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AI: Big Data's Big Brother is growing up

The tech industry is placing new bets on artificial intelligence, using massive data sets and powerful computers trying to revive the long sought technology. Thanks to Big Data.

Sentinent Technologies, a San Fransisco based firm is applying large-scale distributed computing to artificial intelligence. The idea behind is to use million or tens of millions of computer nodes located in multiple locations to analyse large amounts of data with AI-based algorithms.

Sentinent Technologies raised a $103.5 million in series C round from Access Industries and Tata communications and Horizon Ventures, Hong Kong based investors.

Cloud computing and Big Data is a match made in heaven. They alone help to solve many complex problems. Give way for a threeway with AI, and it helps us develop new perspectives on complex problems. For example, Doctors in intensive care units are overloaded with data, a software that helps them spot potential problems or predict outcomes on spot can be of huge help to them.

Nigel Duffy, CTO of Sentinent Technologies in an interview with Bloomberg said that the company’s software is being used to predict the chances of a patient in an intensive care to develop sepsis. The 7 year old company’s algorithms are also automating financial trades.

What’s happening in AI?

Artificial intelligence describes a range of computing techniques that have applications in a number of fields, including robotics, speech recognition, and decision-making. The idea of AI has been around for decades, the developments in the Big Data and increased computation power coupled with cloud computing advancements have resulted in maturing the AI technology. Corporations like IBM and Google have invested much in the technology already.

China’s Baidu, meanwhile, hired former Stanford scientist and Google executive Andrew Ng, who is building a team of deep-learning experts to improve the company’s speech-based search. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft all have research efforts in artificial intelligence.

New York-based research firm CB Insights says that at least 11 artificial intelligence startups received Series A funding since the beginning of last year. A number are targeting speech recognition while others are focused on analyzing corporate data.

Many of the applications these companies are pursuing, such as improving healthcare or financial transactions, sound relatively innocuous. But the rapid development of artificial intelligence is also raising alarms among technologists.

There have been many hype cycles around AI so there is reason to be skeptical. But given the rapid growth in both computing and data, it’s worth tracking how strong AI’s comeback will be.


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