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Applications are driving investment in deep learning startups

Gigaom

Deep learning, the popular approach to machine learning currently driving new capabilities in fields such as computer vision, is beginning to attract some serious investment. Like most things machine learning, though, the big money appears to be in applications rather than attempts to sell the technology wholesale.

In the past year or so, much of the investment activity in the deep learning space has come via M&A. Google’s $400 million acquisition of DeepMind is by far the biggest deal, but there’s also Twitter’s acquisition of Madbits and Yahoo’s acquisition of LookFlow, among others. With the exception of DeepMind, which continues to produce some very interesting research that should power novel capabilities for future Google products, many of the deals have revolved around real, working applications of the technology. Often, they’ve been in the area of computer vision and image recognition.

The same holds true for the handful publicly announced venture capital deals involving…

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