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Google launches AI capital project Gradient Ventures to help start-ups

Alphabet has launched a new project in an attempt to fund promising artificial intelligence start-ups and subsequently improve their own portfolio.

Gradient Ventures will make investments and already has a few companies under its wing, with Algorithmia one of the first to announce that they have received investment.

Existing as part of Google, Gradient will invest in up to 15 new start-ups every year with between $1m and $8m in funding being granted to each firm, according to Anna Patterson, founder and managing director of the new project.

"We know there are many ideas for artificial intelligence out there that haven’t even been imagined yet," said Patterson in a blog post.

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"Yesterday's science fiction is becoming today's nonfiction thanks to AI. Everything is there to be reimagined as we usher in this new era of technology - and we're excited to work with entrepreneurs to start building it." 

Currently, Google already boasts its own AI unit, with Google.ai focussing on making everyday tasks easier thanks to artificial intelligence.

Recent success includes the AlphaGo computer beating the world's best Go player, with the AI system winning a three-match series of the notoriously difficult ancient Chinese game. 

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