Some economists are arguing that the machine learning revolution is off to a slow start – but that we’re about to see a major acceleration.
In a recent report, economists from the National Bureau of Economic Research liken artificial intelligence to electricity. They argue that electricity didn’t transform legacy industries until a quarter-century after the core technologies were first developed – and that’s exactly what we should expect for AI.
While artificial intelligence has been in development for years, it seems to be finally making a major impact on legacy industries. We are at an inflection point for machine learning and AI, thanks to decades of incubation and development in the IT sector and an influx of new talent.
The startup world illustrates this point clearly. A new generation of deep tech startups is emerging that demonstrates exactly how far AI has come. These teams are bringing AI into the C-Suite by leveraging “task-specific” machine learning to transform non-software industries, from hospitality to logistics to energy.
Logistics and hospitality are two legacy industries where AI has been slow to change business as usual. However, new AI startups are shaking things up.
The AI startup Exyn is accelerating the evolution of autonomous aerial vehicles for logistics and surveillance. The startup is developing advanced computer vision and onboard processing capabilities for drones that allow aerial vehicles to react to information in real-time.
Exyn’s drones are able to take scheduled inventory in a warehouse without being told to do so. The can find structural construction flaws based on an architectural 3D model, and they can even map out hidden mines that pose risks to humans on the ground.
In the hospitality industry, the Savioke has a Robot call Relay that performs deliveries in hotels, apartments, and large company buildings. Relay uses AI to navigate the halls and elevators of hotels, making deliveries and performing other tasks that are traditionally left to hotel employees. Savioke recently raised a $13M Series B and is actively searching for industry partners.
In popular culture, artificial intelligence often works to destroy humanity – but some AI can help humans preserve and protect life on earth. That’s where CleanRobotics is making its mark.
Contaminated or hopelessly mixed-up recyclables present a major problem for recycling facilities. The CleanRobotics Trashbot™ can sort trash effectively, potentially increasing the volume of recoverable recyclables by a significant factor and reducing the volume of material that must be landfilled.
Artificial intelligence can also help boost energy efficiency, a notoriously difficult problem for building managers. In the built environment, the startup Leanheat works to put “brains” in apartment buildings by integrating AI with central air systems to optimize HVAC energy use. Buildings enhanced with Leanheat sensors and analytics can knock one fifth off their energy bills, according to the company.
Smart stuff everywhere
Machine learning has applications in every industry. If a process hasn’t changed for a few decades, it’s likely you can find a startup trying to jumpstart it with AI.
A few more examples from the seedsprint network:
• Netradyne uses AI to put more eyes on the road: they develop a system that analyzes traffic in real-time for its host vehicle in order to identify unsafe traffic situations and alert the driver.
• Optoss provides a universal platform for active data monitoring, giving alerts about, and even responding to perceived irregularities.
• Gastrograph is developing taste and smell analytics for food product design and marketing.
AI has hit a turning point, and the applications seem limitless. Companies looking to obtain a technological edge should consider partnering with this generation of AI startups.