Capturing a big share of the AI industry

by NEIL SAHOTA

Neil Sahota is an IBM Master Inventor, United Nations artificial intelligence (AI) subject matter expert, and professor at UC Irvine. He authored the book “Own the A.I. Revolution.”

What do a therapist, lawyer, and group of college students have in common? They are all people who developed successful artificial intelligence, or AI, startup companies right here in our backyard.

The therapist launched Cyrano.ai, which is the ultimate communication coach AI that’s helping people build better relationships in everything from sales to parenting. The lawyer created LegalMation, which has built an AI engine that can handle some of the complex tasks an experienced associate lawyer normally performs, but in just a fraction of the time. The group of students were from UC Irvine, and created Wing AI, which is a personal concierge that arranges for help with simple errands.

While we may not get as much press as Silicon Valley, Irvine is a thriving hub of AI innovation and achievement. Projects such as detecting illness from the sound of a cough are happening right now.

Consider, City.AI is a global network of AI pioneers, and the Orange County chapter is based in Irvine because that’s where opportunity and talent can be found. Why? Because we’ve built a phenomenal ecosystem within the city. And here are four reasons why:

1. First and foremost, we have incredible thought leadership. UC Irvine has a cornucopia of talent and research, and more importantly, is generating the workforce needed to bring AI from idea to execution.

2. We have a strong, interconnected hub. The Beall Center for Applied Innovation lies at the nexus to incubate ideas, provide resources, and connect the talent, funding and resources within Orange County to accelerate the growth of these opportunities.

3. We have the early-stage funding. Investor groups and venture capital funds, such as the Tech Coast Angels and CerraCap Ventures, are constantly looking here to find solid AI companies to invest in.

4. We have the community that fosters and fuels the confidence to be an AI Innovator.