In the past half-decade, artificial intelligence has gone from the stuff of science fiction to components of major factory floors, cognitive technology expert Neil Jacobstein said at a Singularity University event in Boston Tuesday.
Jacobstein chairs the AI & Robotics department at Singularity, the tech-driven benefit corporation that includes the likes of Google, Cisco and Deloitte among its founders.
Investment in AI has skyrocketed in recent years, with more than $3 billion in VC funds invested in cognitive technologies from 2011 to 2015. During that time, more than 100 AI companies merged or were acquired, “by the usual suspects: Alphabet, IBM, Facebook, Amazon, [and] Google,” said Jacobstein.
Beyond the investment world, enterprises have begun seriously implementing AI technology into their manufacturing businesses.
“General Electric has also provided a new software fabric to go over traditional manufacturing floors to provide increases in prediction, responsiveness and connectivity,” Jacobstein said.
What about IBM Watson, the grandfather of all modern AI?
“IBM has graduated Watson from playing 'Jeopardy' games and working in medicine to Watson Explorer for manufacturing,” he said, referencing the new portal that encapsulates information and analytics from manufacturing floors.