Friday, February 28, 2020

Karachi's NED University Alum's AI Startup Named "Most Innovative" at RSA Conference

Securiti.ai has been named "Most Innovative Startup" at RSA Conference in San Francisco, according to media reports. It has been founded by Rehan Jalil, a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur of Pakistani origin who graduated from NED University located in Karachi. Jalil's startup is taking advantage of the growing global data privacy market being fueled by new regulations like European Union's GDPR and California's CCPA.

In a statement issued after winning the RSA award, Jalil said: “Privacy is a basic human right, and companies want to honor individual rights of privacy and data protection. Privacy compliance and operations are only getting more complex for businesses around the world, and we’re humbled that the judges recognized our vision for AI-powered PrivacyOps and data protection.”

L to  R: Shahjahan Chaudhry, Jahan Ara, Riaz Haq, Rehan Jalil

Securiti.ai, a startup that recently raised $50 million in series B funding, is using artificial intelligence to help companies comply with customer data privacy regulations like EU's GDPR and California's CCPA. The startup has raised a total of $81 million in two rounds since its inception in 2019. Securiti.ai creates digital personas for each individual and finds copies of data shared across systems or with third-party vendors or partners to help companies comply with right-to-be-forgotten laws.

Companies using securiti's software begin by defining their data sources, then send out a bot that gathers customer data across all of the data sources they have defined. Securiti supports links to more than 250 common modern and legacy data sources out of the box. Once the bot grabs the data and creates a central record, humans come in to review the results and make any adjustments and final decisions on how to handle a data request from the customer.

Rehan Jalil is a successful serial entrepreneur. Elastica, his last startup in cloud security space, was acquired by Blue Coat Systems for $280 million. Prior to that, Jalil he founded Wichorus and sold it to Tellabs for $165 million.

Karachi's NED University has produced many successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Raghib Husain, Naveed Sherwani, Safwan Shah, Rehan Jalil and Khalid Raza just to name a few.


Related Links:

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South Asia Investor Review

Pakistani-American VC Asad Jamal Invested Early in Baidu

Pakistani Students Win First Place in Stanford Design Contest

Pakistanis Win AI Family Challenge in Silicon Valley

Pakistani Gamer Wins ESPN E-sports Player of the Year Award

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

Pakistan's Research Output Growing Fastest in the World

AI Research at NED University Funded By Silicon Valley NEDians

Pakistan Hi-Tech Exports Exceed A Billion US Dollars in 2018 

Pakistan Becomes CERN Member

Pakistani Tech Unicorns

Rising College Enrollment in Pakistan

Pakistani Universities Listed Among Asia's Top 500 Jump From 16 to 23 in One Year

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Pakistan Human Development in Musharraf Years

4 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Rehan Jalil's startup named among 25 Machine Learning startups to watch in 2021:


https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2021/01/10/top-25-machine-learning-startups-to-watch-in-2021-based-on-crunchbase/?sh=1dab08504038

SECURITI.ai – One of the most innovative startups in cybersecurity, combining AI and ML to secure sensitive data in multi-cloud and mixed platform environments, SECURITI.ai is a machine learning company to watch in 2021, especially if you are interested in cybersecurity. Their AI-powered platform and systems enable organizations to discover potential breach risk areas across multi-cloud, SaaS and on-premise environments, protect it and automate all private systems, networks and infrastructure functions.


There are a record number of 9,977 machine learning startups and companies in Crunchbase today, an 8.2% increase over the 9,216 startups listed in 2020 and a 14.6% increase over the 8,705 listed in 2019.
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning (ML)-related companies received a record $27.6 billion in funding in 2020, according to Crunchbase.
Of those A.I. and machine learning startups receiving funding since January 1, 2020, 62% are seed rounds, 31% early-stage venture rounds and 6.7% late-stage venture capital-funded rounds.
A.I. and machine learning startups’ median funding round was $4.4 million and the average was $29.8 million in 2020, according to Crunchbase.
Throughout 2020, venture capital firms continued expanding into new global markets, with London, New York, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Boston, Seattle and Singapore startups receiving increased funding. Out of the 79 most popular A.I. & ML startup locations, 15 are in the San Francisco Bay Area, making that region home to 19% of startups who received funding in the last year.

Israel’s Tel Aviv region has 37 startups who received venture funding over the last year, including those launched in Herzliya, a region of the city known for its robust startup and entrepreneurial culture. Please see the Roundup Of Machine Learning Forecasts And Market Estimates, 2020 for additional market research on A.I. and machine learning.

Riaz Haq said...

