Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg participated in a $40 million funding round in Vicarious, which describes itself as “a secretive artificial-intelligence company,” according to The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog.
Zuckerberg spoke at length about artificial intelligence during Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings call in January, and New York University deep-learning expert Yann LeCun joined the company last December as head of its AI lab.
A Facebook spokesperson told Digits Zuckerberg’s investment in Vicarious is personal, and did not indicate the potential use of Vicarious’ software by the social network.
Facebook Co-Founder Dustin Moskovitz also invested $15 million in Vicarious in 2012, according to Digits.
Vicarious described its mission on its website:
Vicarious is developing machine-learning software based on the computational principles of the human brain. Our first technology is a visual perception system that interprets the contents of photographs and videos in a manner similar to humans. Powering this technology is a new computational paradigm we call the Recursive Cortical Network.
And Co-Founder Scott Phoenix told Digits:
You have a computer that thinks like a person, except it doesn’t have to eat or sleep.
Readers: What do you think of Zuckerberg’s investment in Vicarious?