5 Entrepreneurs Leading the Charge to Embrace AI's Golden Age

Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) have led to the development of deep learning and progress in big data processing. In turn, these efforts have introduced changes in many industries from space to consumer technology.

Behind the intuitive algorithms and innovative technologies are some brilliant minds.

Get to know five of them, all entrepreneurs in their own right, and check out their respective contributions in these exciting times.

Jeff Bezos - Amazon

Here is the man who said we’re living in the golden age of AI. But first, what has Amazon been up to in connection with AI and machine learning? Alexa has been providing value to customers through improved product recommendations and merchants through improved forecasting for inventory management. 

For CEO Jeff Bezos, machine learning can improve any institution in the world. It is already solving problems that belonged previously in the realm of science fiction. Today, the near-human or better-than-human abilities of AI can be applied in self-driving cars, competitive games such as Go, and artistic pursuits such as painting and musical composition.

Mark Johnson & Steven Brumby - Descartes Labs

Los Alamos, New Mexico-based Descartes Labs focuses on deep learning and big data, which is nothing new commercial-wise. But as far as using image-recognition technology to understand agricultural and environmental trends goes, the startup is pursuing goals with long-term implications.

The underlying technology spun off from a government lab's AI research. With $15 million in funding, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) developed it for more than seven years. These cofounders, Mark Johnson and Steven Brumby are CEO and Chief Science Advisor, respectively. They are aiming at bringing their science to the market. 

They are figuring out how to turn science into a product that will solve mbut not limited to problems of wider scales, including forecasting and agriculture.

Coming from consumer technology companies, such as Kosmix (acquired by Walmart) and Zite (acquired by CNN in 2011) and Flipboard in 2014), Johnson has been involved in machine learning and has had success in translating complex technologies into viable products.

Meanwhile, Brumby’s work in high-end image recognition at LANL has been the foundation of Descartes Labs. With the startup’s scientific expertise, it won’t be surprising to hear they have found a place supporting companies that need machine vision applications. They expect to reach social media, consumer gadgets, or even robots one day.

Gurbaksh Chahal - Gravity 4

With headquarters in Florida and offices worldwide, Gravity4 offers an all-in-one suite solution for marketers. But it doesn’t end there. The firm wants you to hyper-personalize marketing, so you are not serving the same ad to millions of consumers across multiple devices.

There is no need to waste budget and effort to parse and analyze the data gathered from your audience. The G4 promise is all possible through the AI assistant called Mona Lisa.

The founder and CEO Gurbaksh Chahal was quick to adopt the changes brought about by AI breakthroughs in the recent decade. His current company reflects his passion for deep learning through testing and refining the predictability of a customer’s potential purchase.

With the simplicity of analyzing a data set using the linear model notwithstanding, Chahal bets on how machine learning algorithms can provide depth of perception in analyzing variable relationships.

He sees the future in social, image, and natural language processing, and has the sense of urgency to educate the next generation about it.

Marian Bartlett - Emotient

The San Diego, California-based company Emotient uses AI to read human emotions. Facial expression analysis is a hot topic in Silicon Valley. Advertisers, doctors, and retailers have started leveraging the technology in their respective fields.

For instance, Honda Motor and Procter & Gamble have already tried Emotient to track people’s reactions to their products. With Apple’s acquisition of the startup, rumors are pointing to a facial recognition feature coming to iPhone 8.

Marian Bartlett, cofounder and lead scientist at Emotient, spearheaded the Computational Face Group of the Machine Perception Laboratory at the University of California San Diego.

Alongside cofounders Josh Susskind, Javier R. Movellan, and Ian R. Fasel, Bartlett then created a methodology that set the industry standard for accuracy and real-time delivery of facial expression data and analysis.

Do you agree?

Each of the entrepreneurs on the list has tested the waters and achieved some result. Having looked at their individual profiles, do you agree with Bezos that it is, indeed, the golden age of AI?

Read more about how AI is transforming business areas such as marketing on StartupGrind.