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The AI Fund is just the latest project from former Baidu and Google executive Andrew Ng. Photo: Andrew Ng

Andrew Ng has yet another AI-related effort on his plate: a new $175 million fund. Ng, who formerly led Baidu's artificial intelligence group, is today announcing the AI Fund.

What he's saying: Though billed as an investment vehicle, Ng told Axios it is more about providing funding for ideas his team is incubating than it is looking for outside startups to invest in.

AI Fund teams are currently pursuing three new AI-powered directions, some of which we hope to announce at a later date. As such projects mature and turn into businesses, the AI Fund will provide additional capital to these teams and thereby give them the ability to move quickly, and not be distracted by months of fundraising. It also allows them to publicize their work only when they are ready.
Andrew Ng, in a blog post announcing the AI Fund

Its only announced investment is in Landing.ai, the AI-in-manufacturing startup that Ng announced last month.

Who's backing it: Investors include NEA, Sequoia, Greylock Partners, and SoftBank.

The partners: Ng will be the general partner, Former Sycamore CEO Steven Syverud will be a partner, while Eva Wang, a former partner at law firm Fenwick & West, will serve as partner and COO. Ng declined to say how many other people work at the Palo Alto-based fund.

The thinking: "I've been around and seen a lot of AI businesses," Ng told Axios, adding they are "more repeatable than people think."

Go deeper

Axios-Ipsos poll: People of color face more environmental threats

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Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±2.5% margin of error; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Americans of color are much less likely than white Americans to experience good air quality or tap water or enough trees or green space in their communities, and they're more likely to face noise pollution and litter, a new Axios-Ipsos poll finds.

The big picture: Our national survey shows Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to live near major highways or industrial or manufacturing plants — and to have dealt in the past year with water-boil notices or power outages lasting more than 24 hours.

16 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

17 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."