Five AI Research Organizations to Watch

During our Week 5 presentations, we learned about the current state of AI and Haystack TV, Lark and Pinterest’s use of the technology. During the past few years, innovation in the field has accelerated rapidly, enabling a host of new solutions that weren’t possible in the not-too-distant past. As Daniel stated in class, due to the availability of new technologies like AI, it has never been easier to start a tech company. Here are a few organizations doing breakthrough research in AI that might be leveraged to create disruptive startups or to enhance your company’s current offerings. Several of these organizations also provide code libraries and other tools that can be used to develop new AI applications.



Deepmind’s mission is to “Solve Intelligence. Use it to make the world a better place.”[1] Acquired by Google in 2014 (now a separate Alphabet company), Deepmind is known for AlphaGo, leveraging AI to significantly reduce Google’s data center operating costs and goofy videos of AI learning to walk. Deepmind is focused on solving big problems with leading-edge AI. Deepmind’s publications on AI can be found here: Deepmind provides environments, data sets and code libraries to assist with AI, which can be downloaded here:



Google considers itself an ‘AI First’ company. It is incorporating AI throughout its products and sharing its developments with the public. Google’s AI research division, Google Brain, has a mission to “Make machines intelligent. Improve people’s lives.”[2] Founded as a Google X project in 2011 by Jeff Dean, Greg Corrado and Andrew Ng, Google Brain has produced ground-breaking deep learning work in machine translation, image enhancement and cryptography. Their technology is used in the Android operating system, Google+ and YouTube[3]. Google Brain’s publications can be found here: Google provides AI cloud services and development tools for AI, which can be accessed here:



Facebook has teams researching a broad set of technologies relating to AI, including Applied Machine Learning, Data Science, Natural Language Processing & Speech, Computer Vision and general AI[4]. FAIR, Facebook’s AI research team is led by Yann LeCun, a leading name in the field. Facebook’s research publications can be found here: Facebook also provides leading tools for Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. Their tools can be downloaded here:



OpenAI is a non-profit AI research company, discovering and enacting the path to safe artificial general intelligence[5]. Backed by some of the biggest names in technology, OpenAI publishes research on a variety of AI topics ( and also provides tools and frameworks for AI development (

Andrew Ng, who co-founded Google Brain and later led AI research at Baidu, is starting a new company called[6]. Specifics about the company haven’t been released yet, but based on his previous success, there is already a lot of hype about the company and what it might do.



I am currently leading efforts to add Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to Recondo’s existing technology stack to unlock more of the value contained in our assets. Sources such as these have been invaluable for injecting knowledge about AI-related technologies into the company. While these resources won’t guarantee success for your startup or for adopting AI in an existing company, they can accelerate your progress and increase your chances. Good luck!











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2 comments on “Five AI Research Organizations to Watch”

  1. Thank you Eldon for your overview of AI research organizations to watch! I wonder what you think of Amazon and its progress in artificial intelligence. According to this article Amazon currently spends the most (i.e. more than Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple) to attract new employees with artificial intelligence backgrounds. In his latest shareholder letter Jeff Bezos also expressed the company’s increased focus on artificial intelligence and especially machine learning While the company has several successful products that rely machine learning (e.g. Alexa), they do not have any significant publications in artificial intelligence journals. Amazon seems to be more application oriented than research oriented. This strategy is quite different from Google’s strategy and especially the strategy of Google’s research focused Deepmind division. Do you think Google’s research oriented approach is the best one, and do you see any advantages of Amazon’s more application based strategy? Also, what do you think about Apple, which is missing from the list and generally seems to be behind in artificial intelligence? Do you think Apple will be able to catch up or is Apple’s leadership so out of touch with recent technological developments and especially AI that they will not play an important role in the future of artificial intelligence?


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    1. Hi Teun – Thanks for your thoughtful and informed reply. I do think that other companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and IBM have a lot of important AI projects and technology to offer. Amazon supports AI on AWS ( and has a few webinars to help people get started. I think all of the aforementioned companies provide libraries, frameworks and platforms for AI. That said, it appears that these companies are currently behind the curve and playing catchup. Amazon’s spending on AI talent and some of Microsoft’s recently announced partnerships and investments seem to indicate that they are paying more to make up for being behind, like Ford appears to have done with its acquisition of Argo AI to catch up on autonomous vehicle technology.

      I think that these other organizations are worth watching too, especially for companies that already are using those companies’ products and platforms.

      In response to your questions about Google’s approach vs. Amazon and Apple: Google seems to have a great head start with recent breakthrough technologies and research in deep learning. They are able to compete based on their technological superiority. Amazon was an early mover with Alexa and captured a lot of market share and partnerships, but their AI seems to be weaker than Google. I think that the battle between Alexa and Google Home is wide open (I happen to have 3 Google Homes at my house, and LOVE them!). Assuming that Google continues to quickly form those partnerships, I think they will take away Amazon’s edge. Apple, on the other hand, has done an incredible job at design and has a loyal following for their products. It seems that they don’t have to be the leader in home assistants, as long as they don’t fall too far behind. People will buy HomePods due to the strength of their brand and to remain in their ecosystem. I’m not sure that Apple will lead out with AI as much as they will make it easier to use for their customers.


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