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Venture capitalists (VCs) are betting big on AI’s future by pouring billions into AI start-ups that will disrupt nearly every industry. The global AI market size is expected to reach $266.92 billion by 2027, according to Fortune Business Insights.
AI funding hit a new high in 2020 with investors pouring a record-breaking $73.8 billion into AI startups worldwide, according to CB Insights. This was a 40 percent increase from the previous year, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most AI funding rounds in 2020 were for late-stage companies, indicating that investors are betting big on established players.
UiPath, a robotic process automation (RPA) software company, is a prime example of such investment trends. In July 2021, UiPath went public, raising $1.34 billion in its initial public offering (IPO) at a valuation of $35 billion dollars. UiPath’s technology automates repetitive, mundane tasks, freeing up employees to focus on higher-value work. The company’s success demonstrates the increasing importance of automation and AI in the workplace.
OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research laboratory consisting of the for-profit OpenAI LP and the nonprofit OpenAI Inc, has similarly raised $1.7 billion in investments from tech giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Tesla. OpenAI’s research focuses on developing AI that is safe and beneficial for humanity, with applications ranging from healthcare to climate change.
Other areas where AI is likely to have a significant impact are healthcare and transportation. AI-powered tools can analyze large amounts of medical data and help doctors make more informed decisions, leading to better patient outcomes. Paige.AI is already using AI to help pathologists analyze cancer tissue samples more accurately and efficiently. Meanwhile, Osaka University scientists have discovered a way to use AI to read our minds by combining magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Stable Diffusion, and AI technology.
Self-driving cars have already been developed and tested, and they have the potential to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities. Waymo, a self-driving car company owned by Alphabet, raised $3 billion in funding in March 2020, indicating that investors believe in the future of autonomous vehicles.
So, what does this mean for new entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurs and business leaders need to understand the various ways this technology, and investments in this technology, can impact or disrupt their businesses. Non-AI specific startups should look at ways AI can be used to help them drive efficiencies in areas like recruiting, invoice processing, customer service, administrative functions etc.
The future of AI is promising, and the future of companies that work with AI (not against it) even more so.