The Race For AI: Google, Twitter, Intel, Apple In A Rush To Grab Artificial Intelligence Startups
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Corporate giants like Google, IBM, Yahoo, Intel, Apple and Salesforce are competing in the race to acquire private AI companies, with Ford, Samsung, GE, and Uber emerging as new entrants. Over 200 private companies using AI algorithms across different verticals have been acquired since 2012, with over 30 acquisitions taking place in Q1’17 alone (as of 3/24/17). This quarter also saw one of the largest M&A deals: Ford’s acquisition of Argo AI for $1B. In 2013, Google picked up deep learning and neural network startup DNNresearch from the computer science department at the University of Toronto. This acquisition reportedly helped Google make major upgrades to its image search feature. In 2014 Google acquired British company DeepMind Technologies for some $600M (Google’s DeepMind program recently beat a human world champion in the board game “Go”). Last year, it acquired visual search startup Moodstock, and bot platform Api.ai. More recently, in Q1’17, Google acquired predictive analytics platform Kaggle.
Intel and Facebook are tied for third place. The former acquired 3 startups in 2016 alone: Itseez , Nervana Systems , and Movidius , while Facebook acquired Belarus-based Masquerade Technologies and Switzerland-based Zurich Eye recently.
Twitter is the next most-active acquirer, with 4 major acquisitions, the most recent being image-processing startup Magic Pony . Twitter is tied with Microsoft, which recently acquired Genee and conversational AI startup Maluuba .
Salesforce, which joined the race in 2015 with the acquisition of Tempo AI , made two major acquisitions last year: Khosla Ventures-backed MetaMind and open-source machine-learning server PredictionIO . GE made 2 acquisitions in November 2016: AI-IoT startup Bit Stew Systems , and CRM-focused Wise.io .
The timeline below […]