self-driving cars and was created by ex-Google and Baidu engineers who felt that the big companies are moving too slow. It has already made its first fully autonomous driving demonstration. It now operates a self-driving ride-sharing fleet in Guangzhou, China, using cars from a local automaker. The company raised $400 million from Toyota.
Focusing on enterprise AI, C3.ai offers a wide array of pre-built applications, along with a PaaS solution, to enable the development of enterprise-level AI, IoT applications, and analytics software. These AI-fueled applications serve a wide array of sectors and industry verticals, from supply chains to healthcare to anti-fraud efforts. The goal is to speed and optimize the process of digital transformation.
Some of the best applications of AI “look into the future” to prevent future problems. Such is the goal with BigPanda, which leverages AI to lessen or stop IT outages before they take down a full business, an eCommerce operation, or a mission-critical application. In essence, this company’s goal is the magic of AIOps, using AI to improve admin and IT operations. A major growth area.
Accubits, a top-rated AI development company, focuses most of its energy on helping businesses enable AI for new efficiencies in their existing systems. Some of their AI solutions include intelligent chatbots in CRMs and predictive health diagnostics, both of which are designed to mesh with your existing software infrastructure. Accubits works across industries like consumer technology, automotives, cybersecurity, healthcare, and fashion.
Stem is a veteran energy storage firm that has adopted AI to help automate energy management. It uses its industry-leading AI platform, Athena, to determine when to charge energy storage systems and when to draw on them. Athena focuses on energy forecasting and automated control.
Bossa Nova Robotics
The robots imagined by 1950s futurists were tin men that could walk and talk – and probably become masters of the human race. It hasn’t turned out that way (fortunately), but Bossa Nova Robotics is using AI to make today’s robots more effective. Indeed, modern robots are rarely shaped like humans; Bossa Nova’s robots resemble tall vacuum cleaners. Ironically, Bossa Nova started as a robotic toymaker but now has full-scale robots in retailers like Walmart. The robots roll up and down the shelves, spotting inventory problems – and allowing cost savings on human workers.
In a world run by data, in many cases, someone – or some system – has to prep that data so that it’s usable. Data prep is unglamorous but absolutely essential. Tamr combines machine learning and human tech staff to help customers optimize and integrate the highest value datasets into its operations. Referred to as an enterprise-scale data unification company, Tamr enables cloud-native, on-premise, or hybrid scenarios – truly a good fit for today’s data-driven, multi-cloud world.
Formerly known as InsideSales.com, Xant underwent a major rebrand and now focuses on the enterprise market. It is a sales acceleration platform with a predictive and prescriptive self-learning engine, assisting in a sale and providing guidance to the salesperson to help close the deal. At its core is machine learning.
Dataminr is a global real-time information discovery company that monitors news feeds for high-impact events and critical breaking news far faster than your Google newsfeed. It cuts through the clutter of non-news or irrelevant news to specific industries and only provides highly relevant news when it happens. For news-sensitive vendors, its goal is to detect early risks from media coverage.
There’s a gray area in our lives in terms of healthcare; we ask ourselves, does this problem I’m having really require making a doctor’s appointment, or could a major dose of simple information be enough? K Health’s AI solution operates in this area. Users can text with a doctor or find similar cases near them, which has been particularly useful for COVID-19. Using a model built from a vast store of anonymous health records, its system offers help based on how a user’s complaint correlates with this vast history of other patients. Think of K Health as the advanced edge of telemedicine.
Driving the AI revolution with the highly capable smartphone chips it makes, Qualcomm leverages a signal processor for image and sound capabilities. In March 2021, Qualcomm acquired NUVIA, a competitive CPU and technology design company, ultimately enhancing CPU opportunities for the future. Given its market size and power, it’s likely that Qualcomm will continue to be a key driver of AI functionality in the all-important consumer device market.
HyperScience is designed to cut down on the tedium of mundane tasks, like filling out forms or data entry of hand-written forms. It also processes the relevant information from forms rather than requiring that a human read through the whole form. It touts itself as “intelligent document processing.”
Vivint’s Smart Home is a popular smart home service in North America, with features like security cameras, heating and cooling management, door and window security, and a remote speaker to talk to people at the door. All of this is monitored by AI, which learns the residents’ behavioral patterns and adjusts management accordingly.
While Facebook is certainly better known in other areas as one of the largest social media networks in the world, the company is making great strides in its AI capabilities, especially in self-teaching for its newsfeed algorithms. Most significantly, the Facebook team has started using AI to screen for hate speech, fake news, and potentially illegal actions across posts on the site.
