Last month, the Canadian deep learning company (a subsidiary of Microsoft as of January) became the first team of AI programmers to beat the 36-year-old classic.
It was a fairly anticlimactic defeat. The number hit 999,990, before the odometer flipped back over to zero. But it was an impressive victory nonetheless, marking the first time anyone — human or machine — has achieved the feat. It’s been a white whale for the AI community for a while now.
The benefits of this AI-first world will accrue to a small number of companies. It’s Shum’s job to make sure that Microsoft is among them. “In this industry, you’ve got to realize that it’s completely okay if you missed the last wave,” he says. “It’s very problematic if you miss the current wave.”
Intel and Microsoft have been on something of an artificial intelligence (AI) investment binge of late, with the chip and software giants announcing a slew of deals this week via their respective VC arms — Intel Capital and Microsoft Ventures.
Perhaps the most notable of these was Element AI, which raised a gargantuan $102 million in what is one of the largest series A rounds in recent times