Google eyes AI startups with expanded ‘Launchpad’ program

SAN FRANCISCO — With its “Launchpad” for startups now entering its fifth year, tech titan Google is adding a new dimension to its program with a new initiative which targets the best startups that focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Joshua Gordon, cloud developer advocate at Google, says now is the time for startups to do AI and machine learning

Joshua Gordon, cloud developer advocate at Google, says now is the time for startups to do AI and machine learning

The tech firm said “Launchpad Studio” will serve as a full-service studio that will provide tailored technical, product, and investment support to AI and machine learning startups — all in one place.

The US company said Launchpad Studio will get five to ten of best startups around the world – whether early stage or mature — that specialize on AI and machine learning.

The global headquarters will be based in San Francisco at Launchpad Space, with events and activities taking place in Tel Aviv and New York. “We plan to expand our activities and events to Toronto, London, Bangalore, and Singapore soon,” a company statement said.

As a member of the Studio program, startups will have access to services such as:

  • Applied AI integration toolkits — datasets, testing environments, rapid prototyping, simulation tools, and architecture troubleshooting.
  • Product validation support — Industry-specific proof of concept and pilots, as well as use case workshops with Fortune 500 industry practitioners and other experts.
  • Access to AI experts – Best-practice advice from our global community of AI thought leaders, which includes Peter Norvig, Dan Ariely, Yossi Matias Chris DiBone and more.
  • Access to AI practitioners and investors — Interaction with some of the best AI and ML engineers, product managers, industry leaders and VCs from Google, Silicon Valley, and other international locations.

“Innovation is open to everyone, worldwide. With this global program we now have an important opportunity to support entrepreneurs everywhere in the world who are aiming to use AI to solve for the biggest challenges.” Yossi Matias, VP of engineering at Google.

Joshua Gordon, cloud developer advocate at Google, said in a video session with journalists from Southeast Asia that startups focusing on AI and machine are growing rapidly.

“Now is the time for startups to do AI or machine learning,” Gordon said, who explained that AI or machine learning is just basically pattern recognition.

He said healthcare stands to benefit the most with AI as he noted that a number of startups are now working on interesting topics such as cancer detection using AI and machine learning.

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