M&A

Booz Allen backs AI, machine learning software startup

Booz Allen Hamilton has put its technology scouting function to work through an investment in Latent AI, a software maker focused on enabling artificial intelligence and machine learning functions.

Terms of that backing announced Thursday were not disclosed. Latent AI was founded in 2018 as an early-stage venture spinout of the nonprofit SRI International and is primarily funded by investors such as Future Ventures, Autotech Ventures and Perot Jain.

Latent AI designs its flagship Efficient Inference Platform to help users optimize the compute, energy consumption and memory allocation of devices at the tactical edge without changes to prior models or designs.

For Booz Allen, this move comes six months after the government services company made a similar investment in emerging commercial cybersecurity firm Tracepoint.

The backing of Latent AI is intended to align with how defense agencies are seeking greater ability to deploy and run AI and ML models for situational awareness. Agencies also want to simply and accelerate their AI workflows in order to also deploy applications for the Internet of Things.

“The National Defense Strategy calls for a more innovative, resilient military to maintain the U.S. competitive advantage, and the ability to collect, analyze and quickly act on data is at the core of that national security mission,” Steve Escaravage, a senior vice president at Booz Allen, said in the release.

“To fully leverage a force that is interconnected and information-advantaged, defense organizations need optimized, scalable AI and data compression at the tactical edge.

"Booz Allen’s investment in Latent AI will help enable our clients to implement ML models on small form factor chip-sets and into highly sought-after end user devices, which will increase AI adoption and return on investment.”

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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