Securiti.ai raises $50 million to streamline data security and compliance

https://venturebeat.com/2020/01/22/securiti-ai-raises-50-million-to-streamline-data-security-and-compliance/

Securiti.ai is taking on the growing cybersecurity market — projected to be worth $300 billion by 2024 — with its security and compliance process automation platform. After emerging from stealth last August with $31 million in funding, Securiti.ai today announced that it has secured $50 million in a series B round led by General Catalyst, with participation from Mayfield. This brings the San Jose, California-based startup’s total raised to $81 million.

President and CEO Rehan Jalil — who founded the company in 2019 with a team hailing from Symantec, Blue Coat, Elastica, and Cisco — said the capital will lay the groundwork for a freemium data subject request (DSR) fulfillment product and a self-service portal that will streamline onboarding of privacy compliance solutions. Jalil added that this will enable Securiti.ai to scale its reach by expanding into Latin American and Asia-Pacific markets just as new privacy regulations — such as Brazil’s General Law for the Protection of Personal Data (LGPD) and Australia’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) — go into effect.

Securiti.ai also announced that three new executives will join its management team, following the growth of its workforce from 130 people to just over 185. Matt Gilbo, Eric Andrews, and John Cunningham have been appointed vice president of sales, vice president of marketing, and vice president of the Asia-Pacific division, respectively.

“[There are] a dozen state-level privacy regulations in the works, and we look forward to scaling our team and expanding our product capabilities to ensure businesses stay prepared as new regulations go into effect,” said Jalil in a recent statement. “We look forward to making privacy compliance simple, automated, and cost-effective for our customers.”

In 2009, Jalil sold network equipment maker Wichorus for $165 million, and he headed Symantec’s cloud security division after his company Blue Coat was acquired for $4.7 billion, following a merger with his previous startup, Elastica. During his tenure at Symantec, he led the company’s fastest-growing division, with triple-digit growth over seven quarters.

It was around this time that he got the idea for Privaci, Securiti.ai’s debut product. Jalil describes it as a “PrivacyOps” solution that combines best practices with cross-functional collaboration, automation, and orchestration.

To this end, Privaci features a number of configurable modules aimed at operationalizing data management and compliance. A personal data owner identifier taps AI to discover personal info (and its owners) from “hundreds” of structured and unstructured sources, while a data subject request automator and portal help fulfill and collect requests by compiling systems and data-containing objects into a report for review and approval.

Those components join third- and first-party privacy assessment models that serve as cross-organizational systems of record. A complementary third-party privacy module provides independent ratings of enterprises to determine privacy risk based on publicly available information about their data collection and handling practices. And a consent lifecycle manager records consent from various points within an organization and centralizes the files in a single unified, searchable place.

It’s a lot to keep straight, but fortunately there’s a robotic assistant dubbed Auti to walk users through the ins and outs. Auti can parse questions about various aspects of an organization’s privacy compliance in plain language, in addition to handling questions about sensitive data, personal information risks, and more. Moreover, it’s able to assist in tasks like DSR fulfillment, and it works in conjunction with a dashboard for multi-channel team collaboration designed to prevent breaches resulting from shared sensitive data.

Riaz Haq said...

HEC grants $525,000 to 15 startup businesses to boost entrepreneurship
Muhammad Faisal Kaleem


https://dailytimes.com.pk/1031680/hec-grants-525000-to-15-startup-businesses-to-boost-entrepreneurship/

The Higher Education Commis-sion (HEC) has granted $525,000 to fifteen start-ups under the Innovator Seed Fund (ISF) program with the purpose to enhance the entrepreneurship, Daily Times has learnt.

As per available information 15 start-ups have won grants of up to $35,000 each in the Pitching competition. Initially, as many as 26 entrepreneurial teams shortlisted out of 186 applicants who have participated in the competition.

Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed applauded the talent and potential of university students, graduates and researchers with regard to presenting solutions to local challenges.


He, however, underlined that Pakistan definitely faces problems, yet it is certain that problems bring opportunities with them, adding that various achievements of Pakistani academia and industry in the spheres of technology and innovation, he stressed that the young generation was blessed with the capabilities to sort out solutions to the challenges facing the country.

While recalling the start-up program, Dr Ahmed highlighted that Pakistan’s start-ups saw a record-breaking year of fund-raising in 2021 with over $350 million in funding. He noted that with collective and persistent efforts, this fledgling ecosystem can flourish further and safeguard Pakistani entrepreneurs through regulatory, networking, and funding opportunities.

