The Sequence Scope: The Need for Open-Source Datasets and Benchmarks

Weekly newsletter that discusses impactful ML research papers, cool tech releases, the money in AI, and real-life implementations.

📝 Editorial: The Need for Open-Source Datasets and Benchmarks

As one of my mentors used to say, “AI researchers optimize too much for publications.” The wisdom in that phrase encapsulates the gap between claims in research papers and practical implementations. These days, it is nearly impossible to keep up with all relevant research across different areas of machine learning (there is a newsletter that can help with that 😉). Furthermore, trying to recreate the techniques outlined in many AI research papers is a futile effort. Quite often, the source code of the models is not published but, even more often, we encounter scenarios in which the datasets used to train and test the models are not available. In that case, how can you even know if the proposed models are not overfitting for a particular dataset?

🔎 ML Research

The Three Mysteries of Deep Learning

🤖 Cool AI Tech Releases

Multilingual LibriSpeech

💸 Money in AI

ML and AI startups:

  • AI startup AlphaICs raised $8 million in funding. The company has developed a next-generation Real AI Processor (RAP), based on a proprietary highly modular and scalable architecture for edge computing. It enables AI acceleration for low-power edge applications, as well as high-performance edge datacenters.
  • AI-powered precision oncology platform OncoHost raised $8 million. The company develops AI technology to characterize, analyze, and predict patient response to treatment, enabling personalized treatment strategies with improved outcomes & reduced side effects.
  • AI-driven enterprise fintech platform raised $20 million in a Series A round. Trovata leverages AI to automate workflows such as cash reporting, analysis, and forecasting, allowing companies to see the amount of cash and manage cash flow, as well as building and maintaining forecasts in real-time. They also use a natural language search tool that allows them to find and tag key vendors, customers, and partners across millions of transactions in almost no time at all.
  • AI-driven agri-tech startup Aerobotics raised $17 million in a Series B round. To quote from their website: “Tree and fruit insights enabled by drone imagery and artificial intelligence.
  • Travel and spend management platform TripActions raised $155 million in a Series E round. TripActions not only uses AI to better match travelers’ personal preferences but it also allows them to meet their company’s travel policy guidelines, combining a booking platform with payment, expense and reconciliation solutions.
  • Airborne data collection startup Skyqraft raised $2.2 million in seed funding. They use drones to collect image data about powerlines for automated risk assessment and predictions about the state of the equipment.
  • Construction-planning tech startup Swapp raised $7 million in venture capital. Swapp leverages AI to streamline and optimize operations, increasing efficiencies for developers and general contractors.
  • “No-code” chatbot builder Landbot raised an $8 million Series. PR-ing themselves as an anti-AI chatbot in 2018, the startup now builds its identity around conversational AI that focuses on lead conversion through data capturing and personalization.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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