Michelle Clancy | 24-07-2013
Liberty Global Ventures and IDG Ventures USA have invested an undisclosed sum in Expect Labs, a San Francisco company that specialises in anticipatory computing for intelligent assistants, which could be used for content discovery and video navigation.
Expect Labs' technology platform, the Anticipatory Computing Engine, is the first commercial solution designed to analyse and understand conversations in real-time, and proactively find related information via intelligent assistants. With the new investment, Expect Labs will begin working to enable new types of context-aware, predictive intelligence in a wide variety of applications and devices, including video and pay-TV services.
For instance, through its partnership with Expect Labs, Liberty Global, which has the world's largest cable footprint, plans to enable new services ranging from context-aware voice and video calling to voice-driven discovery of on-demand video content. Eventually, it could be rolled out across Liberty Global's television, broadband Internet and telephony services in 14 countries, which touch 25 million customers.
"In just a few years, many of us will live in connected homes where the computing devices all around us will be able to understand what we say and quickly answer our questions or find information we may need," said Ankur Prakash, vice president of Liberty Global Ventures. "We are looking forward to working with Expect Labs to make these kinds of applications possible."
In addition to Liberty Global and IDG, Expect Labs' backers include Google, Samsung, Intel, Telefónica, Greylock Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, KPG Ventures, and Quest Venture Partners, and several angel investors.
"For the past few decades, the holy grail for artificial intelligence has been to develop technologies that can understand natural conversation and respond intelligently. For the first time, these technologies look to be within reach," said Timothy Tuttle, Expect Labs' CEO and founder. "We are grateful to have the support of several of the world's largest and most forward-thinking technology companies to help us tackle this ambitious and fundamentally important technical challenge."