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Artificial Intelligence Breakthroughs Lead to Unprecedented M&A Growth, Reveals Hampleton Partners’ Report

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Hampleton Partners’ latest analysis of the Artificial Intelligence M&A market reveals that over 150 deals were disclosed in 2018, up from 105 deals in 2017. The first half of 2019 is also showing impressive AI-related M&A momentum, with 65 deals already recorded and a total of near 100 deals forecast for the half-year only. In terms of market value, AI is forecast to grow from $21.46 billion in 2018 to $190 billion by 2025 – in other words, to grow nine-fold over the next seven-year period[1].

Heiko Garrelfs, sector principal, Hampleton Partners, said:
“Q1 2019 has set the pace for the rest of the year, with record-breaking M&A transaction volumes in two of three artificial intelligence sub-sectors. With the growth and competitiveness of many industries now dependent on the development of these AI technologies, strategic investors across all sectors and continents are stepping up their acquisitions and investments.

“Artificial intelligence is one of the fastest-moving sectors, thriving off great momentum and yielding game-changing outcomes.”

Artificial intelligence has moved from the experimental into the developmental phase of the innovation cycle. As the application of AI grows increasingly widespread across almost all verticals, several industries are now dependent on AI advancements to ensure their growth and competitiveness, including autonomous vehicles, IoT, healthtech, e-commerce, insurance and smart cities.

These industries look for artificial intelligence that can propel their next technology push, improve efficiency and productivity, streamline business models, and reduce latency and fragmentation.

Machine data analysis and edge AI
The first quarter of 2019 has proven a record period in M&A transaction volume for the machine data analysis sector with 46 deals.

Machine data analysis has recently shown an inclination towards Edge AI – i.e. running AI algorithms on edge devices such as smartphones or cars, rather than communicating with a central cloud or server – which allows devices to safeguard privacy, avoiding the purported insecurity of cloud-based data systems.

Edge computing also allows devices to process information locally and respond more quickly, which is vital for the development of Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous vehicle technology, where immediate response is a necessity.

Computer vision
Computer vision experienced a stellar half-year in 2H 2018, mainly owing to growth in hot trends such as facial recognition, check-out-free retail or motion analysis, all of which enable the collection of more insights and provide information for future market opportunities.

Facial recognition is fast becoming a dominant form of biometric authentication, with early commercial applications in security, retail, payments and consumer electronics – Apple’s latest smartphone technology for Face ID logins and payments being one of the commercially popular use-cases. Retailers are also adopting the technology to recognise returning customers – a strategy used to offer special discounts as part of loyalty programmes.

Furthermore, as increasingly smart city infrastructure adopts security cameras, video analytics can be widely applied using facial recognition to detect and track offenders or suspects in public spaces.

Language analysis and conversational AI
Global tech companies east and west have focused heavily on Conversational AI. Google’s integration of Duplex – its new AI-driven automated reservation-making system – into the Pixel 3 smartphone, transformed the Google handheld device into an AI powerhouse.

However, Apple’s Siri has lagged far behind Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant in terms of voice recognition ability and development. It was no surprise, therefore, that in February 2019 Apple acquired PullString, a speech recognition software development SaaS which enables businesses to build interrelated applications for IoT devices.

Many companies believe the problem is not the speech recognition technology itself, but the lack of focus and reasoning within these systems. As a result, intent detection – i.e. the ability to determine from context what the user wants – has become the new research focus area for speech recognition start-ups who are willing to challenge the hegemons and fill in the gaps in big tech AI.

Artificial Intelligence

Siri Co-Founder Tom Gruber Joins Sherpa.ai as Strategic Advisor

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Sherpa.ai, one of the leading companies in predictive Digital Assistants and Artificial Intelligence, has announced today that Tom Gruber, co-founder and CTO of Siri, is joining the company as Strategic Advisor. Gruber will work with the Sherpa.ai team as they develop new AI-based features. As part of the agreement, Sherpa.ai is the only Digital Assistant company that he is advising.

Gruber’s incorporation implies a significant milestone for the Basque company, as he is considered to be one of the top experts in Artificial Intelligence and digital assistants, worldwide.

“The arrival of Tom Gruber to our company makes it clear that we are at the global forefront, in terms of Artificial Intelligence and digital assistants,” said Xabi Uribe-Etxebarria, founder and CEO of Sherpa.ai. “Sherpa’s mission is to augment and accelerate human potential through the application of personal AI and Tom’s experience and outlook are perfectly aligned with that mission.”

“I visited the company headquarters in Bilbao and I was impressed with their Artificial Intelligence technology. Among the Digital Assistant companies that I have seen, I am most excited by the Sherpa.ai product and team, that’s why I decided to join them,” added Tom Gruber.

Tom Gruber is a researcher, designer, and entrepreneur, with a focus on technology to augment human intelligence and well being. He was the co-founder and CTO of the team that created Siri, which was acquired by Apple in 2010. At Apple for over 8 years, Tom led the Advanced Development Group that designed and prototyped new capabilities for Siri and related products that bring intelligence to the interface.

Throughout his career, Gruber has applied Artificial Intelligence technology to support individual and collective human knowledge. He founded companies to support human collaboration and knowledge sharing, and his research at Stanford University laid the groundwork for the exchange of semantic information sharing and the Semantic Web.

