The World Economic Forum today announced its list of 56 companies selected as Technology Pioneers, and this year’s class demonstrates the growing embrace of artificial intelligence and machine learning across a broad range of sectors. Of those selected, at least 20 companies say they are using AI or machine learning in some fashion to tackle challenges in fields such as adtech, smart cities, cleantech, supply chain, manufacturing, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles and drones. While there is still plenty of skepticism about how much impact these technologies are having, the Technology Pioneers offer some indication of the progress being made in finding practical applications for these tools.
“Our new tech pioneers are at the cutting edge of many industries, using their innovations to address serious issues around the world,” said Fulvia Montresor, Head of Technology Pioneers at the Forum, in a statement. “This year’s pioneers know that technology is about more than innovation – it is also about application. This is why we believe they’ll shape the future.”
As members of the Pioneers programs, the startups are invited to participate in various WEF events which gives them access to international policy makers and larger corporations who represent potential partners or investors. For many, it also represents an important validation of their product or services.