Sunlight’s AI Hypervisor gains Nvidia GPU support to boost Edge deployments

Edge Computing

Sunlight, the U.K.-based specialist in virtualizing data-intensive applications, announced Nvidia GPU support for its “lightweight” hypervisor designed to boost the performance of edge AI deployments. GPU support for its NexVisor platform would…

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Peak.AI raises $21 million to drive enterprise AI adoption

Peak AI

Peak.AI, a startup developing AI solutions for enterprise customers, today announced that it closed a $21 million series B round. The funds, which bring Peak’s total raised to date to $43 million, will drive the company’s R&D and commercial expansion in the U.S. and India, according to CEO Richard Potter. The global enterprise AI market size was valued at $4.68 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $53.06 billion by 2026, according to Allied Market Research.

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Lusha raises $40 million to surface sales lead contact info in your browser

Lusha platform

Lusha, a Tel Aviv-based startup developing a crowdsourced data community for business-to-business salespeople, today announced it has raised $40 million. The company plans to use the funds to further grow its sales platform as it looks to invest in R&D.

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Microsoft launches Viva, an AI-powered information hub for enterprises

Microsoft Viva

Microsoft today unveiled Microsoft Viva, an employee experience platform that aims to deliver first- and third-party products across learning, wellness, insights, knowledge, and engagement. . A Forrester survey found that between 60% and 73% of all data within corporations is never analyzed for insights or larger trends. The opportunity cost of this unused data is substantial, with a Veritas report pegging it at $3.3 trillion by 2020 if the current trend holds. That’s perhaps why the corporate sector has taken an interest in cognitive search and robotic process automation products that ingest, understand, organize, and act on digital content from multiple digital sources.

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Microsoft launches Custom Neural Voice in limited access

Microsoft today announced the general availability of Custom Neural Voice, an Azure Cognitive Services product that lets developers create synthetic voices with neural text-to-speech technology. It’s in limited access, meaning customers must apply and be approved by Microsoft, but it’s ready for production and available in most Azure cloud regions.

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Tealium raises $96 million to automate customer tracking on the web

Customer data orchestration startup Tealium today announced it has raised $96 million at a post-money valuation of $1.2 billion. The company says it plans to use the funds to bolster adoption of its products as it doubles down on customer success initiatives and expands its global footprint. This year, Tealium plans to increase its headcount, which stands at around 500 employees, by 50% across its customer-facing, ecosystem, and product development teams.

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Experimental AI framework Vx2Text generates video captions using inferences from audio and text

Binary code

A grand challenge in AI is developing a conversational system that can reliably understand the world and respond using natural language. Ultimately, solving it will require a model capable of extracting salient information from images, text, audio, and video and answering questions in a way that humans can understand. In a step toward this, researchers at Facebook, Columbia University, Georgia Tech, and Dartmouth developed Vx2Text, a framework for generating text from videos, speech, or audio. They claim that Vx2Text can create captions and answer questions better than previous state-of-the-art approaches.

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RPA startup UiPath raises $750 million

UiPath $750m raise

Robotic process automation (RPA) startup UiPath today announced that it raised $750 million in series F funding, bringing its total raised to nearly $2 billion. It brings the New York-based company’s post-money valuation to $35 billion, up from $3 billion in 2018, and will likely lay the groundwork for strategic acquisitions following UiPath’s purchase of startups StepShot and ProcessGold.

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How enterprise AI use will grow in 2021: Predictions from our AI experts

Woman in collage

Among IT executives, leaders, experts and supporters in the field of AI, the opinions and insights vary widely. In this AI 2021 predictions roundup for EnterpriseAI readers, we have gathered the thoughts and comments from a sampling of our experts who shared their thoughts with us on the AI marketplace and coming innovations over the next year. Their conversations are intriguing.

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AI Virtualization and Orchestration Startup Run: AI Captures $30M in Series B Funding

AI Stack of the Future

Upstart AI vendor Run:AI dove into AI by creating Kubernetes-based software to help customers get more production out of their existing AI infrastructure investments. Run:AI’s software is an orchestration and virtualization layer that pools together compute resources so they can be instantly allocated on demand as needed.

