A.I. start-up Vicarious is getting a lot of attention these days for its ambitious vision of creating human-level artificial intelligence for robots so that one day they will understand the world just like humans.
In other words, Vicarious aims to create a robot with an imagination.
Sounds like science fiction, but some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley — including Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Benioff and Jeff Bezos — are among those backing the Union City, California-based start-up. Founded in 2010 by Scott Phoenix and Dileep George, the company has so far raised $134 million.
By combining insights from generative probabilistic models and neuroscience — co-founder George authored 22 patents and several influential papers on the mathematics of brain circuits — computers will be able to learn from less data and recognize stimuli or concepts more easily. Vicarious claims this will allow robots to adapt readily and perform tasks in a variety of environments without reprogramming.
"A.I. is a tool that has made prediction a lot cheaper," Phoenix, Vicarious' CEO, told Squawk Alley's John Forte on Thursday. "You can now afford to put a speech predictor on your phone that guesses what you're saying so that Siri can listen to you. That's the current era of A.I."