During the pitching ceremony earlier, Dr. Shaista Sohail said Pakistan currently has the largest number of young people ever in its history, which makes it one of the youngest countries in the world. “This huge generation of young people can be the biggest asset of the country, if we are able to reap its potential by empowering and uplifting them.” She stressed the need for providing the youth the right kind of education and skills as well as the opportunities to fulfil their roles as responsible, productive citizens, and drivers of economic growth.

She noted that in many countries, startups and entrepreneurship play a very important role in job creation. She further observed that Pakistan’s startup ecosystem is still in its embryonic stage compared to other nations of the world. “There is a dire need to propel our efforts towards promotion of technology and innovation-based Startups in the country and to boost the overall Startup ecosystem,” she emphasised.

The grant winning start-ups included ezGeyser, mimAR Studios, Funkshan Tech Pvt. Ltd., and truID Technologies Pvt. Ltd. from National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST); Savvy Engineers Pvt. Ltd. and Arm Rehab Technologies from International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI); Avero Life Sciences from Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar; Wonder Women from University of the Punjab; Orko Pvt. Ltd., Boltay Huroof, and Poter Pakistan from NED University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Karachi; VisionRD and Oxbridge Innovative Solutions Pvt. Ltd. from Bahria University Islamabad; 110 Innovate from IBA-Sukkur; and Shahruh Technologies Pvt. Ltd. from UET, Lahore.

Riaz Haq said...

What is ChatGPT? The AI chatbot talked up as a potential Google killer
After all, the AI chatbot seems to be slaying a great deal of search engine responses.

https://interestingengineering.com/science/chatgpt-ai-chatbot-google-killer

ChatGPT is the latest and most impressive artificially intelligent chatbot yet. It was released two weeks ago, and in just five days hit a million users. It’s being used so much that its servers have reached capacity several times.

OpenAI, the company that developed it, is already being discussed as a potential Google slayer. Why look up something on a search engine when ChatGPT can write a whole paragraph explaining the answer? (There’s even a Chrome extension that lets you do both, side by side.)

But what if we never know the secret sauce behind ChatGPT’s capabilities?

The chatbot takes advantage of a number of technical advances published in the open scientific literature in the past couple of decades. But any innovations unique to it are secret. OpenAI could well be trying to build a technical and business moat to keep others out.

What it can (and can’t do)
ChatGPT is very capable. Want a haiku on chatbots? Sure.

How about a joke about chatbots? No problem.

ChatGPT can do many other tricks. It can write computer code to a user’s specifications, draft business letters or rental contracts, compose homework essays and even pass university exams.

Just as important is what ChatGPT can’t do. For instance, it struggles to distinguish between truth and falsehood. It is also often a persuasive liar.

ChatGPT is a bit like autocomplete on your phone. Your phone is trained on a dictionary of words so it completes words. ChatGPT is trained on pretty much all of the web, and can therefore complete whole sentences – or even whole paragraphs.

However, it doesn’t understand what it’s saying, just what words are most likely to come next.

Open only by name
In the past, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have been accompanied by peer-reviewed literature.

In 2018, for example, when the Google Brain team developed the BERT neural network on which most natural language processing systems are now based (and we suspect ChatGPT is too), the methods were published in peer-reviewed scientific papers, and the code was open-sourced.

And in 2021, DeepMind’s AlphaFold 2, a protein-folding software, was Science’s Breakthrough of the Year. The software and its results were open-sourced so scientists everywhere could use them to advance biology and medicine.

Following the release of ChatGPT, we have only a short blog post describing how it works. There has been no hint of an accompanying scientific publication, or that the code will be open-sourced.

To understand why ChatGPT could be kept secret, you have to understand a little about the company behind it.

OpenAI is perhaps one of the oddest companies to emerge from Silicon Valley. It was set up as a non-profit in 2015 to promote and develop “friendly” AI in a way that “benefits humanity as a whole”. Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and other leading tech figures pledged US$1 billion (dollars) towards its goals.

Their thinking was we couldn’t trust for-profit companies to develop increasingly capable AI that aligned with humanity’s prosperity. AI therefore needed to be developed by a non-profit and, as the name suggested, in an open way.

In 2019 OpenAI transitioned into a capped for-profit company (with investors limited to a maximum return of 100 times their investment) and took a US$1 billion(dollars) investment from Microsoft so it could scale and compete with the tech giants.

It seems money got in the way of OpenAI’s initial plans for openness.

Profiting from users
On top of this, OpenAI appears to be using feedback from users to filter out the fake answers ChatGPT hallucinates.

According to its blog, OpenAI initially used reinforcement learning in ChatGPT to downrank fake and/or problematic answers using a costly hand-constructed training set.