The Broad Landscape of AI and ML

For the past year, there has been a surge of interest in generative AI, especially due to the prominence of large language models (LLMs) in the news. However, Rudina Seseri, the founder and managing partner of Glasswing Ventures, believes that relying solely on generative AI for building a business is not a sustainable strategy. While valuable, it should not be treated as just a shiny wrapper.

To address the need for a comprehensive understanding of modern AI and machine learning (ML), Glasswing Ventures has released the Glasswing AI Palette. This framework aims to educate startup founders about the diverse range of technologies within the AI and ML space and how they can be effectively applied to solve real-world challenges faced by enterprises.

Glasswing Ventures is an experienced player in the AI market, having raised $112 million in 2018 to support AI startups even before ChatGPT gained popularity. In 2022, the firm secured an additional $158 million to further its mission of promoting the development and growth of data and AI technologies. Some of the companies that Glasswing Ventures invested in at an early stage include ChaosSearch, FeatureByte, and Causely.

“Everyone is excited about gen AI and don’t get me wrong, we are too,” Seseri told VentureBeat. “But there’s a lot that’s happening with other techniques.”

Understanding the Glasswing AI Palette

The Glasswing AI Palette serves as a common language and framework to help navigate the complex and ever-evolving AI landscape. It provides a mapping of AI techniques like transformers, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), and Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) to specific data types and potential use cases. Furthermore, the tool connects to Glasswing’s ongoing ‘AI Atlas’ project, offering more detailed explanations and evaluations of different techniques and their applications.

While much of the hype in the industry revolves around generative AI and LLMs, Seseri emphasizes that AI encompasses a much broader spectrum. As an investor, Glasswing Ventures is primarily focused on companies that deliver value to the enterprise and security markets. Seseri clarifies that AI and generative AI are not synonymous. Startups utilizing the framework provided by the Glasswing AI Palette may uncover opportunities beyond API wrappers by leveraging techniques like CNNs, RNNs, and transformer combinations.

Image credit: Glasswing Ventures

A common pattern seen in startups today is the tendency to create wrappers around existing LLMs. Seseri believes that the ChatGPT era has brought about the mass consumerization of AI, offering productivity benefits to organizations. However, she argues that building a business solely on an LLM wrapper approach lacks defensibility and fails to differentiate the organization from competitors.

Glasswing Ventures seeks to support companies that are using AI algorithms, techniques, and architectures at the core of their products to provide unique and valuable solutions. These solutions should address significant problems in either the enterprise or the security sector, where substantial budgets exist for “must have” solutions.

“What we look for is truly AI native companies, where they’re solving problems that otherwise would not be able to be solved,” she said.

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