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

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Oct 21, 2020 - Technology

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New forms of "empathetic computing" are helping human users feel more comfortable in opening up to a program.

Why it matters: Our mental health has taken a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, while social distancing means it's harder to meet in person with therapists. That has opened a space for emotionally attuned machines to help us.

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  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
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  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
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Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.