It looks like several key players from the early days of Facebook have taken an interest in an artificial intelligence startup called Vicarious Systems.
The company, which is based in Union City, Calif., just announced that it has raised its first institutional venture round let by Founders Fund, although it isn’t saying how much money was involved.
Vicarious Systems hasn’t launched yet, but the company said it will be “developing algorithms that mimic the function of the human brain,” and that its first product will be “a vision system that understands the contents of images and videos the way humans do.”
That sounds pretty ambitious. The Vicarious team has some experience in this field, since co-founder Dileep George was previously chief technology officer at Numenta, another company looking at smarter ways to understand video content.
In addition to Founders Fund, the firm whose partners include Peter Thiel (former chief executive of PayPal and the first investor in Facebook) and Sean Parker (Facebook’s founding president), investors include the social networking giant’s co-founder Dustin Moskovitz (who since co-founded Asana, and who is pictured above) and its former chief technology officer Adam D’Angelo (who co-founded Quora).
“There have been a lot of broken promises in this field, but we can’t succeed without having courage to take risks,” Moskovitz said in the press release.
The funding was first reported last week on an AI-focused news site called Singularity Hub, but it doesn’t seem to have gotten any attention from the tech business press until now. Felicis Ventures (the firm from “super angel” investor Aydin Senkut, who also invested in VentureBeat) and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale participated in the round as well.