Local AI start-up taps into Nvidia expertise

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Wihan Booyse, director of AI at Kriterion.
Wihan Booyse, director of AI at Kriterion.

Pretoria-based artificial intelligence (AI) start-up company Kriterion has joined the Nvidia Inception programme, which is designed to nurture start-ups revolutionising industries with advancements in AI and data sciences.

US-based Nvidia, which designs graphics processing units (GPUs) as well as system on a chip units, says its virtual accelerator programme helps start-ups during critical stages of product development, prototyping and deployment.

Every start-up gets a custom set of ongoing benefits, from hardware grants and marketing support to training with deep learning experts.

Kriterion was launched in July 2018 after the successful completion of a proof of concept phase at a JSE-listed corporation.

The founders of Kriterion are Wihan Booyse (25), director AI; Ricardo Ludeke (28), director digital; Ernst Dreyer (57), director; Ian Theron (51), director; and US-based Dr Wim Booyse (60), MD.

At present, Kriterion is self-funded, says Wim Booyse. "Kriterion is in the process of discussions with a leading start-up incubator in the US called Station Houston. Based on its track record, we are of the opinion that Station Houston is the appropriate incubator to assist Kriterion with fundraising at this critical time.

"We applied for admission to the Nvidia Inception programme in accordance with the application and selection process determined by Nvidia, and were accepted on 28 November 2018."

The start-up focuses on providing cognitive insights that capitalise on the combination of algorithms, machine learning, reinforcement learning, big data, data science and probabilistic digital twin technology to enhance the human decision-making processes.

It says the important criterion is not to replace human activity, but rather to augment such activity intelligently. The intelligent condition monitoring solution that resides within the Kriterion platform provides predictive and prognostic analytics about assets that human-based asset management metrics are not capable of providing, the start-up company says.

The company plans to take advantage of the Nvidia Inception Programme and all the associated benefits, such as access to the Nvidia Deep Learning Institute, the Nvidia development portal and developer community, as well as marketing support and discounts on hardware, as key building blocks for its global expansion.

Ricardo Ludeke, director of digital at Kriterion, says: "Through the combined use of Nvidia GPUs, including the Jetson supercomputer on a module for AI at the edge, we are able to deliver real-time resource allocation and decision support to digital enterprises seeking to reduce operating and maintenance costs, while improving production and asset uptime."

Wihan Booyse notes: "Kriterion strives to create the new standard in AI-driven asset performance management by providing actionable intelligence as a multiplier for human ingenuity.

"Nvidia GPUs are central to our business, and being part of the Nvidia Inception Programme allows us to excel at achieving this goal."

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19 Aug
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