Artificial intelligence: An Investor’s Overview

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On October 18, 2017 at 5:30pm, the MIT Enterprise Forum of DC and Baltimore, Arlington Economic Development, Startups-Ignite, Stanford Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC and IEEE Society Washington Section will present Artificial Intelligence: Getting Down to the Binary. This event will be hosted at 1776, 2231 Crystal Dr. #1000, 10th Floor, Arlington, VA 22202.

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We recently had a chance to sit down with our friend Dipto Chakravarty to get his perspective on investment trends in artificial intelligence and the vertical markets that are attracting funding. His thoughts are below:

“A specific investment trend for Artificial intelligence in the investment market through my lens is twofold.

1. Venture Capitalists are going after Artificial Intelligence applications in vertical markets
2. Private Equity Firms are pivoting their portfolio companies to Artificial Intelligence as an extender.

Generally, Venture Capitalists’ favorite vertical markets for Artificial Intelligence consists of healthcare, cybersecurity and finance. This investment appetite resulted in over 200 startups using Artificial Intelligence as the backbone of their product or service, and they raised $1.5B in funding last year.

The Year-over-year trend has followed the unreal hockey stick spike growing from $3 billion in 2015 to $5 billion in 2016 to almost $10 billion before ending this year.

The Artificial Intelligence sub-segments include two categories:

1. pure-play platforms – machine learning, deep learning, virtual assistants, and recommendation engines.
2. applications – gesture control, computer vision, smart robots, content recognition and natural language processing.

The most popular buzzwords every startup touts, and every investor listens to, are Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Both parties use them interchangeably.

Simply stated, Artificial Intelligence is the science of machine carrying out tasks as prosthesis of the human brain. Machine Learning is an application of Artificial Intelligence giving machines access to data, training machines on models and letting them learn for themselves.

The second most popular buzzword startups and investors both tout are Deep Learning and Machine Learning. Just as Machine Learning takes the core ideas of broader Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning takes the broader ideas of Machine Learning and applies it to solve any problem that requires “thought” – artificial or human.

As of 2017, Deep Learning is eating machine learning. Deep Learning may look fuzzy today, but it will be taught like chemistry tomorrow.”

About Dipto Chakravarty

Dipto Chakravarty is the author of three best-selling books on computer architecture and cybersecurity from McGraw-Hill and Wiley that have been translated in five languages. He has 11 patents to his credit in Artificial Intelligence, security and cloud, holds a B.S and M.S in Computer Science and Elec Engineering from U. of Maryland, GMP from Harvard Business School and EMBA from Wharton School, U. Penn.

Currently, he is the CTO at Exostar. In this role, Dipto leads the R&D and product development while focusing on building a differentiated technology portfolio to help customers solve their most difficult problems around secure collaboration in their hybrid IT infrastructure with mobility and IoT.

He previously served at the SVP/GM at CA Technologies, and EVP of Products at ThreatTrack, and earlier as the general manager for SaaS Cloud Security at Novell. Dipto has been an executive at four public companies (CA, IBM, NOVL, TRI) and four entrepreneurial startups to date with successful exits.