AI World 2017: A Cross-Section of AI Marketplace – Part I


by John Desmond, Editor, AI Trends

The 85+ sponsors and exhibitors at AI World Conference & Expo happening Dec. 11-13 in Boston represent a cross-section of the emerging AI marketplace, including companies seeking growth and development by riding atop the AI wave. Here is an account of a selection of a few of the AI World exhibitors.

IBM Watson is the AI Platform for Business

In 2016, IBM invested more than $5 billion in research and development and received a record 8,088 patents. Nearly 2,700 of these patents are AI related.

IBM positions Watson as the AI Platform for Business, complementary to the roles humans play.

IBM seeks to integrate Watson services into a customer company’s digital applications, products and operations, offering data-driven insights to improve business outcomes and produce real value. IBM provides a range of industry offerings via Watson, including healthcare, finance, transportation and energy.

IBM emphasizes Watson services in the IBM cloud and its strengths in data privacy and domain expertise.

Watson launched in 2011 and trained on healthcare. IBM continues to sign up partners, including MAP Health Management, to bring their machine learning capabilities to substance abuse disorder treatment, as reported in mobihealthnews. IBM is also working with Sutter Health to develop methods to predict heart failure based on electronic health record (EHR) data.

Learn more at IBM Watson.

Kogentix: Practical AI Fueled by Big Data

The Kogentix Automated Machine Learning Platform (AMP) makes it possible to deliver sophisticated AI applications. AMP functions cover data ingestion, discovery and wrangling, to model development, training, and validation, to deployment and monitoring. AMP aims to provide a unified and iterative approach to AI application development without complex coding requirements.

Kogentix offers prebuilt solutions such as predictive machine failure and consumer insights, and a services capability to support customer success, Kogentix enables organizations to build an AI competency while creating business impact.

Kogentix aims to tap the open source community to deliver positive project end results. The company offers the interdisciplinary skills needed to work with big data, with expertise in new languages including Java and Scala, knowledge of data science, statistics and data architecture.

Kogentix is able to integrate big data solutions well with existing company data infrastructure and business processes.

Founded in early 2015, Kogentix currently has about 160 employees based in the US and India. Boyd Davis is CEO and Krishna Nimmagadda is co-founder. The company executives share a background from Intel and Hadoop-based products and services, working with Cloudera, Spark, and Cask, where Boyd had been COO.

Learn more at Kogentix.

SEL (Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.): AI chips to lower power consumption

Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd. (SEL) of Kanagawa, Japan, is researching applications of cutting-edge oxide-semiconductor chip technology to artificial intelligence, concentrating on efficient power consumption.

SEL’s oxide semiconductor technology aims to significantly reduce power consumption and increase the efficiency of arithmetic operations. AI prevalently utilizes an artificial neural network, which is modeled after the human brain. Utilizing its own OSFET® (oxide semiconductor field effect transistor) , the hardware-implemented artificial neural network makes analog arithmetic possible. This allows SEL to create AI chips that consume drastically less power than conventional chips for use in edge devices, such as in the Internet of Things (IoT).

SEL is also developing anomaly detection with AI for lithium-ion batteries. This can be used to create a safe control system for lithium-ion secondary batteries. The AI learns charging characteristics, makes predictions, then compares prediction data to measurement data. The AI detects anomalies to control the operation, thus aiming to prevent battery problems.

Learn more about SEL.

Veritone Platform Unlocks Cognitive Computing

Veritone has developed the Veritone Platform, which is said to unlock the power of AI-based cognitive computing to process, transform and analyze unstructured public and private audio and video data. The Veritone Platform does this for clients in the media, politics, legal and law enforcement industries. The open platform integrates best-of-breed cognitive engines and focused applications, which are orchestrated together to reveal valuable insights.

In a recent contract win, Veritone signed an expanded, two-year agreement with iHeartMedia, the leading audio company with the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. The agreement gives iHeartMedia a license to Veritone aiWARE™ platform for more than 200 of its radio stations in the top 50 markets. This expanded relationship will enable iHeartMedia to process, transform, and review audio data in near-real time, with enhanced ad and content tracking, comprehensive analytics, faster content extension, and smarter media management.

“Incorporating Veritone’s artificial intelligence capabilities into the robust and data-focused iHeartMedia media ecosystem is another important step toward a smarter future in audio,” said Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships at iHeartMedia, in a press release. “We are the leaders in audio content and data and Veritone will dramatically assist in our current content monitoring and extension workflow, providing us with even more opportunities to enhance our advertising and content initiatives.”

Elsewhere, Veritone recently announced that it has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Machine Learning (ML) Competency status. This designation recognizes Veritone for offering solutions that enable prescriptive and predictive capabilities within customer workflows and applications.

AWS ML Competency status designates Veritone as an AWS Partner Network (APN) member that has built solutions that help organizations solve their data challenges. It also designates that Veritone has enabled machine learning and data science workflows or offer SaaS/API-based capabilities that enhance end applications with machine intelligence.

