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Samsung NEXT launches Q Fund to support early stage AI startups

The Q Fund will seek to work exclusively with startups developing software and services that tackle AI's biggest challenges.

Samsung NEXT, one of the core drivers of Samsung's efforts to transform into an integrated hardware and software company, is launching a new venture fund dedicated to financing early stage AI startups.

The Q Fund will seek to work exclusively with startups developing software and services that tackle the biggest challenges of artificial intelligence.

In an effort to differentiate from traditional funds, Samsung said the Q Fund will not only assist robotics and other popular AI startups, but expand its efforts to the "non-obvious," including academics and researchers creating meaningful exposure to the entire AI stack.

The Q Fund will focus heavily on the areas of learning in simulation, scene understanding, intuitive physics, program learning programs, auto ml, robot control, human computer interaction and meta learning.

"There are multiple approaches to building fundamental AI technology," said Ajay Singh, of Samsung NEXT Ventures. "And we want to invest in the people and teams who will try new approaches to lay the groundwork for what AI will be. For this reason, Q Fund will prioritize technical diligence over revenue models."

The Q Fund recently invested in Covariant.AI, a startup that's trying to put a new spin on machine learning to teach robots new, complex skills. Samsung NEXT said the investment highlights Q Fund's focus on startups replacing conventional algorithms, data structures, and general purpose computer programs with learned systems.

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