Artificial Intelligence helps create startups to solve different problems
Last week, I enjoyed hearing about how Machine Learning helped Pinterest start up and scale to support the needs for millions of users, by Jure Leskovec who is the Chief Scientist at Pinterest and an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His talk inspired me to look at the current landscape of artificial intelligence and how it enables startups to grow.
Now, a variety of artificial intelligence services are available for use to public by corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, and others. Let’s see how new startups are utilizing cognitive services by examining examples from Microsoft Cognitive Services webpage here—which includes a suite of services for Vision, Speech, Language, Knowledge and Search.
GrayMeta, a startup that helps companies analyze their data, built a product which analyzes customer’s file system and gets searchable metadata from all files. GrayMeta’s founder interacted with and noticed many people who were having difficulty in finding the data which they knew they had. Since their main customers major picture studios and broadcasters, they had a huge amount of media content, which was difficult to analyze based on available open source technologies. These open source technologies required a lot of training and often gave incorrect results. After learning about Microsoft’s Cognitive Services, the company decided to implement the Emotion, Face and Computer Vision APIs within their system. Since the tool is pre-trained, continually improving and well maintained, the service worked very well for GrayMeta’s product and they were able to serve their customers with a better quality service.
Pivothead is a startup that used existing products and made them innovative for users without significantly changing how the product was being used. They are helping people without eyesight to understand their surroundings better, by using smart eye glasses, sound and artificial intelligence algorithms. They are using sensor data from the smart glasses to gather data and processing it using Microsoft Cognitive Services to deliver insights to the user.
“While wearing the glasses, a person who is visually impaired only has to slide her finger along the earpiece to capture an image of whatever is in front of her. If she takes a photo of a person, for example, the device will translate the image to speech and describe what the person is doing, whether they are male or female, what they look like, their approximate age, and what emotion they appear to be expressing at that moment. If the woman takes a photo of text—anything from a restaurant menu to a prescription drug label—the device will read it back in one of several languages, such as English, German, or French.” [According to Pivothead, Microsoft Cognitive Services website].
This is a great concept by Pivothead and an amazing model for startups because now they have access to powerful pre-trained artificial intelligence algorithms and can focus on solving problems for customers rather than worrying about building these services from ground up.