Artificial intelligence (AI) researcher David Ferrucci, who spearheaded the development of IBM Watson, has secured nearly $60 million in funding for his AI startup, Elemental Cognition. As of August 17, the company has concluded equity sales totalling $59.95 million from 17 investors, with plans to secure an additional $5.75 million in funding.
Headquartered in the Helmsley Building in New York, Elemental Cognition is dedicated to crafting AI solutions with advanced reasoning capabilities. The company has introduced two enterprise chatbot solutions, Cogent and Cora, meticulously designed for various applications spanning finance, interactive travel planning, and scientific research automation.
Elemental Cognition sets itself apart by showcasing a unique hybrid AI platform. This platform integrates large language models (LLMs) with an AI-driven reasoning engine, resulting in heightened precision and controlled responses. Although the company’s official website doesn’t feature generative AI, its LinkedIn profile explicitly states:
“[Elemental Cognition] provides a revolutionary Generative AI platform with superior natural language understanding that powers expert problem-solving intelligence and research & discovery applications.”
The leadership team at Elemental Cognition includes former executives from IBM and Bridgewater, such as David Shepler, Eric Brown, and Mike Barborak. The company also boasts prominent investors and advisors like Jim Breyer, Sam Palmisano, Greg Jensen, and Geoff Yang.
David Ferrucci’s journey spans 18 years at IBM, where he also held the role of Director of Applied AI at Bridgewater Associates. He led the IBM Watson team from 2006 to 2012, an era highlighted by Watson’s groundbreaking victory on Jeopardy! that showcased his remarkable proficiency in understanding and processing natural language.
While IBM Watson initially displayed great promise, its financial viability proved challenging. In 2020, IBM divested its Watson Health unit to Francisco Partners. Recently, IBM launched WatsonX, a studio focused on training and deploying machine learning models.
The popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has notably sparked growing enthusiasm among investors for AI startups. Elemental Cognition aims to elevate the AI landscape by offering advanced generative AI capabilities, underlining its exceptional natural language comprehension for problem-solving and research-oriented applications.