You’re an AI startup? Micron has $100m up for grabs

Artificial intelligence is a huge money opportunity for memory and storage vendors, according to Micron boss Sanjay Mehrotra. And he is putting the company’s money where his mouth is.

The semiconductor giant will through its investment arm Micron Ventures spend up to $100m in AI technology startups, of which $20m is set aside for startups led by women and other under-represented groups.

The company made the announcement yesterday at the inaugural Micron Insight event in San Francisco, which focused on how memory technology enables AI, machine learning (ML) and data science technology.

AI and machine learning systems tend to involve servers with larger than average memory amounts and lots of flash memory storage. Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra has a canned quote about this: “These (AI, ML and deep learning) trends are at the heart of the biggest opportunities in front of us, and increasingly require memory and storage technologies to turn vast amounts of data into insights that accelerate intelligence.”

Research grants

In related news The Micron Foundation has launched a $1 million grant for universities and non-profit organisations to conduct research into AI.

The  fund is available to select research universities focused on the future implications of AI in life, healthcare and business

Three initial recipients get half a million bucks between them.

  • The non-profit A14AII works to increase diversity and inclusion in AI education, research, development and policy, with activities such its AI Summer Camp which is open to 9th– 11th grade students
  • Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab which supports researchers and graduate students developing fundamental advances in computer vision, machine learning, natural-language processing, planning and robotics 
  • Stanford Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center which funds researchers focused on testing and disseminating the next generation of science and technology to deliver predictive, preventive and precise care to every patient