Southern California is home to the highest number of PhD graduates in all of the top key universities in the U.S, ranking #1 for tech PhDs and #2 for tech grads. The region has the largest concentration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) academic institutions in the U.S., and as AI continues to grow, so has the attention brought towards Orange County becoming its epicenter. There is a tremendous amount of activity in OC, as organizations and startups continue to thrive and enjoy a unique combination of top-tier talent, venture capital, research university programs, and an unbeatable climate.
By leveraging AI and emerging technologies (VR/AR, Quantum Computing, IoT, Robotics, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, Mobility, UAV, Autonomous Vehicles, etc.), unprecedented quantities of data are now being managed and generated in industries across many industry verticals, including fintech, cybersecurity, gaming, medtech, and even entertainment with Disneyland Resort using AI to enhance the customer experience. Companies such as Cylance, Anduril, Masimo and others, have helped build a unique ecosystem in OC to utilize this data, and address the challenges of attracting and building prospective AI talent toward OC, which will result in a surge for upcoming, top-tier AI events.
Access to local venture capital has and will continue to be a critical element of the AI/Tech sector, and OC is fortunate to have Newport Beach-based Miramar Digital Ventures in our community. Miramar is focused in the early seed or series A round of investing, reserving follow-on capital for future rounds of financing. The company will also invest in pre-revenue companies with beta products, and is seeking companies with innovative technology and experienced management teams.
(For more information about Miramar Digital Ventures, visit https://www.miramarvp.com)
A few notable examples that show a concerted effort in OC around the emerging AI cluster include:
- Anduril’s Lattice platform and sentry towers. Lattice is Anduril’s AI backbone, leveraging computer vision, machine learning and mesh networking to integrate real-time data into a single, autonomous operating picture. Their sentry towers operate with this platform, and utilize the latest sensor and networking technology to provide unique guidance for our region’s military arm.
- Cylance AI native cybersecurity products are providing necessary digital and operational support such as CylanceGUARD, a 24×7 managed detection and response offering that provides actionable intelligence for customers, or Cylance Smart Antivirus, an enterprise security solution for families
- UCI and Disney Research’s new AI video compression model that shows how deep learning can compete against current video compression technology.
- New UCI medical tools backed by AI*, that reinforce UCI’s commitment to leverage AI innovation for biomedical uses that improve the diagnosis of disease, predict which patients need higher levels of care, or spot trends in global health data.
Earlier this year, OC leaders held a dinner to further discuss their respective initiatives around AI, and organizations like University of California, Irvine (UCI) have been strong nodes for this movement. For instance, UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gilman reported that the university is investing $1.5B in medtech, tech, life sciences, and AI, with plans to add 600 heads to the existing 2000 faculty already working in cutting edge research areas across UCI.
EnvisionOC was created to showcase the opportunities that are available in Orange County for career development and enterprise. For leaders in the OC business community, the increasing importance of AI is another step towards helping the EnvisionOC movement attract and retain top talent in the region, with the means to do impactful work for a new generation.
If you’d like to explore how you can be a part of the momentum around AI, get connected with EnvisionOC today. Too much of the OC pioneering work in AI is being done in silos so EnvisionOC will make an effort to begin to tell these stories.
*Has not been fully validated for clinical use.