Big tech companies are making significant investments in deep learning, but there are also opportunities for startups:
Many of the papers, data sets, and software toolsrelated to deep learning have been open sourced. This has had a democratizing effect, allowing individuals and small organizations to build powerful applications. WhatsApp was able to build a global messaging system that served 900M users with just 50 engineers, compared to the thousands of engineers that were needed for prior generations of messaging systems. This “WhatsApp effect” is now happening in AI. Software tools like Theano and TensorFlow, combined with cloud data centers for training, and inexpensive GPUs for deployment, allow small teams of engineers to build state-of-the-art AI systems.
You might have seen recent press coverage of a software developer named George Hotz who built his own self-driving car.