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.
Since its launch in February 2011, the company has developed a visual perception system that interprets the contents of photographs and videos in a manner similar to humans. Powering this technology is Vicarious' key innovation: a new computational paradigm called the Recursive Cortical Network (RCN).
Vicarious has some ambitious goals. The company's first product is a visual perception system that has been designed to interpret the content of images and videos the same way the human brain does.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. - August 21, 2012 - Vicarious, an artificial intelligence research company, today announced a $15M Series A round of financing led by Good Ventures LLC, a for-profit investment firm founded by Facebook and Asana co-founder Dustin Moskovitz that will donate all of its earnings to the Good Ventures Foundation.