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Evaluating the state of the AI landscape

CB Insights has released a new report titled, The State of Artificial Intelligence. It looks into recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and the AI start-up landscape. 

CB Insights is a venture capitalist database that incorporates every private company financing and angel investment database to provide real-time information on the latest deals. Their latest report explores the latest developments in AI, in particular on recent market developments. In addition, the report details emerging applications and trends that AI tech will effect. According to the report, the tech industry is currently witnessing an AI revolution. One expert described AI as ‘the new electricity.’

Artificial General Intelligence or General AI is the concept of an AI system with human-level intelligence and cognitive abilities that can perform a broad range of tasks and apply that knowledge to solve unfamiliar problems without being trained to do so.

First the report mentions the latest trends in AI and notes the increased interest in private companies. Secondly, the question ‘why now?’ addresses the macro trends currently fuelling this AI boom. Next, discussion is devoted to the current state of AI, including a review of important start-up funding deals and a look into the world of robotics. Then the report explores emerging applications in AI, including gaming, RegTech, and expert automation solutions. Lastly, the report looks into the ‘artificial general intelligence’ debate.

The report offers great detail of the current state of AI. It lists the 100 AI start-ups to keep a close eye on. The AI 100 list is 100 of the most promising private companies applying artificial intelligence algorithms across industries such as healthcare, auto and fintech. Other features of the report include: infographics of recent funding deals for each major sector and a list of the top venture capitalist investors active in the AI sector.

The report emphasises is the importance of understanding AI and machine learning innovations.

Definitions of AI systems and what they are capable of accomplishing have changed almost constantly in recent years. This is due to corresponding changes in technological capabilities. Our ability as consumers to access unfathomable amounts of data and advanced processing capabilities has helped to usher in a new era of AI applications.

Machine learning (ML) is a set of algorithms used to make a system ‘artificially intelligent.’ This enables recognition of patterns in large datasets and application to new data. Machine learning trains computers to understand and analyse human languages. Text and voice ML is referred to as Natural Language Processing or NLP. ML can also identify and analyse images (image processing and computer vision) or even for time series analysis. Deep learning algorithms are a subset of machine learning. They use several layers of neural networks, which are processes that mimic the human brain. Throughout different sectors, leading companies are leveraging machine learning algorithms to improve countless aspects of operations.

Key takeaways

  • Healthcare , Health and wellness is the hottest area of investment in AI, with 270 deals going to the category since 2012.
  • Horizontal applications , Deals to industry agnostic AI applications have been fluctuating over the years, but accounted for the second highest aggregate deals among the AI categories. Deals reached a 5-year-high of 79 in 2016.
  • Fintech & Insurance , AI in fintech and insurance tech is the leading category for deals in 2017 so far, with over 30 deals to the category before the close of Q1 2017.
  • Other , Sales & CRM deals nearly doubled in 2016 from the previous year, and is the third highest category for deals so far in Q1’17. The pace of cybersecurity deals picked up in Q1 2017 after a slowdown in 2016.

To see the complete CB Insights report on The State of Artificial Intelligence, which includes more detailed visual insights, click here

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