Symphony Ayasdi is a machine intelligence software company that offers intelligent applications to its clients around the world for using Big Data and complex data analytics problems. Its goal is to help customers automate what would be the manual processes of using their own unique data. In March 2021, Symphony AyasdiAI announced a new partnership with Sionic, leading to a greater focus on financial crime detection. Very much focused on the enterprise AI sector.
A well-known technology company in the contract world, DocuSign uses esignature technology to digitize the contracting process across a multitude of industries. Many users don’t realize some of the AI features that DocuSign powers, such as AI-powered contract and risk analysis that gets applied to a contract before you sign. This AI process lends itself to more efficient contract negotiation and/or renegotiations.
This cloud-based SaaS firm focuses on endpoint security. Leveraging AI, CrowdStrike’s Falcon platform enables it to identify what it calls active indicators of attack to detect malicious activity before a breach actually happens. It presents the network administrators with actionable intelligence of real-time findings for them to take necessary action.
Cylance, now a division of BlackBerry, develops security apps that prevent – instead of reactively detecting – viruses and other malware. Using a mathematical learning process, Cylance identifies what is safe and what is a threat rather than operating from a blacklist or whitelist. The company claims its machine learning has an understanding of a hacker’s mentality to predict their behavior.
Tetra Tech uses AI to take notes on phone calls, so people working in call centers can focus on discussions with the callers. It uses AI to generate a detailed script of dialogues using its speech recognition technology. Given the large market for call centers – and the need to make them more effective at low cost – this is a big market for AI.
Nuro makes very small self-driving electric delivery trucks designed for local deliveries, such as groceries or takeout. Its founders previously worked on Google’s Waymo self-driving car project. Overall the company’s goal is to boost the value of robotics in daily life.
SoundHound started as a Shazam-like song recognition app called Midomi, but it has expanded to answering complex voice prompts like Siri and Cortana. But instead of converting language into text like most virtual assistants, the app’s AI combines voice recognition and language understanding into a single step.
Acquired in a $1.2 billion high profile deal by Amazon, Zoox is focused on self-driving cars or, in the larger sense, a self-driving fleet (hence Amazon’s interest). Their AI-based vehicle is geared for the robo-taxi market.
Founded in 2013, AI biotech company Zymergen describes itself as a “biofacturer.” One of their offerings is called Hyline, a bio-based polyimide film. Their work includes applications for pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and industrial uses. Based in Emeryville, California.
The Trade Desk
A company designed to help digital advertisers run targeted digital advertising campaigns, The Trade Desk uses AI to optimize its customers’ advertising campaigns for their appropriate audiences. Their AI, known as Koa, was built to analyze data across the internet to figure out what certain audiences are looking for and where ads should be placed to optimize reach and cost. The Trade Desk also allows you to launch your digital ads independently, but uses its AI to offer performance suggestions while your campaign is live.
Based in China, DJI is a big player in the rapidly growing drone market. The company is leveraging AI and image recognition to track and monitor the landscape, and it’s expected that the company will play a role in the self-driving car market. Impressively, DJI has partnered with Microsoft for a drone initiative.
Running AI is exceptionally data-intensive – the more data the better – and so today’s chipmakers (like Intel and Nvidia) are star players. Add to that list HiSilicon. The company fabricated the first AI chip for mobile units. Impressively, the chip accomplishes tasks like high-speed language translation and facial recognition.
Insitro operates at “the convergence of human biology and machine learning.” More specifically, it uses artificial intelligence to build models of various human illnesses, using those models to forecast previously unknown solutions – far beyond human intuition. These models use the power of ML to improve drug discovery and development. Founded by Daphne Koller, Insitro has drawn investment from an exhaustive array of VC and financial firms.
A leading RPA company, Blue Prism uses AI-fueled automation to do an array of repetitive, manual software tasks, which frees human staff up to focus on more meaningful work. The company’s AI laboratory researches automated document reading and software vision. To further boost its AI functionality, Blue Prism bought Thoughtonomy, which has AI based in the cloud.
You have surely encountered the limited conversational elan of a chatbot; a few stock phrases delivered in a monotone. Rulai is working to change this using the flexibility and adaptability of AI. The company claims its level 3 AI dialog manager can create “multi-round” conversation, without requiring code from customers. Clearly a major growth area.
Top AI Companies: Important Pioneers
Think of these forward-looking AI companies as taking a particularly inventive approach to machine learning and AI.
OpenAI is a non-profit research firm that operates under an open-source type of model to allow other institutions and researchers to freely collaborate, making its patents and research open to the public. The founders say they are motivated in part by concerns about existential risk from artificial general intelligence.
