Sentient Technologies, a company seeking to solve the world’s most complex problems through massively scaled artificial intelligence, today announced it has raised $103.5 million in Series C funding that brings the total investment in Sentient to more than $143 million. Access Industries led the round with Tata Communications (Hong Kong) Limited (a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Tata Communications Limited), existing investors Horizons Ventures, and a group of private investors in the fields of finance, consumer, food and beverage, and real estate, all participating. Sentient will use the funds to further expand its distributed artificial intelligence products and services.
As an investor, we share a common vision on the transformative force that massively distributed computing and artificial intelligence can play in helping businesses get insights and solve their most complex big data problems,” said Vinod Kumar, MD and CEO, Tata Communications.We see Sentient at the forefront of these technologies and bringing a disruptive approach to cloud based computing services. Furthermore, the scale of our leading global network infrastructure and data center footprint also complements Sentient’s growth plans and will enable its global deployment.”
BUILDING THE MOST POWERFUL INTELLIGENT SYSTEM IN THE WORLD
Sentient operates distributed artificial intelligence on an unprecedented scale, routinely running multiple distributed AI jobs, on millions of AI processing nodes, producing actionable results validated on large and complex data sets. Utilizing evolutionary computation and deep learning – designed to continuously evolve and improve – Sentient aims to create the world’s most powerful intelligent system. This system enables researchers, innovators and companies to solve mission-critical, high value, problems.
Sentient’s distributed artificial intelligence has unique, patented and powerful capabilities that address the distributed, varied, asynchronous nature of data and its continuous influx and growth in order to understand it and make accurate, actionable decisions.
As a director of my Chairman’s charitable foundation, The Li Ka Shing Foundation, I have been involved with the team at Sentient for several years,” said Frank Sixt, Executive Director and Group Finance Director of Hutchison Whampoa Limited. “I believe their unique resources and approach in focusing AI capabilities to achieve step changes in existing human capabilities in specifically targeted functional domains hold great potential for many businesses, including Hutchison’s own energy, retail, ports and telecommunications verticals.”
The Sentient team has been quietly demonstrating the capabilities of its system through deep research and testing in the fields of financial trading and medical research. These vertical “proving grounds” were chosen due to the high volume of data, wide variety of data types and high complexity of decision-making necessary for valuable and successful results.
Beyond using machine learning and deep learning to identify patterns or make predictions Sentient’s focus is on improved decision making. Sentient’s Distributed AI platform builds on those predictions, continuously improving its decision-making by utilizing evolutionary algorithms at a massive scale.
I believe that Sentient’s unique machine learning approach, deployed at nearly unprecedented scale, will provide solutions to complex, urgent problems in a wide range of fields,” said Adam Cheyer, co-founder & VP of Engineering at Viv Labs and advisor to Sentient. “In artificial intelligence, we are beginning to see that it’s not only about “big data,” but also about “big compute,” which gives the ability to search deeper and at a higher complexity to find the patterns and answers hidden within.”
PARTNERSHIP WITH TATA COMMUNICATIONS
In addition to their investment, Tata Communications will be a preferred provider to Sentient to furnish a suite of enablement services, including data center space, managed hosting and network. Sentient and Tata Communications will also partner to develop additional products and services.
We’re extremely encouraged with the progress that Sentient has made over the past year and we’re excited to have the support and funding of such a strong, global investor base,” said Antoine Blondeau, Chief Executive Officer, Sentient Technologies. “The new investment will allow us to continue to grow our team, further scale our partner infrastructure, and accelerate the commercialization of our distributed artificial intelligence technologies. Further, the expansion of our investor team brings a wealth of experience to our organization as we explore new vertical industries.”
Today, over 24% of the world’s Internet routes travel over Tata Communications’ global network which includes the world’s largest wholly owned sub-sea cable network and a tier 1 IP network that is ranked top five by routes in five continents – providing connectivity to over 240 countries and territories. The company also owns over 1 million square feet of data center and colocation space across 44 global locations.
CURRENT AND POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS
Sentient’s working model brings its distributed artificial intelligence technologies together with partner expertise, datasets and modeling challenges to solve complex, mission critical, high value problems. The company is seeking partners to explore solutions in the fields of healthcare, medical research, fraud detection, public safety, e-commerce, and other areas. Sentient is currently building APIs for faster and more independent partner development.
Making sense of massive amounts of data is critical for consumer-facing digital businesses”, said Jörg Mohaupt from Access Industries. “We are delighted to be investors in Sentient and will apply its technology to our portfolio of e-commerce, media and entertainment businesses so that they can do innovative things and create new products for their customers. We look forward to supporting Sentient in its growth and development.”
WORLD CLASS TEAM OF LEADERS AND ADVISORS
Sentient’s management and advisors include executives with years of experience in a variety of relevant industry sectors from companies such as AiLive, Amazon, Cerberus, Citigroup, Mozilla, NASA Ames, Rackspace, Salesforce.com, SAP, SIRI, SRI International, Sybase, TIBCO and Yahoo!. Sentient team members have decades of combined experience building products and solutions in the artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, finance and security industries and they are bringing that knowledge to bear as they develop Sentient’s products and solutions, bringing value to their business partners.
The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory team worked with Sentient to deploy problems from our ICU blood pressure prediction analytics research”, said Una-May O’Reilly, Principal Research Scientist, MIT CSAIL. “Sentient’s unique evolutionary algorithm, mapped across tens of thousands of nodes, gave us access to a method that scales to vast resources and addresses highly complex problems. Sentient enabled us to solve problems previously thought too formidable to tackle due to scale.”
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