“Achieving AWS ML Competency status recognizes Veritone’s proven track record of making AI accessible and actionable to institutions and organizations by combining the most advanced processing engines across major cognitive functions with a suite of powerful applications and a proprietary orchestration layer informed by machine learning,” said Chad Steelberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Veritone. “Our team is dedicated to helping customers achieve their business goals by uncovering previously-unavailable intelligence and by leveraging the agility of AWS.”

Learn more at Veritone.

CognitiveScale Adds USAA as Customer, Investor

CognitiveScale builds industry-specific augmented intelligence solutions for financial services, healthcare, and digital commerce markets that emulate and extend human cognitive functions by pairing people and machines. Built on its CORTEX augmented intelligence platform, the company’s industry-specific solutions help large enterprises drive transformative change by increasing user engagement, improving decision-making, and delivering self-learning and self-assuring business processes.

In a recent blog post, Akshay Sabhikhi, CEO of CognitiveScale, noted that the company had crossed $50 million in investment funding, “reflecting market confidence in our vision to deliver better business outcomes and customer engagement through augmented intelligence products.”

CognitiveScale also announced that USAA would become a customer as well as an investor.

“Working with USAA is a tremendous opportunity for us,” Sabhikhi stated. “They are well known for their legendary commitment to members, and CognitiveScale providing the augmented intelligence solution that will help further enable that commitment strongly supports our own desire to use AI to help businesses augment and extend human creativity and capabilities.”

CognitiveScale announced in the fall of 2016 a $25 million investment from Microsoft Ventures, to support the development of new AI-powered product experiences on Microsoft HoloLens and Microsoft Azure for consumers and businesses.

“We are entering a new era of immersive computing in which the world is our browser and we are the cursor,” said CEO Sabhikhi at the time of the investment. “Our goal is to embed cognitive systems of intelligence into a whole range of new personal computing applications and business processes, from customer engagement, to procurement and regulatory compliance, using hyper-personalized holographic projections and mixed reality (MR).”

Also last fall, CognitiveScale announced that it is integrating blockchain technology into its customer engagement and process intelligence products. The aim is to deliver AI applications with enhanced trust, relevance, and assurance.

“As digitization and machine intelligence continues to proliferate and get pervasive, the need for customer intimacy, transparency, and security of data are becoming essential to next generation business networks,” said Nij Chawla, Chief Product Officer of CognitiveScale. “CognitiveScale is one of the first companies to combine blockchain, big data, and machine learning for industry-specific outcomes that power the next-generation Internet of Trust.”


Deloitte is one of the world’s largest consulting firms and is representative of the move by other global consulting players who are making significant investments in helping clients move to cognitive computing.  In Deloitte’s case, their clients include 70% of the Fortune 500 as well as emerging growth companies on their way to becoming the next generation of market leaders.

Deloitte has recently published a global usage study that reports on the progress that the most aggressive adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies have achieved to date? The report covers everything from the impact on jobs to their specific goals and exactly which technologies they’re using, and is based on a survey of 250 business leaders.

Learn more about the report and Deloitte.

Interactions Provides Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs)

Interactions provides Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) that combine AI and human understanding to enable businesses and consumers to engage in productive conversations. With flexible products and solutions designed to meet the growing demand for unified, multichannel customer care, Interactions aims to deliver significant cost savings and unprecedented customer experiences for large brands.

In a recent contract win, Interactions announced that, the online flight search engine, will deploy the company’s IVA s to help travelers manage airline bookings. This gives Interactions a footprint in Europe. allows travelers to combine flights from non-cooperating airlines into a single itinerary. currently experiences more than 50 million daily search queries, two million bookings per year, and 225,000 price updates per minute, and the company is growing.

“Interactions is uniquely equipped to help continue its enormous growth path while delivering amazing support around the clock and around the world,” said Mike Iacobucci, CEO of Interactions. “As Interactions establishes its footprint in the market, we look to help a diverse set of enterprise organizations, across industries, make their customer experience a competitive differentiator.”

Learn more at

SapientRazorfish Studies Customer Behavior for its Clients

SapientRazorfish, part of Publicis.Sapient, is a marketing and consulting company offering business, marketing and technology services to clients. The company has more than 12,000 people and 70 offices around the globe; its capabilities span growth and business model strategy, new product and service innovation, enterprise digital transformation, IT modernization, omni-channel commerce, customer experience strategy, change management, digital operations, digital innovation, data strategy and advanced analytics.

In recent news, SapientRazorfish released a consumer retail report, “Shopper-First Retailing: What Consumers Are Telling us About the Future of Shopping,” in partnership with Salesforce that reveals new insights gleaned from shopping behavioral patterns. Launched in tandem with the research is a retail study by SapientRazorfish, which is designed to help executives evaluate and benchmark their organizations against competition, and better leverage technology and consumer behaviors to create a customer-centric business.

“Retailers are struggling with a rapidly evolving set of customer shopping habits, and we see these new behaviors in this retail research. For example, 59% of all consumers in our six-country study have shopped on their mobile device – in the store – within the past 30 days.” Hilding Anderson, Director of Research & Insights at SapientRazorfish, said in a press release. “The lines between the physical and digital channels have nearly disappeared.”

Learn more at SapientRazorfish.