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U.S. leads world in AI, but here comes China

USA China Race

The United States is maintaining its early lead over China and the European Union in development and application of artificial intelligence technology, according to a new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). But while the Americans’ lead is still substantial today, China is poised to close the gap, while the EU is largely failing to keep up, the report found.

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Nvidia unveils Certified Server Program offering Pre-Built Servers for AI applications

Nvidia Certified Support

Nvidia today launched a certified systems program in which participating vendors can offer Nvidia-certified servers with up to eight A100 GPUs. Separate support contracts directly from Nvidia for the certified systems are also available. Besides the obvious marketing motives, Nvidia says the pre-tested systems and contract support should boost confidence and ease deployment for those taking the AI plunge. Nvidia-certified systems would be able to run Nvidia’s NGC catalog of AI workflows and tools.

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Allen Institute launches GENIE, a leaderboard for human-in-the-loop language model benchmarking

There’s been an explosion in recent years of natural language processing (NLP) datasets aimed at testing various AI capabilities. Many of these datasets have accompanying leaderboards, which provide a means of ranking and comparing models. But the adoption of leaderboards has thus far been limited to setups with automatic evaluation, like classification and knowledge retrieval. Open-ended tasks requiring natural language generation such as language translation, where there are often many correct solutions, lack techniques that can reliably automatically evaluate a model’s quality.

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Google launches suite of AI-powered solutions for retailers

Fashion and AI

Google today announced the launch of Product Discovery Solutions for Retail, a suite of services deigned to enhance retailers’ ecommerce capabilities and help them deliver personalized customer experiences. Product Discovery Solutions for Retail brings together AI algorithms and a search service, Cloud Search for Retail, that leverages Google Search technology to power retailers’ product-finding tools.

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Cure.fit acquires AI body tracker Onyx to enable two-way workout videos

Cure.fit’s acquisition of Onyx is significant for technical decision makers because it demonstrates how applied computer vision AI technologies will upend or dramatically improve well-established businesses. As impressively produced as Cure.fit’s workout videos may be, their limited interactivity is a disadvantage compared to new competitors such as Apple’s new Fitness+ app, which can use wearables to track biometric information.

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OpenAI’s text-to-image engine, DALL-E, is a powerful visual idea generator

Once upon a time in Silicon Valley, engineers at the various electronics firms would tinker at their benches and create new inventions. This tinkering was done, at least in part, to show to the engineer at the next bench so they could both appreciate the ingenuity and inspire others. Some of this work eventually made it into products — but much of it did not. This inefficiency that existed until the late 1980s was largely supplanted (by the bean counters first, and then marketing staffs), and product development shifted to focus instead on perceived customer desires.

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Honing In on AI, U.S. Launches National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office

To drive American leadership in the field of AI into the future, the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office has been launched by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The new agency was established under the American Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020, which was enacted and codified into law to expand many existing AI policies and initiatives throughout the federal government.

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Glia raises $78 million to digitize customer service interactions

Customer service startup Glia today announced it raised $78 million. The funds will be used to expand departments across its organization, the company says, with a focus on product development and strategic acquisitions. Multimodality is fast becoming the norm in the $350 billion customer service industry.

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AI to transform Healthcare of the future in the shadow of COVID-19

AI technologies are already in place in many retail stores and other industries, but a July 2020 study by chipmaker Intel Corp. found that 84% of the respondents — made up of 234 senior decision-makers inside U.S. healthcare organizations — have already deployed or expect to deploy AI within their healthcare operations. That’s up from a previous Intel study in 2018, when a little more than one-third of the respondents said they were using or planning to implement AI.

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Hootsuite acquires Sparkcentral to unify and automate social customer service

Social media management stalwart Hootsuite has acquired Sparkcentral, a messaging app-focused customer engagement platform that offers virtual agents and automated message distribution. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition comes as more companies seek tools that will help them support customers online while working collaboratively with team members based in any number of locations.

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