Artificial Intelligence in Lisbon: Here Are 5 Startups You Should Hear About

November 1, 2017

This year, as we were organising the Machine Learning School in Lisbon, I kept on wondering why the whole world was merely looking at Silicon Valley for the AI revolution and turning a blind eye to what was going on everywhere else.

The truth is, Silicon Valley is not the Artificial Intelligence capital of the world. There is just too much going outside of it and that’s exactly what we need to talk about.

Lisbon, for example, has seen the rise of many intriguing and promising Artificial Intelligence startups and research projects, over the past few years, and it has naturally become a hub for AI specialists. We have some of the leading tech universities in Europe, we run a top machine learning school, we have the largest tech conference in the world, and we are bringing top-notch tech talent to our shores.

So, how come very few people heard of Artificial Intelligence in Lisbon?

At Unbabel, we have followed this movement from a very early stage and we couldn’t help but notice some of the best AI startups in town. From predictive intelligence to finance, from communication to crowd analysis, Lisbon has really put the pedal to the metal and it will most definitely leave its own footprint in the AI revolution.

If you’re interested in Artificial Intelligence and if you’re coming to the Web Summit 2017 make sure you get out of the building and meet these companies.

Feedzai – the one true AI to fight financial crime


Feedzai is definitely one of the top Portuguese startups and they have recently raised 50 million dollars in their Series C. This startup which started off in Coimbra has put artificial intelligence to work on fraud prevention. In other words, they have built “the one true AI to fight financial crime”.
Working with some of the largest banks in the world, Feedzai was able to develop an intelligent platform that ingests and transforms multiple data streams and fraud insights across any channel. The platform they have built enriches the data to create hypergranular risk profiles, while machine learning works to process events and transactions in milliseconds. They then deliver explainable AI by adding a human-readable semantic layer to the underlying machine logic.

They have an office right next to Web Summit, so there’s your excuse to pay them a visit

James – artificial intelligence for credit risk


James is basically a one-stop shop for Credit Risk Management, that allows you to easily create, validate, deploy, and monitor regulation-ready, high-performing predictive models.

This startup based in Lisbon aims to make sure risk professionals can get the most out of the data they work with. They incorporated state of the art machine learning techniques that allow companies to optimize their model’s performance while ensuring its robustness. This gives James the power to replicate hundreds of processes that usually have to be manually constructed.

Heptasense – the first AI software to understand human patterns


Heptasense has designed an Artificial Intelligence software that learns and understands human patterns. It basically mimics how the human brain works, meaning that their technology can transform any device into an intelligent system. It can be used in gesture control, where you control devices with the movement of your hands, in motion tracking, where you follow in real-time the 3D movement of the human body, or even in crowd analysis, where you can detect patterns in human behaviour and understand if someone’s behaviour represents a threat.
They are currently working with companies such as BMW, which is using Heptasense’s technology to allow the driver to customize the controls of the car with gestures.

Their office is located in Startup Lisboa, one of the top incubators in town. – using artificial intelligence to predict the future

Jungle is at the forefront of applied research in artificial intelligence. Their team targets the ever expanding streams of data within organisations to help predict what operations will look like in the near future. From knowing when wind turbines will fail, to predicting how product sales will perform and why.

The company which kicked off its business in Delft in the Netherlands, has recently moved its research and development office to Lisbon.

Unbabel – a world without language barriers


Ah, that’s us, in case you haven’t noticed

At Unbabel, we are pushing for a world without language barriers, by combining the speed and ease of machine translation with the quality of human translation.

We basically custom Machine Translation engines and adapt to our customers’ domains, paired with award-winning Quality Estimation systems. However, even State of the Art AI needs a helping hand, so we have our global community of 50.000 linguists who post-edit the content until it sounds right. This allows our machine translation engines to learn continuously with each translation.

We currently have two main products: translation as a service for customer support, translating customer support emails in a few minutes from companies such as Skyscanner, Pinterest, or Vimeo, and allowing them to go global; and Unbabel for Video, where we accurately transcribe and translate videos so that companies can reach a global audience.

After all, there is life beyond Silicon Valley, there is artificial intelligence


The post Artificial Intelligence in Lisbon: Here Are 5 Startups You Should Hear About appeared first on Unbabel.

About the Author

Profile Photo of João Graça
João Graça

João Graça is a co-founder, Chief Technology Officer, and computational genius behind Unbabel. Portuguese born, João studied computer science at doctorate level at one of Lisbon’s most well-respected technical universities, Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa. During his studies, he published a number of well-received papers on machine learning, computational research, and computational linguistics — all of which form the bedrock of Unbabel’s machine translation engine. After graduation, João worked with INESC-ID, developing research in natural language processing (NLP) and went on to do his postdoc in NLP at the University of Pennsylvania. João was awarded a Marie Curie, Welcome II Scholarship (2011), which he declined in favor of entrepreneurship. He worked with now Unbabel CEO, Vasco Pedro, together on the development of language learning algorithms and machine learning tools, plus held various research scientist roles before co-founding Unbabel in 2013.