AI Takes on Indiana
Considering that the coastal regions in the United States are the Artificial Intelligence (AI) headquarters of the world, the Midwest is thought to be well behind the times in technology. However, as AI companies such as DemandJump and Fusion Informatics continue to flourish in the Midwestern state of Indiana, venture capitalists now see the benefits that Indiana markets can have on newly developing AI products.
Heartland Ventures, founded in South Bend, Indiana, has created their platform to offer guidance to AI companies on Indiana’s market: what people buy and why they buy it; in exchange for equity in the company and knowledge of the product at hand. Heartland Ventures is providing large coastal AI corporations with an opportunity to bring their products to the Midwest and test their product in an untapped market. Based in the Midwest, the people who work in this company are equipped with specifics of the Indiana market including access to customers, manufacturers, and supply chains. This has allowed Heartland Ventures to evangelize the ways in which they plan to upgrade the Midwest to potential clients and partners.
Along with the attempt to integrate outside AI companies in Indiana, there are also AI companies that were founded in Indiana. These businesses are becoming more and more efficient in expanding artificial intelligence in the Midwest.
DemandJump, an artificial intelligence company located and founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an internet traffic analysis platform. This 2015 startup company has made major waves in the AI business and put “Indianapolis” into the mix as a “technology hub”. This business tracks what their clients’ customers view most frequently on the Internet to determine what websites are most influential to their target audience. The foundation of this business is similar to that of traditional real estate. The premise is that location, in this case online location, is everything. You want your company and your product showing up on networks that maintain the most traffic, allowing for more potential customers exposure. The AI component of this industry uses graphs, algebra, and network traffic to determine what websites are most popular among their clients' target audience. Google is a valued customer and asset to the Indianapolis born business.
Fusion Informatics is an AI company that supplies quick and efficient services to develop intelligent systems at a faster rate. Their business offers to create AI to meet their customers’ needs. Along with creating the product, Fusion Informatics provides installation, integration, and prolonged assistance to help customers become more efficient with the integration of AI to their business. Essentially, Fusion Informatics offers companies that are considered “behind the times” a chance to modernize and become more efficient. With the help of a company like Fusion Informatics, businesses all over the Midwest can grow and become more sustainable with AI.
Professor David Crandall, the head of Computer Science at Indiana University, believes that “Indiana has the ingredients and top central location to potentially become an AI hub.” The position of Indiana next to Chicago offers valuable resources. Indiana also has a high quality “talent pool” along with the many opportunities in cities like Indianapolis and Bloomington. Professor Crandall shared that “Indiana has strong expertise in healthcare and AI can become a high quality resource in that field.” Indiana University is taking steps to become more AI aware by purchasing a new super computer that is designed for AI research. The state plans to also foster more AI faculty and increase their research for a better understanding of artificial intelligence.
Though Indiana is not on the East or West Coast or even a leading power in the AI industry, it is on its way! Indiana has begun incubating AI companies, investing in its educational institutions to attract even more talent and has shown tremendous growth. AI takes on Indiana, nah: Indiana takes on AI.
Written by Kaley Lyons, Edited by Sonakshi Dua & Alexander Fleiss