Samsung joins the Artificial Intelligence startup race


Samsung and Wipro Ltd’s venture arms have made strategic investments into an artificial intelligence startup named Vicarious, as established companies seek to add machine-learning technology to their products.

The financings, made in the spring, are both for amounts in the “millions” of dollars, although they were less than US$20 million apiece, Vicarious co-founder Scott Phoenix said in an interview. In November, Swiss robotics giant ABB Ltd. made a strategic investment of less than US$10 million into Vicarious as part of a US$12 million round.

Vicarious was founded in 2010 to develop AI technology designed to give robots and computers some of the intuitive and imaginative capacities of humans. In November 2013, the company disclosed it had developed visual-sensing algorithms that could reliably solve CAPTCHAs, the web-security images used to distinguish people from robots.

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