CrowdAI sells artificial-intelligence-as-a-service

CrowdAI sells artificial-intelligence-as-a-service

Computers aren’t blind, but they can’t see. They can detect objects, but must be trained to understand what those objects are. That takes two things: a ton of example data collected and organized by artificial intelligence, and humans to accurately label and verify that data.

Done right, this process can teach self-driving cars to avoid pedestrians, detect parking lot usage by counting cars in satellite photos, or assess roof damage from drone footage.

This is what CrowdAI does.

Businesses send CrowdAI their autonomous vehicle, satellite, or drone imagery. CrowdAI’s artificial intelligence systems do the grunt work of recognizing objects. And humans confirm everything was properly recognized while looping back to improve the AI. This service lets customers focus on their unique business like building advanced hardware instead of developing AI systems from scratch.

Now the Y Combinator startup has raised $2 million from Susa Ventures, Box Group, SV Angel, Metamorphic, and Yahoo founder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud. That will fuel CrowdAi’s push to create an instant hybrid workforce of humans and computers that satellite and self-driving car companies can rely on to analyze their data.

“The world is moving towards automation, robotics, and on-demand services. The biggest barrier to getting there is creating the bridges that allow computers to interact with the world” says co-founder Nic Borensztein. “There an enormous expansion of the economy that’s going to come next.”

Borensztein previously founded and sold an ad platform called Ember to Adaptive Media.

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