A.I. Startups: Where are the Opportunities?

Last week, at a sold out Churchill Club event packed with CTOs, VCs and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Sentient’s CTO Nigel Duffy spoke on a panel entitled, “Open Forum: A.I. Startups: Where are the Opportunities?”.

Inspired by the rise of venture capital funding for AI, which more than tripled in 2014 alone, the panel of AI experts explored new applications and potential for the technology. They discussed how AI is being used to solve data-intensive problems, highlighted emerging ‘hot spots’ in AI technology, and covered how product companies should approach implementing AI.

Nigel was joined on stage by other leaders in the field of AI, including: Adam Cheyer, Co-founder & VP Engineering at Viv; Kevin Quennesson, Engineering Manager for Twitter Cortex; Lauri Saft, VP of the Watson Ecosystem at IBM; and Norman Winarsky, Advisor for SRI Ventures. Jack Clark of Bloomberg moderated the panel.

Driven to cover the insights from the panel, a number of influential media were in attendance from publications such as Forbes, IDG News, Reuters, Nikkei and eWeek. They reported on the comments made by Nigel and others with IDG News highlighting the contrasting concerns around the fear of artificial intelligence, with Forbes iterating similar remarks.

On the panel, Nigel discussed how entrepreneurs should first focus on finding problems to address, then figure out how AI can help, rather than the other way around. When it came to discussing the buzz and hype around AI, Nigel explained the most over-hyped technology today is deep learning. The most under-hyped? Evolutionary algorithms.