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Google launches AI investment arm

Gradient Ventures will provide capital and advice to early-stage AI startups.

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Google is launching a venture project to invest in artificial intelligence startups.

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Google is taking the wraps off Gradient Ventures, its artificial intelligence venture capital project that will make investments in early-stage AI startups.

The new company, which formally launched on Tuesday, underscores Silicon Valley's growing interest in AI, a field that has been dominated by big tech companies. Google, Facebook and other companies have been busy developing machines, computers or other types of systems that can exhibit humanlike intelligence. The goal is to create machines that can perceive their environment and complete a wide array of everyday tasks previously performed by humans.

Google's interest in AI is evident in its Google.ai project, which aims to leverage AI across all the products in its portfolio.

"Through Gradient, we'll provide portfolio companies with capital, resources, and dedicated access to experts and bootcamps in AI," according to a blog post by Anna Patterson, founder and managing partner of the operation.

The company has already made investments in a handful of AI startups, according to its portfolio page. Those include Aurima, Cape and Cogniac. Another startup, Alogrithmia, revealed last month it had received backing from Google's AI venture project, although the name of Google's group had not been revealed at the time.

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