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IT giants buy up AI startups

The world's largest IT companies are investing in innovative startups to extend their own artificial intelligence skills. The focus is on analyzing industrial machine data.

25 Jun. 2018
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IT giants buy up AI startups (Photo: Hampleton)

The Artificial Intelligence Report by international corporate sales consultancy Hampleton Partners points out that major IT corporations such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Twitter and Salesforce are increasingly investing in innovative startups, or simply buying them up to expand their own offering in the field of AI applications: the transaction volume for venture capital investments accordingly amounted to about 1.9 billion US dollars in the first quarter of 2018 alone. Major corporations are focusing primarily on deployment scenarios such as robotic automation, autonomous driving and predictive analytics.

The study also highlights Europe's high level of AI competitiveness. The positive outlook is attributed, among other things, to the promotion of concrete projects by national governments. Machine data analysis transactions account for the largest share of investments (49%) over the past 24 months. They include business and data analysis, predictive models, big data based machine learning, statistics recognition, and forecasting. This is followed by industrial image processing (31%), which is particularly relevant in industrial robotics, but also sectors such as advertising, security and health analysis.

While the battle for the leading AI platform is long since underway, user companies are still lagging behind when it comes to adopting such technologies: according to a Venturebeat guest post by Jim Hare , Head of Research at the market research firm Gartner, at the end of 2017 just over 10% of respondents claimed they were already using AI technology.