Quantum Bayesian Networks

October 16, 2018

How many AI startups exist in the US? What are the best AI grad schools in the US?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 1:11 am

I’ve been told by people who want to start their own Artificial Intelligence startup: “I can do this, this is not rocket science”. My answer to them is, “Luke, that is why you fail”, that is precisely why it will be super difficult for your startup to succeed. Let us do some due diligence to expose the high degree of difficulty of the task:

Check out this Forbes article:

25 Machine Learning Startups To Watch In 2018 (Aug 26, 2018, Forbes, by Louis Columbus)


  • Crunchbase lists over 5,000 startups who are relying on machine learning for their main and ancillary applications, products and services today.
  • 81% of machine learning startups Crunchbase tracks have had two funding rounds or less with seed, angel and early-stage rounds being the most common.
  • According to KPMG’s Venture Pulse Report, venture capital (VC) investment in artificial intelligence almost doubled in 2017, attracting $12B compared to $6B in 2016.
  • Q2’18 was a second-straight record quarter for total Artificial Intelligence (AI) funding with total investments exceeding $2.3B including eight mega-rounds over $100M according to the latest PwC/CB Insights MoneyTree Report from Q2 2018.

So the amount of American VC funding for AI is close to ten billion dollars per year. But the field is HIGHLY CROWDED already, and the competition is FIERCE. Turns out you are not the first one to think: “I can do this, this is not rocket science”. Tens of thousands of people had the same thought long before you did, and they’ve already built a profitable multi-million dollar company. All you have is a vague, possibly non-functioning, pipe dream.

It gets worse.

According to this article in “US and World News Report”, the 5 best American grad schools in AI are:

  1. Carnegie Mellon University
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Stanford University
  4. University of California–Berkeley
  5. University of Washington

This is a highly subjective list, but it sort of makes sense. Stanford and Berkeley provide AI worker ants for Silicon Valley, whereas Univ. of Washington does so for Microsoft and Amazon. MIT in the last few decades has been known most of all for its prowess in Genetic Engineering, but that field is closely connected to AI and Big Data. Today MIT announced that it is going to fight Carnegie Mellon for AI supremacy by starting a 1 billion dollar AI school. Check it out:

MIT is investing $1 billion in an AI college(The Verge, Oct 15, 2015, by James Vincent)

So you see chump, it does get worse. That 1 billion dollar school will soon start churning out a continuous stream of AI rocket scientists eager to start their own AI startup that will crush yours.

And China has 4 times the population of the US but it graduates 8 times more people than the US with college degrees in STEM. [Supporting citation for these numbers] And China is investing heavily in AI.

You lose.


  1. And all the stars, that never were, are parking cars and pumping gas…

    Comment by Max Born — October 18, 2018 @ 9:04 pm

  2. Or you could be optimistic. Look at Edison with all his resources – it was a chap in Newcastle England who beat him to the light bulb and then there was someone in Tungsram Hungary who came up with the modern tungsten GLS. If you thereafter look at the combined genius of such as Irving Langmuir etc it was quite a while and quite a journey to produce the biggest success of modern capitalism – electric light. The comparison is relevant since the latest appliance for all is clearly an augmented light bulb and this was a huge combo with some Googlers (ex inc) and everyone and their aunt bustin to get a white light semicon source (ie low temp). Nowadays we all know AI is the thing and I would not have wanted to be the one who discouraged some cockney chap coming up with a simple idea like a winning o’s and x’s tool to give us Deep Mind and the fabulous resultant architecture just north of St Pancras Station.

    h/t wikipedia

    Comment by paulmartin42 — October 30, 2018 @ 8:24 am

  3. paulmartin42, I used to be an optimist like you

    Comment by rrtucci — October 30, 2018 @ 1:36 pm

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