The AI and robots scene is buzzing with activity. On the intellectual battlefields around Silicon Valley a war is going on for raw artificial intelligence talent, robot specialties and deep learning knowledge. Headhunters are trying to snipe the best talent. Astronomical pay-packages are offered to lure brains away from the competition.
Acquisitions a go go
More than 40 mayor players in the field of artificial intelligence technologies have been acquired this year alone. Facebook and Samsung over Google, Intel, IBM, Salesforce to Apple, Twitter and GE are spending big chunks out of their impressive war chests to acquire talent and companies.
Salesforce bought Tempo AI last year. This year, it has bought MetaMind and PredictionIO, an open-source machine-learning system. GE closes the year with buying Bit Stew Systems (an interesting mixture of artificial intelligence and IoT) and Wise.io.
Google swiped up a whopping 11 players in AI and robotics over the last years. Its DeepMind (acquired in 2014) beat the heck out of the best Go players on the planet. DeepMind is developing rapidly and set up for autonomous learning. Unsupervised learning, advanced strategic gaming, dream memory augmentation… this artificial brain is gathering steam fast. Google has -with the quasi unlimited funding from Alphabet- some other AI cards up its sleeve. The AI specialists at Google Brain are topnotch, and central in the quiet roll out of AI in the Android Operating System’s speech recognition system, photo search for Google and video recommendations in YouTube.
IBM claims that “Watson is a cognitive technology that can think like a human.” It can understand, learn, reason and interact. Watson helped Da Kid write a hit this year.
Apple and Microsoft
Apple and Microsoft center a lot of their efforts in augmenting their Siri and Cortana digital assistants. Apple bought Turi and Tuplejump, Microsoft bought Genee. Twitter acquired darling Magic Pony.
Facebook and AI
Facebook is still developing FAIR, and positions itself firmly at the very top of the AI charts. Facebook employs more than 70 topnotch AI specialists over four continents. It quietly acquired Wit.ai last year.
The war for AI knowledge is still raging, and it shows no sign of slowing down…