San Francisco-based crowdsourcing firm CrowdFlower has raised $20 million in venture funding which will be used to extend its ‘human-in-the-loop’ AI platform functionality and develop integrations into other machine learning technologies.
The funding will also enhance its operations team by hiring new data scientists, machine learning experts, engineers, customer success managers, and sales and marketing professionals.
The investment round was led by Industry Ventures, with new investor Salesforce Ventures participating alongside existing investors Canvas Ventures, Microsoft Ventures and Trinity Ventures.
Robin Bordoli, CEO at CrowdFlower, used the historical example of the Cambrian period – a timeframe noted for its explosion of abundant life forms – to assess the landscape. “We’re at the beginning of a Cambrian explosion of AI applications within the enterprise. The bottleneck for the large-scale adoption of machine learning still remains the availability of high quality training data and human-in-the-loop workflows to handle the failure states of the algorithm.
“A machine learning model without training data and human-in-the-loop workflows is like a rocket ship with a large engine but no fuel and no navigation system… it won’t reach escape velocity nor will it achieve the trajectory to land on its intended target,” Bordoli added. “With this funding, we can accelerate our reach and help data science and machine learning teams everywhere produce the training data they need within the scale, cost and quality parameters that matter to them.”
Elsewhere, a report from Navigant Research argues that for some key industry segments, such as automation and controls, intelligent building solutions have proved disruptive by altering the competitive landscape and threatening the market position of legacy leaders. In other segments, such as the design, build, renovate segment, key industry players are just now exploring how they can innovate and evolve. According to the report, this range in impact is expected to be amplified as AI solutions enter the market.
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