Cooch AI raises $20M for safety-focused computer vision

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Cooch AI is building a better computer vision platform.
Image: Cooch AI

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are constantly in search of new ways to automate their operations. One of the technologies leading the way is computer vision. This AI-powered tech can do a number of things, including looking for safety violations by identifying when workers aren’t wearing masks or hardhats.

A startup called Cooch AI hopes to make computer vision applications more accessible to businesses across several industries. It recently raised $20 million in Series A funding to pursue that goal.

The round was led by Vickers Venture Partners with participation from several other venture capital firms. Cooch has now raised more than $25.8 million.

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Doing What Humans Do

Experts say that the human body is better than any computer. Even if computers can crunch numbers way faster than the human brain, even the best supercomputers can’t beat the critical thinking and logic skills of humans. The same can be said about our vision processing.

Cooch AI is using humans as inspiration for its computer vision platform. CEO and co-founder Emrah Gultekin tells TechCrunch, “Basically we set out to copy human visual intelligence in machines. That’s really what this whole journey is about.”

He goes on to add, “Chooch Al can rapidly ingest and process visual data from any spectrum, generating AI models in hours that can detect objects, actions, processes, coordinates, states, and more.”

That approach lets the company’s software do a number of different tasks. As mentioned, it excels at vision-based jobs like recognizing whether a person is wearing their mask.

However, that isn’t all the computer vision software is good for. Gultekin notes that Cooch AI wants its platform to be useful to a variety of industries rather than serving a specific application. In that way, the startup is differentiating itself from others like it on the market.

Currently, Cooch AI is working with 18 enterprise clients. It is using these partnerships as an opportunity to continue developing its platform while bringing in some revenue.

The startup plans to use its new funding to expand its marketing efforts by building a worldwide sales team. It also intends to hire new engineers and data scientists.

Unique Approach

A hot topic in the world of AI-based computer vision is how algorithms analyze non-white faces. Problems with inaccuracies when identifying minorities have plagued AI facial recognition systems and other computer vision applications for years.

Fortunately, Cooch AI is cognizant of the issue. The team is currently comprised of 22 individuals working in the U.S., India, and Turkey. That diverse collection of people wants to build a computer vision platform that is just as inclusive.

Gultekin says, “We’re immigrants. We’ve been through a lot of different things, and we recognize some of the issues and are very sensitive to them. One of our senior members is a person of color and we are very cognizant of the fact that we need to develop that part of our company.”

Aside from working to make its platform friendly for all people, Cooch AI is discussing new ways to add diversity to its business.

The startup is worth keeping an eye on as it continues to innovate in the computer vision space in the coming years.

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