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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Machine learning startup Adept raises $350M to train AI to carry out tasks for you

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Adept, an artificial intelligence (AI) firm, announced that it has secured $350 million in a Series B investment round headed by General Catalyst and Spark Capital, as it creates corporate applications in the wake of rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT craze.

Adept, a startup developing AI that “enables humans and computers to work together creatively to solve problems,” announced a $350 million Series B funding round led by General Catalyst and Spark Capital, with participation from Addition, Greylock, Atlassian Ventures, Microsoft, Nvidia, Workday Ventures, Caterina Fake, Frontiers Capital, PSP Growth, SV Angel, and A.Capital.

According to reports, the valuation was “at least” $1 billion. Dept has now collected $415 million in total, which co-founder and CEO David Luan says will be used for productization, model training, and workforce expansion.

The term “foundation model” is a little jargony. At a high level, Adept’s objective is to develop a “AI buddy” educated to utilise a wide range of various software tools and APIs. Unlike companies OpenAI and Stable AI, Adept is examining how people use computers — especially, how they surf the web and operate software — to train an AI model that can convert language commands into sets of digital actions.

Adept isn’t the only one thinking about this. In a February 2022 study, DeepMind scientists used an AI to observe keyboard and mouse inputs from individuals performing “instruction-following” computer operations, such as buying a trip, and learn how to do them itself.

In other news, DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman has launched Inflection AI with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, with the goal of using AI to help humans operate more efficiently with computers.

But, the rivalry isn’t driving away investors, which is likely due to the large market opportunity. According to a recent study of AI specialists conducted by Intel-owned Cnvrg.io, over half anticipate that organisation investment in AI development would rise despite the macroeconomic backdrop.

Adept is currently operating on a shoestring budget, with only 25 staff. But, it has apparently seen some high-level turnover, having recently lost two of its co-founders, Ashish Vaswani and Niki Parmar, to another firm.

Apparently, this has not hampered product development. According to reports, Adept’s MVP, ACT-1, can execute things like as integrating LinkedIn Links into recruitment applications. ACT-1 appears as an overlay window over current applications such as Google Chrome or Salesforce. A desktop prototype is ready, but it will also be available on mobile in the near future. The adaptability of ACT-1 clearly drew strategic investors such as Microsoft, Nvidia, Atlassian, and Workday, all of whom provide products that might profit from its AI assistant in the future

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