Andrew Ng, who formerly drove artificial intelligence projects at Chinese firm Baidu Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, has raised $175 million fund and has invested this in artificial intelligence startups. He has started by investing in one of his own that is focused on computers finding defects within products.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Ng raised money from venture capital firms. Firms include New Enterprise Associates, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and SoftBank Group Corp.
Ng mentioned that his goal was to pinpoint new business ideas around artificial intelligence and can deposit cash into them quickly from the so-called Al Fund. The point is so founders of the portfolio companies won’t have to waste time pitching venture capitalists.
Ng wants to use his experience at Baidu, one of China’s largest internet companies, where he managed the artificial intelligence team to create a field of new business lines. Baidu just came out with a voice-based operating system that users can actually communicate and speak with. This is similar to voice assistants like Siri from Apple or Alexa from Amazon. They have also begun working on self-driving automobiles and face recognition technology.
Ng made a statement in saying, “Based on that experience, I have an unusual point of view on the building of AI businesses. I think it’s a more systematic, repeatable process than most people think”.
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Landing.ai, a company founded by Ng, will be the first to receive money from the fund. Landing.ai and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd are working together on using artificial intelligence to make factories more adequate.
In Landing.ai’s system, employees put a circuit board underneath a digital camera attached to a computer. This computer identities any deficiencies. The company claims to beat competitors because the systems can be trained with as little as five images. In most factories, workers just look over the parts on an assembly line for deformities.
Ng claimed that he is also working on new tools to train workers who might loose their jobs due to artificial intelligence. He also mentioned that Landing.ai was not getting rid of visual inspectors.
Ng made a statement by saying, “When you go to Japan, there is such a talent shortage that the debate about AI taking jobs is almost non-existent. The debate is, how can we automate this so we can get all the work done?”