With backing by some real heavyweights – Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg – Vicarious’s goal is nothing less than to develop a robot brain that can think like a human. It hasn’t been particularly forthcoming with details, but its AI robots, geared for industrial automation, are known to “learn” as they do more tasks.
Arguably the coolest application of AI on this entire list, Ubiquity6 has built a mobile app that enables augmented reality for several people at once. Users see and interact with objects presented by the fully dimensioned visual world of the Ubiquity app, immersing themselves in a creative or educational environment. The company’s website is worth visiting for its visual creativity and wonderment alone.
AIBrain is an artificial intelligence company that builds AI solutions for smartphones and robotics applications. Its products include: AICoRE, the AI agent; iRSP, an intelligent robot software platform; and Futurable, a future simulation AI game where every character is a fully autonomous AI. The focus of their work is to develop artificial intelligence infused with the human skill set of problem-solving, learning, and memory.
One of the better-known AI vendors, CloudMinds develops the Human Augmented Robotics Intelligence (HARI) platform for robots, for what it calls an end-to-end cloud intelligence (CI) system. CI combines the machine with humans, allowing the robot to be controlled by human beings if need be. In essence, it’s a cloud-based solution for intelligent robots.
A high-profile emerging AI company, DataRobot provides data scientists with a platform for building and deploying machine learning models. The software helps business analysts build predictive analytics with no knowledge of Machine Learning or programming and uses automated ML to build and deploy accurate predictive models quickly.
Arguably, the two “final frontiers” in artificial intelligence are ethics and emotion. Can software decide between right and wrong, in a moral sense? And can software “feel” emotions? Affectiva is dealing with this latter issue by using AI to help systems understand the emotions in a human face and conversation. Founded by Rosalind Picard and Rana el Kaliouby, the firm was launched from an MIT Media Lab and has venture backing by some of the biggest names in VC.
Arguably the top vendor in the robotic process automation sector, UiPath makes an enterprise software platform that includes tools for robot licensing, provisioning, scheduling, monitoring, and alerting. Its robots do the mundane work of communication between legacy apps so developers can focus on new AI-oriented apps. In short, robots can make our lives better.
Is there a better name for an AI company than Algorithmia? Based in Seattle, Algorithmia’s goal is to help data scientists find and use algorithms. It was initially an exchange for algorithms on a one-off, single-user basis. As it has grown, it has set its sights on the enterprise market – certainly a more lucrative market.
Acquired by Google in 2014, Deepmind is a research firm that focuses on AI research, covering everything from climate change to healthcare and finance. Its goal is to build “safe” AI that evolves in its abilities to solve problems. The firm is based in London and recruits heavily from Oxford and Cambridge, which are leading universities in Europe for AI and ML research.
Domino Data Lab
Certainly an AI company with a certain “buzz” about it, Domino is a SaaS solution that helps tech and data professionals program and test AI models. Think of it as a gathering place, an aggregation of sorts, for the AI community. Expect Domino to grow rapidly in the years ahead. Based in San Francisco, the company touts itself as “The Most Powerful Platform for Data Science.”
Narrative Science creates natural language generation technology to translate data from multiple silos into what it calls stories. AI highlights only the most relevant and interesting information, to turn data into easy-to-understand reports, transforms statistics into stories, and converts numbers into knowledge. To be sure, “data storytelling” is a key trend to watch.
Sherpa is a virtual personal assistant that works with a user’s entire array of devices, inferring and predicting their needs that allow the assistant to learn about the users and anticipate their needs before they ask. It works with many consumer devices and any accessory that could use some kind of intelligence. Tapping a growth market, Sherpa sells white label digital assistants for consumer applications.
Swim.ai’s goal is to enable businesses to mine continuously streaming data into actionable information. Leveraging machine learning, the company’s “open core platform” (the SwimOS is open source) augments the decision-making process by providing streaming data and contextualizing data sources. Founded in 2015.
Based in Canada, Xanadu is a quantum hardware and technology outfit that is developing a type of quantum computer based on photonic technology. Instead of transmitting energy via electrons, Xanadu’s system employs laser light to move data. That means no more energy-hungry, overheating electric machines, among other advantages. A player in the new field of quantum machine learning.
Using AI to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, Butterfly Network provides a handheld medical diagnostic device that connects with a user’s smartphone. This device – powered by Butterfly iQ – allows an ultrasound examination of the entire body, at a far lower cost than legacy systems. This is especially helpful for poor communities where healthcare resources are scarce.