Gruber will advise Sherpa.ai in the development the next of generation of digital assistant features, such as predictive and proactive personalization.

Sherpa.ai offers a white-label digital assistant, in relationships with major automobile manufacturers and telcos. It recently closed a $15 million round of financing to accelerate its growth.

Recently, Sherpa.ai launched important new products, like the Sherpa.ai Conversational OS platform, which allows the digital assistant technology to be integrated into any device, and the Sherpa.ai Predictive and Recommending Engine,through which companies can equip any product with predictive technology.

Additionally, in April, the company presented Sherpa News, a free news application based on Artificial Intelligence, available for Android and iOS, which completes the catalog of mobile applications, alongside Sherpa Assistant, the digital assistant that has been downloaded millions of times since its launch.

 

SOURCE Sherpa.ai

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Artificial Intelligence

Xpeng G3 achieves highest score among EVs in China’s latest C-NCAP safety test

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The Xpeng G3 2019 version obtained the highest total score of 92.2% among electric vehicles in the latest China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) safety test, according to official results announced on 13 July.

The G3 smart EV SUV achieved a 5-star standard safety rating, and was among the first batch of new energy vehicles received 5-star rating by C-NCAP after it released new rules in line with international standards. C-NCAP released the new version of its regulations in 2018, adding safety evaluation standards for pure electric vehicles, and performance evaluations for active safety functions.

According to the official C-NCAP results, the G3 received 96.50% in passenger safety and 94.09% in active safety, both the highest rankings among electric vehicles in this latest safety evaluation by the Chinese authority.

In C-NCAP’s most stringent 64-kilometer offset collision, the G3 received the highest score of 19.758 among all types of vehicles. In addition, the G3’s active safety system has gone through over 3,000 hours of data acquisition. The road test for its automatic emergency braking function recorded zero malfunctions in every 150,000 km.

“The C-NCAP results are a strong endorsement of Xpeng’s in-house R&D, safety design and quality control capability,” said Xpeng Motors Chairman & CEO He Xiaopeng. “The new C-NCAP regulations are the most stringent yet for EVs, but the G3 has matched or exceeded these standards, rating it the safest electric vehicle in the China market.”

The G3’s comprehensive active and passive safety features are supported by its strong body architecture, with 70% of the vehicle body made of high-strength steel (including 6.7% ultra-high strength steel and 1500MPa 7.5% thermoformed steel), creating a rigid safety cage to withstand collisions from different directions. This architecture can quickly disperse collision forces through various nodes, effectively reducing locally concentrated force to help prevent the vehicle body crumpling in a collision.

During the R&D phase, Xpeng conducted five rounds of safety tests on the G3, including 63 vehicle collisions and 40 sliding tests to cover a full range of collision scenarios. The G3 also went through more than 1,000 structural optimization simulations in the R&D phase, taking more than 30,000 hours. Additionally, the G3 has the following active safety systems:

  • Forward collision warning (FCW)
  • Automatic emergency brake (AEB) with pedestrian protection
  • Lane departure warning (LDW)
  • Intelligent speed limit assist (SLA)
  • Blind spot detection (BSD)
  • Lane change alert (LCA)
  • Rear cross traffic alert (RCTA)
  • MSB electric seatbelt (with collision warning)

 

SOURCE XPENG Motors

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Artificial Intelligence

TVS Motor Singapore to Invest US$7 Million in Scienaptic Systems, an AI Powered Decision Platform

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TVS Motor (Singapore) Pte. Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TVS Motor Company Limited, India, has signed definitive agreements to invest US$7 million in Scienaptic Systems Inc., a Delaware corporation, headquartered in New York City. TVS Motor (Singapore) Pte. Limited led this Series A funding in Scienaptic. The closing of the investment is subject to obtaining appropriate regulatory approvals.

Scienaptic has combined latest big data technologies and proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms on its decision platform, “Ether.” Solutions built on Ether enable enterprises to improve risk and credit assessment, monitor evolving fraud patterns, and improve customer journeys and experience. Scienaptic counts several marquee Fortune 100 enterprises as its clients.

Rajesh Narasimhan, Board Member of TVS Motor Company and CEO of TVS Motor (Singapore), stated that, “We evaluated many companies providing big data analytics and risk management solutions and found Scienaptic’s product offerings and solutions with their ability to help organizations leverage actionable insights through the power of a strong analytics platform to be a clear differentiator and a unique proposition. Scienaptic’s end-to-end data analytics solution, with applicability to customers in various industries, has the potential to generate a new profit stream for our group. We are happy to invest in, and strategically partner with, Scienaptic as they continue to pursue bottom-line impact for Fortune 100 companies, and to leverage Scienaptic for our businesses. Our current investment in Scienaptic is part of the initial set of investments being made in strategically relevant digital startups.”

Pankaj Kulshreshtha, Founder & CEO of Scienaptic added, “We are witnessing the adoption of our AI platform at Fortune 100 companies. With the cutting edge instruments on our platform, companies are able to drive adoption of AI in their processes. The investment by TVS enables us to accelerate our sales and product development. We found a significant match in value systems between the two organizations and believe that our collective strengths will enable Scienaptic to grow exponentially and become a global leader in AI-powered decisioning space.”

 

SOURCE TVS Motor

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