You’ve probably heard about the latest AI-powered mobile phone called the 20M Series, but did you know there’s a whole industry devoted to it? The companies behind it range from a South Park Commons Fund to Greylock Partners, and they’re all planning to make their mark on the industry.
The Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence (CSRAI) promotes socially responsible AI, ethical AI, and fairness in the technology sector. It seeks proposals for seed funding projects that can generate proof-of-concept studies for their research. They invite short proposals. You can learn more about the program by visiting their website InfoReady.
Seed funding is the first official equity funding stage for a business. The goal of this type of funding is to finance the first stages of development and allow a company to determine its potential target market and final products. Depending on the company, the funding can range from $10,000 to $2 million.
There are different rounds of funding that can take a company from its initial stages to an IPO. While some companies never move beyond seed funding, others go through three or more rounds before achieving their IPO goals.
One of the most compelling uses for AI is in the health space. Its a bit of a mouthful to say, but there are numerous startups that are using the latest and greatest in machine learning to combat disease and increase quality of life. Some of the more notable names include DeepMind and Facebook. A look at the company’s website shows its main office in London, with a number of research and development centers scattered around the globe. This may not sound like a lot, but it’s enough to keep DeepMind’s horde of talented researchers busy.
Using artificial intelligence to augment human capabilities has never been more important. As noted by DeepMind, the company was able to beat a 50-year-old “grand challenge” in biology, thereby solving one of the most complex problems in the field. The company’s latest app, dubbed AlphaFold, is a big step forward in healthcare. Developed in conjunction with MIT and Harvard, the AI is able to perform a multitude of tasks at once, in turn delivering better outcomes for all.
South Park Commons Fund
The South Park Commons Fund is a 40 million dollar seed fund that invests in companies within the community. It is funded by a number of wealthy individuals. Unlike a traditional venture capital firm, the South Park Commons fund does not keep tabs on operations execs at big companies. Instead, it’s focused on talented individuals. Rather than simply acquiring assets, the fund will write checks for $250,000 to $1.5 million, with the rest going to the community. A portion of the fund will go to a trust that will hold money for the community’s operations.
The South Park Commons was founded by Ruchi Sanghvi, who was the first woman to work at Facebook. In an interview with the New York Times, she described the group as the tech world’s answer to Benjamin Franklin’s Junto club.