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ABB invests in AI startup Vicarious

November 11, 2014

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ABB Technology Ventures, the VC arm of ABB, joins a long list of notables investing in artificial intelligence startup Vicarious Systems that include Peter Thiel, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Vinod Khosla and Ashton Kutcher.

Vicarious, a 2012 AI startup out of Union City, CA has raised $72 million thus far according to Crunchbase.com. The current Series C round, of which ABB was the sole investor, was $12 million (€9.6 million). Zurich-based ABB Technology Ventures said they were strategically investing in Vicarious’ research into vision, language and motor control for robotics to help ABB with machine learning, and human-robot collaboration and communication.

Vicarious is an AI company that uses the computational principles of the brain to build software that can think and learn like a human, and says its algorithms are aimed at achieving “human-level intelligence in vision, language, and motor control.” Vicarious also says that it has been focusing first on visual perception to interpret the contents of photographs and videos. In October, 2013 Vicarious used its vision algorithms to solve login captchas with an accuracy of 90%.

“Using inductive biases drawn from neuroscience, our system requires orders of magnitude less training data than traditional machine learning techniques. Our underlying framework combines advantages of deep architectures and generative probabilistic models.” From the Vicarious website.

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series... read more


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