Mar 10, 2021

WorkFusion latest automation firm to win serious backing

Automation
AI
covid-19
Banking
William Smith
2 min
Money is flowing into automation companies, with the automation market worth an estimated $214bn in 2021
Money is flowing into automation companies, with the automation market worth an estimated $214bn in 2021...

New York-based WorkFusion has become the latest automation firm to gain significant venture backing as the automation market becomes one of the world’s strongest sectors.

The automation revolution

With recent announcements such as M1 Finance’s Series D, money is flowing into automation companies. The automation market is worth an estimated $214bn in 2021, spurred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its demand for digital transformation in response.

WorkFusion specialises in intelligent automation software, with industry-focused solutions in areas such as banking and financial services. The companies software is used to automate labour and data-intensive tasks such as preventing money laundering and “Know Your Customer” efforts.

Since its foundation in 2009, the company has raised over $340mn across seven funding rounds. Its latest Series F, announced yesterday, is its biggest to date, coming in at $220mn and led by Georgian.

Industry-specific automation

WorkFusion CEO Alex Lyashok said: “It takes a high-performance team, driven by a shared purpose and looking in the same direction, to build long-term value. Our unique approach of automating industry-specific, document-heavy operations with advanced AI is yielding remarkable success for our banking customers; now we can take that success to a wider audience at greater speed and unlimited scale. We have a winning playbook, and the market is vast. We are excited to move forward.”

The company said it would use the funds to meet increased demand for its offering stemming from the evolving marketplace.

“WorkFusion has reached an inflection point of success in terms of product and market readiness,” said Emily Walsh, Lead Investor at Georgian. “The opportunity to transform enterprise operations through Intelligent Automation is massive, and WorkFusion is in the leading position to do so. We are thrilled to continue to work with WorkFusion as they scale and impact traditional industries with their market-leading process automation platform.”

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Jun 23, 2021

Google launches Visual Inspection AI tool for manufacturers

AI
Google
Manufacturing
ML
3 min
Google has launched Visual Inspection AI, a new Google Cloud Platform solution designed to help reduce defects during the manufacturing process

Google Cloud has launched Visual Inspection AI, a new tool to help manufacturers identify defects in products before they're shipped. 

Poor production quality control often leads to significant operational and financial costs. The American Society for Quality estimates that for many organisations this cost of quality is as high as 15-20% of annual sales revenue, or billions of dollars annually for larger manufacturers. Google Cloud’s new Visual Inspection AI solution has been purpose-built for the industry to solve this problem at production scale. 

How does it work? 

The Google Cloud Visual Inspection AI solution automates visual inspection tasks using a set of AI and computer vision technologies that enable manufacturers to transform quality control processes by automatically detecting product defects.

Google built Visual Inspection AI to meet the needs of quality, test, manufacturing, and process engineers who are experts in their domain, but not in AI. 

  • Run autonomously on-premises: Manufacturers can run inspection models at the network edge or on-premises. The inspection can run either in Google Cloud or fully autonomous on your factory shop floor. 
  • Short time-to-value: Customers can deploy in weeks, not the months typical of traditional machine learning (ML) solutions. Built for process and quality engineers, no computer vision or ML experience required. An interactive user interface guides users through all the steps. 
  • Superior computer vision and AI technology: In production trials, Visual Inspection AI customers improved accuracy by up to 10x compared with general-purpose ML approaches, according to benchmarks from several Google Cloud customers. 
  • Get started quickly, with little effort: Visual Inspection AI can build accurate models with up to 300x fewer human-labeled images than general-purpose ML platforms, based on pilots run by several Google Cloud customers.
  • Highly scalable deployment: Manufacturers can flexibly deploy and manage the lifecycle of ML models, scaling the solution across production lines and factories.

Industry use cases

The demo video shows how Visual Inspection AI addresses use cases to solve specific quality control problems in industries such as automotive manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing, electronics manufacturing and general-purpose manufacturing. 

Kyocera Communications Systems, a manufacturer of mobile phones for wireless service providers, has been able to scale its AI and ML expertise through the use of the solution. “With the shortage of AI engineers, Visual Inspection AI is an innovative service that can be used by non-AI engineers,” said Masaharu Akieda, Division Manager, Digital Solution Division, KYOCERA Communication Systems. “We have found that we are able to create highly accurate models with as few as 10-20 defective images with Visual Inspection AI. We will continue to strengthen our partnership with Google to develop solutions that will lead our customers' digital transformation projects to success.”

Visual Inspection AI has fully integrated with Google Cloud's portfolio of analytics and ML/AI solutions, giving manufacturers the ability to combine its insights with other data sources. The tool integrates with existing products from Google Cloud partners, including SOTEC, Siemens, GFT, QuantiPhi, Kyocer and Accenture. 

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