Artificial intelligence companies are sprouting up all over, though AI itself is far from new. At its deepest sense, artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for a very long time — its intellectual roots are found in Greek mythology. To be sure, artificial intelligence is progressing rapidly, with key advancements ranging from virtual assistants (such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft Cortana) to fraud detection. This emerging tech now plays a part in everyday life.
According to CB Insights, over 30 artificial intelligence companies have been acquired in the first quarter of 2017 alone. Clearly, there is interest in artificial intelligence and its ability to improve the human experience, despite pushback from naysayers who warn of AI’s disruption. Clearly, companies that invest in artificial intelligence will have to proactively plan for unexpected consequences.
In truth, artificial intelligence holds a plethora of possibilities – and risks. “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.
The following 20 companies are playing a role in shaping the future of artificial intelligence and its capabilities. We featured artificial intelligence companies that are particularly noteworthy as well as those that have invested significantly in artificial intelligence. These AI companies are listed alphabetically.
Top Artificial Intelligence Companies
The leading firms in the AI sector: Please let us know of any significant artificial intelligence companies that you think we missed and leave a note in the Comments section below.
Based in California, AIBrain is an artificial intelligence company that builds AI solutions for smartphones and robotics applications. It offers AICoRE, the AI agent, and iRSP, an intelligent robot software platform. The focus of their work is to develop artificial intelligence infused with the human skill set of problem solving, learning and memory.
The online retail giant has made moves to enter the artificial intelligence space through both their services and their products. Their Amazon Machine Learning platform provides companies with the ability to predict and find patterns using data. Additionally, Amazon Echo brings artificial intelligence into the home through the intelligent voice server, Alexa.
Anki is dedicated to bringing consumer robotics into everyday life through its Cozmo and Anki Overdrive products. Cozmo is Anki’s flagship robot. Cozmo has been described as one of the most sophisticated consumer robots to date due to its emotional responses while Overdrive is a car racing game complete with track.
Apple has acquired four artificial intelligence startups within the past two years, demonstrating its big step into the artificial intelligence sphere. Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, has transformed over the years from being a fairly simple voice assistant to being a fully-fledged digital assistant. The company is rumored to be working on an AI chip, called Apple Neural Engine, to assist in things like voice and facial recognition.
Raising over $100 million last year, Banjo makes use of artificial intelligence to comb through social media and identify real-time events and situations that are important to its partners. The startup was developed after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 as a way for companies to analyze social media to make better decisions, move faster, and change the way they understand and interact with people all over the world.
CloudMinds is developing what it calls cloud intelligence-based systems for robots. CI is different from AI in that it combines machines with humans rather than treating them as separate entities. This allows the robot to be controlled by human beings.
Serving more than 3 billion users around the world, Facebook has made strategic investments in artificial intelligence to operate more efficiently and to make sense of the data being shared on the social media network. To date, Facebook has opened three artificial intelligence labs — its newest lab opened in Paris last year. In addition to their AI labs, Facebook have acquired two AI companies in recent months, Masquerade and Zurich Eye.
Google is also on a massive AI acquisition binge, having acquired 12 AI startups in four years. Google is deeply invested in furthering artificial intelligence capabilities. Their main research focus is on machine learning which helps advance Google’s language, speech translation, visual processing, ranking and prediction capabilities.
IBM has been a leader in the field of artificial intelligence since the 1950s. It has kept busy in the AI space, with 3 recent acquisitions in addition to its AI service, Watson. Watson – one of the highest profile AI projects – is a supercomputer that reveals insights from unstructured big data through machine learning and natural language processing.
iCarbonX is a Chinese biotech startup which 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 health-care data, and will use algorithms to analyze genomic, physiological and behavioral data and provide customized health and medical advice.
Intel has acknowledged the importance of artificial intelligence and their desire to stay ahead of the curve through backing and investing in AI technologies. In addition to numerous acquisitions, Intel has also invested in several AI startups, alone with Microsoft. The company touts its commitment to open source with optimized machine learning frameworks and libraries, as well their acquisition of Nervana systems, enabling them to take advantage of their machine learning experts.
13. Iris AI
Iris AI helps researchers sort through scientific work and research to find the relevant information, and as it is used, it learns how to make better searchers. Since its launch, 120,000 people have tried the service, some becoming regular users. Studies have shown that Iris AI can cut the resources required to do scientific research by between 30% and 50%, with tests showing those using Iris AI far outpaced those using Google Scholar.
14. Next IT
Next IT is one of the original companies that pioneered chatbots and has helped companies such as Alaska Airlines and Amtrak to easily interact with customers to answer and solve their problems. Their artificial intelligence capabilities allow them to help organizations in a variety of industries including healthcare and insurance.
Over the past two years, Salesforce has acquired three AI companies and recently announced Salesforce Einstein, their artificial intelligence service. Their latest initiative, which includes a team of 175 data scientists, uses machine learning to help employees more efficiently perform tasks by simplifying and speeding them up. In addition to Salesforce’s own employees, Einstein will be available for customers who can build their own applications.
SoundHound is known for its music-identification app Hound, but it also has one of the most advanced and accurate platforms for natural language processing for doing all kinds of voice-to-text queries. Among those enterprises who have implemented it are Samsung, Nvidia, Sony’s Xperia, Yelp, and Uber.
Twitter has invested significant funds into artificial intelligence. They have acquired 4 AI companies to date. Their latest acquisition of the AI tech startup, Magic Pony, cost them a cool $150 million. A while back Twitter introduced a so-called algorithmic timeline that ranked tweets based on relevance instead of the usual reverse chronological order. The company has also added AI to recommend certain tweets in users' timelines.
ViSenze’s artificial intelligence technology works by recommending visually similar items to users when shopping online. ViSenze utilizes machine learning and computer vision algorithms, which process and analyze millions of visual content. It uses visual sensing to find a match for an item online, then offers filters for pricing, similarity and availability.
Geared for busy users, x.ai’s intelligence 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.
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 a specialized examination technology. In 2016, the company introduced two new software algorithms to help predict, and even prevent, cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.