Jul 22, 2020 - Technology

AI security and ethics startup CalypsoAI lands $13 million in funding

Ina Fried
A screenshot of a Zoom call between roughly a dozen people, mostly white men.

Photo: CalypsoAI

CalypsoAI, a machine learning startup with its roots in the defense industry, has raised $13 million to help make government and corporate AI systems more secure and free of bias.

Why it matters: Making AI systems that are free from bias, secure and explainable are all key goals as the technology gets used for increasingly important tasks.

Details: Calypso, which has 17 employees, has had paying customers for about a year, with a focus on the federal government and financial services sectors.

  • The company aims to help businesses and government agencies figure out how they want to use AI while also ensuring their approach is bias-free and secure against attacks.
  • The financing round was led by Paladin Capital Group. Other investors included Lockheed Martin Ventures, 8VC, Frontline Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Manta Ray Ventures and Pallas Ventures.

Our thought bubble: From its team photo, Calypso appears to be overwhelmingly male and white. Experts say a diverse team is important to spotting bias in AI systems.

What they're saying: "CalypsoAI is working on the issue of diversity like the rest of the tech community as they continue to scale," Calypso said in response to Axios' question about the number of women and non-white employees.

  • The company said it is in the process of hiring a woman for a senior leadership position and noted that two of the general partners participating in this Series A are women.

Go deeper: Fresh concerns about AI bias in the age of COVID-19

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