Mar2018

Arraiy – AI for Hollywood-grade visual effects

[한국어는 아래에..] SoftBank invests in transformative technologies that “will enable the next age of innovation and make tomorrow’s world possible”. At SoftBank Ventures, we seek the most promising early-stage startups leveraging Artificial Intelligence to transform a range of industries. In particular, we back promising entrepreneurs disrupting the media industry.   Our portfolio includes companies such as Oben, Pinscreen, and Mirror, among others, that are applying AI to face and voice tracking in the context of communication and entertainment. Arraiy, a Silicon Valley-based startup leveraging machine vision and machine learning to automate visual effects (VFX) for film production (Movies, Television, Ads), is our latest investment at the intersection of AI and media.   _ (Arraiy logo) _ Arraiy’s main value proposition is to reduce the cost of the traditional manual process and enable more creative freedom in the production workflow. At first they are solving a major problem in the movie industry: video production is extremely complex, time consuming, and expensive. It takes dozens of people, days of manual labor, and tens of thousands of dollars to shoot a scene of even a few seconds that contains visual effects. These high costs are why this type of work is typically reserved for […]
Mar2018

Mythic – AI chips for the edge

[한국어는 아래에..] SoftBank is paving the way for a future of ubiquitous connected devices powered by Artificial Intelligence. At SoftBank Ventures we invest in innovative early-stage startups – both software and hardware-centric – that are accelerating the progress towards the Information Revolution. _ (Mythic Logo) _ It is now apparent that AI is having a profound impact on businesses and lives with the proliferation of new applications in virtually all end markets. The recent technological breakthroughs in massive data storage, parallel processing, and enhanced neural networks algorithms (in part led by nVidia, which is 5% owned by SoftBank Group), have made AI commercially viable, if not necessary for enterprises to remain competitive.   Until now, most advances in AI have been achieved in the cloud, using GPUs (Graphical Processing Units). However, to be competitive, IoT (Internet of Things) devices require a special type of solution for AI. First, IoT requires distributed computing, as data from billions of devices cannot be continuously piped to the cloud for centralized GPU processing. Second, IoT devices require embedded intelligence for time critical decisions. Lastly, they require low-cost and low-power processors for inexpensive and durable deployment. As an example, the iPhoneX now performs many of […]
Mar2018

twoXAR – AI applied to curing diseases

[한국어는 아래에..] SoftBank envisions an AI-driven future and funds technologies that contribute to “the betterment of humanity.” At SoftBank Ventures, we invest in applications of Artificial Intelligence across various industries, but none is perhaps more ready for AI-driven transformation than biopharmaceutical research and development. And no application of AI is more fundamental to human betterment and happiness than curing and preventing diseases. twoXAR, a software-driven biopharmaceutical company based in Silicon Valley, is a prime example of how AI-driven approaches are revolutionizing the drug discovery process, and we are proud to lead their $10 million Series A Financing.    _ [Co-founders of twoXAR, Andrew M. Radin, CMO(left) and Andrew A. Radin, CEO(right)] _ The enormous cost associated with drug development is one of the biggest challenges for biopharmaceutical companies. It typically takes an estimated cost of over $2.5 billion and more than a decade to develop and test a drug candidate, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. Moreover, less than 10% of all drugs that enter pre-clinical trials ever make it to human testing. twoXAR offers a solution to this problem: they are leveraging software to uncover novel disease biology and identify compounds to validate these hypotheses. _ […]