Startup Ersatz Labs Launches Deep Learning AI In The Cloud (Or In A Box)

From my Forbes blog:

Deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence that has led to recent breakthroughs in automated image and speech recognition, is the hot new technology among tech giants from Google and Facebook to Microsoft and China’s Baidu. They’ve been spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy companies and vacuum up talent from universities that are all working on deep learning neural networks, which attempt to mimic how the brain works to improve computing performance on tasks humans do with ease.

Now, a San Francisco startup called Ersatz Labs is formally launching what it calls the first deep learning platform, one that it says any company or researcher can use to do deep learning on the (relatively) cheap. It’s being offered as a service in the cloud and, for companies that want or need to do what can often be mission-critical work inside their corporate network firewall, as a hardware appliance with software installed.

Either way, the upshot of the service is that a whole lot of companies may be able to apply deep learning to their own services to achieve similar breakthroughs to Google’s, Microsoft’s, and others’. The service has been in beta for the past year with 2,200 customers, from Wall Street traders to researchers looking to detect tumors on mammograms to energy companies analyzing seismic data to an iPhone app maker using accelerometers to determine if you’re exercising correctly. “The deep learning methods are established enough that you don’t have to build this all yourself,” says Ersatz Labs CEO Dave Sullivan, cofounder with Chairman Ronjon Nag, who also provided $250,000 in funding. …

Read the rest of the story.