When an IBMComputer program called Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov at chess in 1997, wise folks opined that since chess was just a game of logic, this was neither significant nor surprising.
Using an artificial intelligence technique inspired by theories about how the brain recognizes patterns, technology companies are reporting startling gains in fields as diverse as computer vision, speech recognition and the identification of promising new molecules for designing drugs.
Your eyes work with your brain to teach you about the world. You learn to recognized objects, people, and places, and you learn to imagine new things. A startup called Vicarious thinks computers could learn to do likewise, and it's building software that tries to process visual information the way the brain does.
Vicarious is building A.I software based on the human brain. Sounds cool, right? VCs thought so, too, and they backed it up with $15 million in the startup's first round of institutional funding.
You don't see too many venture-backed software companies spending years on research nowadays, and Phoenix said he was lucky to find investors who share his big vision - to use AI to "help humanity thrive."
Founders Fund partner Peter Thiel said Vicarious is "bringing us all closer to a future where computers perceive, imagine, and reason just like humans. We are proud to support Vicarious in its quest."
The first step in developing software comparable to human thinking is to master one sensory perception, Phoenix told Inc. Vicarious' immediate goal: get artificial intelligence to "see."
Vicarious wants to build a series of algorithms that mimic the way the mammalian brain processes and applies information - in short it wants to build software that will grant computers intelligence.
Startup Vicarious is trying to build a computer with the human ability to see and perceive. It's a really hard artificial-intelligence problem that once solved, has immense potential to change the world.