DoD Awards Labelbox Artificial Intelligence Contract
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 9, 2020 — Labelbox, the world’s leading training data platform, is among an elite selection of artificial intelligence companies to receive a contract from the Department of Defense to support national security as the U.S. scrambles to stay ahead of its rivals.
While some in Silicon Valley balk at working with the government, Labelbox’s founders are vocal about their belief that technology companies have a responsibility to help the U.S. maintain its technological advantage in the face of competition from nation states.
“I grew up in a poor family, with limited opportunities and little infrastructure” said Manu Sharma, CEO and one of Labelbox’s co-founders, who was raised in a village in India near the Himalayas. He said that opportunities afforded by the U.S. have helped him achieve more success in ten years than multiple generations of his family back home. “We’ve made a principled decision to work with the government and support the American system,” he said.
Labelbox is a software platform that allows data science teams to manage the data used to train supervised-learning models. Supervised learning is a branch of artificial intelligence that uses labeled data to train algorithms to recognize patterns in images, audio, video or text. After being fed millions of labeled pictures of mobile missile launchers from satellite imagery, for example, a supervised-learning system will learn to pick out missile launchers in pictures it has never seen.
For data science teams to work better with each other and with labelers around the world, they need a platform and tools. Without those things, managing large sets of data quickly becomes overwhelming. Labelbox solves that problem by facilitating collaboration, rework, quality assurance, model evaluation, audit trails, and model-assisted labeling in one platform. The platform is tailored for computer vision systems but can handle all forms of data. The platform also helps with billing and time management.
“Labelbox is an integrated solution for data science teams to not only create the training data but also to manage it in one place,” said Sharma. “It’s the foundational infrastructure for customers to build their machine learning pipeline.”
The company won an Air Force AFWERX Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research contract to conduct feasibility studies on how to integrate the Labelbox platform with various stakeholders in the Air Force. Labelbox recently hired a representative in Washington, D.C., to manage the process.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research and Development. The United States Department of Defense is the largest of 11 federal agencies participating in the program. Air Force Innovation Hub Network (AFWERX) is a United States Air Force program intended to engage innovators and entrepreneurs in developing effective solutions to challenges faced by the service.
Founded in 2018 and based in San Francisco, Labelbox is a collaborative training data platform for machine learning applications. Instead of building their own expensive and incomplete homegrown tools, companies rely on Labelbox as the training data platform that acts as a central hub for data science teams to interface with dispersed labeling teams. Better ways to input and manage data translates into higher-quality training data and more accurate machine-learning models. Labelbox has raised $39 million in capital from leading VCs in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit: https://www.Labelbox.com/