Highlight From Our Artificial Intelligence Conference in Austin

Navidar | December 21, 2017

Navidar recently hosted an event that provided unique insights into Artificial intelligence (AI), highlighting Austin-based companies that are solving real-world problems with AI. The sold-out event featured a keynote presentation by IBM Watson’s Chief Technology Officer as well as two panel discussions and an overview of AI. Participating companies included publicly-traded, venture backed, and bootstrapped companies. Sponsors were Capital Factory, TiE Austin, and Austin Technology Council. In this note, we provide key takeaways for this event.

AI Overview

AI represents a seismic shift in the way humans interact with information, resulting in efficiencies and better decisions—augmented intelligence.

As an umbrella term, AI encompasses multiple technologies that augment human intelligence. These technologies include machine learning (ML), logic & rule based, natural language processing (NLP), chatbots, computer vision, and others (e.g., robotics and self-driving cars).

Affordable cloud services and improving technology are driving accelerated AI innovation.

Cognitive-first development with ML delivers unique results and the process is different than SaaS application development.

Chatbots and messaging platforms represent the next wave of human-technology interaction.

AI innovation is driving M&A by software and Internet titans.

Venture funding for AI was $6.3B in 2017 (through July), nearly double full-year 2016’s $3.7B.

Horizontal/Multi-Vertical AI Panel

Barbary Brunner, CEO, Austin Technology Council – PANEL MODERATOR. ATC has been the unifying voice of technology in Austin and Central Texas since 1992. As the region’s largest tech industry organization, it empowers members with insights, resources, and connections necessary to succeed and thrive. ATC works collaboratively with its partners to foster innovation and growth. www.austintechnologycouncil.org

Stephen Garrison, President, Cycorp. Cycorp is a leading provider of semantic technologies that bring a new level of intelligence and common-sense reasoning to a wide variety of software applications. Cyc software combines a common-sense ontology and knowledgebase with a powerful reasoning engine and natural language interfaces to enable the development of novel knowledge-intensive applications. www.cycorp.com

Nij Chawla, CPO, Cognitive Scale. CognitiveScale builds industry-specific augmented intelligence solutions for financial services, healthcare, and digital commerce markets that emulate and extend human cognitive functions by pairing people and machines. Its solutions help large enterprises drive transformative change by increasing user engagement, improving decision-making, and delivering self-learning and self-assuring business processes. CognitiveScale has deployed augmented intelligence solutions in multiple Global 500 companies, and has formed strategic go-to-market and technology partnerships with IBM, Microsoft, and Deloitte. www.cognitivescale.com

Arun Prakash, VP Ops/CFO, Cerebri AI. Cerebri AI provides AI and machine learning solutions to help enterprises grow top line revenues by giving them a 1:1 relationship with their customers. It does this by processing internal and external customer data, and by determining the dollar value a customer places on the “value” of a vendor, products, assets, etc. Cerebri AI also monetizes a critical variable in any revenue situation, the customer’s ability to pay, so things such as up-selling opportunities can be clearly scoped and delivered. It calls the results Customer Value Indexes (CVIs) for brands, vendors, assets and financing. www.cerebri.com

Nathaniel Gates, CEO, Alegion. Alegion matches manual digital tasks from large companies with a legion of skilled, on-demand workers around the world. It delivers quality and scale to customers. Behind every judgement and every task is a real person using their knowledge, skill, experience to not only complete a task, but also provide context, emotion and humanity that machine intelligence cannot achieve. Alegion serves both the worker and the customer to provide a model for a sustainable distributed labor marketplace. www.alegion.com

Jonathan Mugan, CEO, Deep Grammar. DeepGrammar is an artificial intelligence company focusing on natural language processing. The name comes from its product, a grammar checker that employs both deep learning and deep symbolic processing. www.deepgrammar.com

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