Google to Fund AI Startups Through New VC Firm

Artificial intelligence is often dubbed as “The Next Big Thing” (if you don’t count VR/AR). To that end, Google is launching a new venture capital firm called Gradient Ventures.

Gradient Ventures will be offering financial backing and technical mentorship for AI startups. The mentors include futurist Ray Kurzweil, Matias Duarte a design mastermind and the head of X labs Astro Teller.

Founder and Managing Partner of Gradient Ventures, Anna Patterson says,

AI-powered technology holds a lot of promise—from improving patient health to making data centers more efficient. But while we’ve seen some amazing applications of AI so far, we know there are many more out there that haven’t even been imagined yet.

Gradient will also take a minority stake in the startups they fund.

Already Has 4 Companies Under Its Wing

Currently 4 companies are working under Gradient. One of these is Algorithma which is creating a marketplace for AI models and algorithms. Cogniac creates software which will help you build convolutional neural networks. Aurima is also contributing towards AI models in addition to heading an alternative sensing approach.

Cape virtualizes drone hardware which lets you fly your drone remotely. Anna notes that,

Many members of our team are engineers, so we’re familiar with the journey from big idea to product launch. The goal is to help our portfolio companies overcome engineering challenges to create products that will apply artificial intelligence to today’s challenges and those we’ll face in the future.

Early Bird Catches The Worm

As more and more companies join in, the industry would inevitably expand, leading to more solutions emerging for problems that could remain unsolved otherwise. Gradient will also help Google acquire any interesting AI startups with big ideas before anyone else. AI is in its early stages these days and investments made today could bring in truckloads in the future.

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Sub Editor at ProPakistani. Reach him at h...