Korea-based artificial intelligence (AI) enablement company CNAI announced on Monday that it has raised a $4.1 million pre-series A funding round co-led by Centauri Fund and IMM Investment.

Many corporations claim to be bullish about AI as a future-forward concept, but when it comes to actual implementation, adopting the tech for real, and at scale, can be easier said than done.

CNAI helps large corporations adopt AI into their real-world business operations through the use of ‘synthetic data’ for training purposes.

Synthetic data is information that is artificially manufactured rather than generated by real-world events. It is created algorithmically and is used as a stand-in for test datasets of production or operational data. It is used to validate mathematical models and to train machine learning (ML) models increasingly. In short, synthetic data helps AI teach itself how to best serve the client.

When attempting to adopt AI, corporate clients commonly face one or more specific challenges. Often, they either lack domain-specific training data, are missing fair and correctly annotated training data, or simply have insufficient data for driving the expected results. This is where enablers like CNAI come in.

According to the startup, one of its AI models powered by synthetic data for a healthcare client improved the accuracy of gastric cancer diagnosis by 10 percent, compared to a model without synthetic data training.

Globally, the demand for synthetic data is expected to grow for all AI applications, including computer vision model training. According to Gartner, 60 percent of the data used for the development of analytics and AI projects will be synthetically generated by 2024, and by 2030, synthetic data will surpass real data as the preferred tool for training AI models.

“Training AI models on synthetic data created by a generative model can be more effective than using real-world data,” explained Wonseop Lee, CEO of CNAI. “Synthetic data is not only a privacy-preserving technology that expands opportunities for the users to access and share data, but also a time-saving technology for labeling real data.”

Lee added that CNAI has recently established a “data warehouse” which provides customized, on-demand datasets to clients.

Centauri Partner Kenneth Li said that the deal will allow CNAI to expand to new markets. “Through Centauri Master Fund, CNAI is preparing to expand its service to Singapore and Indonesia. This international expansion was a key factor in successfully closing the round,” he explained.

“The technology industry continues to grow in complexity, which results in an increased demand for AI/ML. What we have seen in the market, especially in developing markets, is that there is a significant deficit in data supply for any AI/ML engine to effectively work. This is where a synthetic data company comes into play to offset this supply shortfall,” added Centauri Partner Eric Yoo.

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