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Baidu- and Google-linked AI expert launches US$175 million fund for machine intelligence start-ups

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 January, 2018, 4:53am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 January, 2018, 5:00am

An artificial intelligence researcher who has said he wants to free humanity from repetitive mental drudgery also wants to save AI entrepreneurs time spent raising funds.

Andrew Ng says he will launch a US$175 million (HK$1.4 billion) fund to invest in AI start-ups, backed by private-equity firms NEA, Sequoia, Greylock Partners and Softbank.

Ng’s the co-founder of online education platform Coursera, which has led AI teams at Google and Baidu. 

He said his background will help prioritise projects with the most potential, saving founders six months of development time otherwise lost explaining their idea.

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Ng is also tapping his personal network for leads: The fund, simply called AI Fund, isn’t taking pitches from entrepreneurs.

The fund is also investing an undisclosed sum in Ng’s start-up, which aims to bring AI to manufacturing.