David Ferrucci, a famous artificial intelligence (AI) researcher who led the team behind the creation of IBM Watson, according to official documentation, successfully raised close to $60 million for his AI startup called Elemental Cognition.
As per a filing made on Thursday, August 17, the company has completed equity sales worth $59.95 million from 17 investors, with additional plans to raise $5.75 million in funding.
Based in the Helmsley Building in New York, Elemental’s stated goal is to create AI with advanced reasoning capabilities. The company provides two business solutions, Cogent and Cora, both chatbots tailored for different applications, including finance, interactive travel planning and scientific research automation.
Ferrucci, who spent 18 years at IBM and served as Director of Applied AI at Bridgewater Associates, led the IBM Watson team from 2006 to 2012, a period highlighted by Watson’s victory on the television game show “Jeopardy! “
Among Elemental Cognition’s leadership team are former IBM and Bridgewater executives, including David Shepler, Eric Brown, and Mike Barborak. The company also includes notable investors and advisors such as Jim Breyer, former CEO Sam Palmisano, Greg Jensen and Geoff Yang.
Elemental Cognition promotes a different hybrid AI platform. Unlike conventional AI models, it integrates large-scale language models (LLM) with an AI-driven reasoning engine to improve accuracy and controlled responses.
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Despite its initial promise, IBM Watson has proven to be an unprofitable endeavor. In 2020, IBM divested its Watson Health unit to Francisco Partners. Recently, IBM introduced WatsonX, a studio aimed at training and deploying machine learning models.
Growing investor enthusiasm for AI startups has been fueled by the victory of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Elemental Cognition aims to offer advanced generative AI functionalities, boasting superior natural language understanding for problem solving and research applications. With its distinct strategy and skilled team, the company has emerged as a prominent contender in the AI sector.
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