5 Innovative AI Software Companies You Should Know
To help shed light on some real-world applications of machine learning, this article introduces five
With AI often thrown around as a buzzword in business circles, people often forget that machine learning is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. For most companies, building an AI is not your true goal. Instead, AI implementation can provide you with the tools to meet your goals, be it better customer service through an intuitive chatbot or streamlining video production through synthetic voiceovers.
To help shed light on some real-world applications of machine learning, this article introduces five innovative AI software that you should keep on eye on throughout 2020.
Scanta is an AI startup with a very interesting history. The company started off creating augmented reality games and AR software for social media. You can get a glimpse of some of their technology in this episode of Expedition Unknown on the Discovery Channel.
Despite their interesting projects in AR, the company has made a huge pivot into a seemingly untapped sector of the AI industry: advanced security for chatbot virtual assistants. Founded by Chaitanya Hiremath in 2016, the company operates out of San Francisco, with additional offices in India.
Scanta’s Chatbot Security Software: VA Shield
Today, Scanta’s main service is the protection of virtual assistant chatbots against machine learning attacks. Their solution, known as VA Shield, “analyzes requests, responses and conversations to and from the system to provide a new layer of supervision.”
Scanta’s security services differ from the safety provided by conventional IT security teams. Often, teams are either unprepared to deal with machine learning attacks or are unaware that such vulnerabilities exist and therefore aren’t tracking them at all. However, vulnerabilities in chatbots do exist. One famous example is the lawsuit by Delta Airlines in 2019. Delta sued its chatbot developer for a large data breach due to vulnerabilities in their chatbot system which resulted in a leak of confidential user data and credit card information.
As more and more companies begin adopting chatbots as part of their customer service infrastructure, it is possible that these attacks will become more commonplace. Scanta is positioning itself to become an industry leader in Chatbot security services, but also plans to extend its reach to provide security for other machine learning technologies.
Descript is a software company that develops products for content creators. Founded in 2017 by Andrew Mason (co-founder of Groupon), the company operates out of San Francisco.
Descript’s Synthetic Voice AI Software
Descript’s main product is their video and audio editing software made for podcasters and video content creators. However, in 2019 the company acquired Lyrebird, an AI startup from Montreal, Canada. Lyrebird now operates as Descript’s AI research team, which is working on automated speech-to-text and synthetic voice technology.
Synthetic voice technology is a niche sector of the AI industry. However, synthetic voices show a huge potential to improve video game development and film-making. Lyrebird is one of the first companies to dive into synthetic voice development and have thus garnered attention from media outlets such as Wired and Techcrunch.
Replica is an AI startup that also develops synthetic voice technology. Founded in December 2017 by Shreyas Nivas, Riccardo Grinover, and Keni Mardira, the company operates out of Australia and the United States. In a 2019 interview, CEO Shreyas Nivas said that they were building “a marketplace for the world’s voices” where voice actors and regular people could license their voices to be used in video games, commercials, television programs, and any other form of media that requires voiceovers.
Replica Studios Synthetic Voice Software
Replica Studios is an industry-leading platform that allows game developers, video content creators, and the general public to create and train their own synthetic voices.
From video game development to narration of television programs, there are many applications for synthetic voice technology. One of the most interesting and beneficial use cases may be the creation of a synthetic voice for people with health conditions, such as ALS, which cause them to lose the ability to speak. By recording their voice before they lose their speaking ability, we can create a synthetic copy of their voice to be used in speech aid devices.
With huge improvements in the Replica Studio platform and the release of the Replica speech generation API, this is definitely one company to keep your eye on.
One of the most infamous names in the AI industry today, Clearview is a company that provides a reverse face image search solution for law enforcement. Using a state-of-the-art facial recognition algorithm, Clearview scans the face image of a target subject and then scours the internet for all publicly available images that may match the facial features present in the target image. Founded in 2017 by Hoan Ton-That and Richard Schwartz, the company operates out of New York City.
Clearview’s Facial Recognition AI Software
Clearview houses a large facial image database comprised of images that are publicly available on the web through social media, blogs, and other websites. The ultimate goal of Clearview is to provide law enforcement with powerful tools to catch criminals. However, many people have concerns about how the existence of such technology will affect privacy laws. In fact, the New York Times did an exposé about Clearview and claimed that the company might “end privacy as we know it.”
Luckily, laws in the GDPR give individuals control of their own data, allowing users to request their profile from Clearview, should they wish to see it. Hopefully, more countries will follow suit and enact private data laws similar to the GDPR.
Clearview is likely going to be at the forefront of the debate around the ethics of facial recognition for the foreseeable future. Any resulting regulations or lack of regulations against the company will set a precedent for other facial recognition developers and startups in the future.
5. Lionbridge AI
Lionbridge is a global AI training data provider and data collection company. The company leverages over 50 offices worldwide and a community of over 1 million contributors to create training data at scale. Founded in 1996, Lionbridge began as a language services provider and bolstered its expansion into the machine learning industry by acquiring Gengo AI in January of 2019.
Lionbridge AI’s Data Annotation Software
The company recently announced the release of the Lionbridge AI Platform, standalone software for image, video, audio and text annotation. Using the platform, data science teams can upload their data, invite other team members, and annotate their datasets together through a collaborative effort. Teams can also track progress and output from individual contributors.
Hailed by Forbes as one of America’s largest employers, such an influential company expanding its reach in the AI market is something to take note of. If the company’s expansion into the AI industry is able to replicate their success in translation and localization, their data annotation software could help data science teams both large and small get access to high-quality training data.
Above were just five companies creating AI-powered software, as well as tools to help data science teams build better AI. With new AI startups entering the industry every year, there is a multitude of companies using machine learning to create innovative technologies.
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