Xnor.ai, an AI startup based in Seattle, has raised $2.6 million in a seed investment round of venture capital funding to bring artificial intelligence to all sorts of devices.
According to a report, Xnor.ai’s seed round of funding came from Madrona Venture Group and Paul Allen’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2). Xnor.ai developed the technology at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and is now spinning off the company into its own standalone entity.
Xnor.ai developed a way in which deep-learning models can be run directly on devices, including phones and IoT products, without needing a data center or network connectivity. The deep-learning models are run while maintaining privacy and battery-efficient performance, which is different than traditional AI and machine learning, which require a graphics processing unit to perform huge computations.
“There is a big gap between the demands of AI algorithms — in terms of memory, computation, power — and what we can do on devices around us,” explained Cofounder Ali Farhadi in the report. “For example, to tag an image with labels on your phone, you need to send the photo into GPU servers, they will process the image, and get back to you with the tag. Xnor.ai’s technology empowers devices around us with the power of AI and enables running complex AI algorithms right on the device.”
Xnor.ai plans to use the latest round of funding to develop Xnor.ai’s platform and get its technology into drones, cars and smartphones, among other things. “Our goal is to make all devices around us smarter,” Farhadi added in the report. “Anywhere that requires running AI on the edge is where our technology becomes a key player. It enables new AI-powered apps on phones, handheld devices, wearable devices, AR, VR, drones, automotive, etc.”