Founded in 2017 by a couple of MIT professors – Alex Matveev and Nir Shavit, Neural Magic aims to eliminates the need for specialized AI accelerators, such as GPUs or TPUs, to process deep learning models, reducing the need for more costly hardware.
Case against Facebook for stealing!
Recently, the Somerville startup has filed a case against social media giant Facebook for allegedly stealing their proprietary software. Notably, the court documents filed in the District Court of Massachusetts last week alleges Aleksandar Zlateski, the startup’s first employee, breached the non-disclosure and non-competition agreement he signed when he left Neural Magic to join Facebook in July 2019.
Instrumental in creating this software!
As per the company claims, Zlateski had access to all of Neural Magic’s trade secrets, confidential, proprietary information, and business plans for the future. However, it is also said that Zlateski was one of the very few people involved in creating software and the source code of its compiler that sums up startup’s algorithms.
Zlateski and Facebook declined to take down!
According to the lawsuit, the social media giant published on GitHub and announced that it had made an open-source algorithm to enable neural networks to run efficiently on commodity CPUs, which essentially is Neural Magic’s algorithm. On top of that, Facebook also thanked Zlateski publicly for cracking this problem as well. When the startup wrote both Zlateski and Facebook to take down its code from GitHub, both parties declined.
“Zlateski breached the non-disclosure and non-competition agreement he signed with Neural Magic as Technology Director. Moreover, Zlateski and his new employer Facebook engaged in acts and conduct in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that violate Massachusetts trade secrets laws, Chapter 93A, and the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. Facebook has refused repeated requests to cease these acts and remove misappropriated material from its code. Neural Magic has, therefore, been forced to bring these claims to protect its intellectual property.”
Back in November 2019, Neural Magic raised $15 million (approx €13.3 million) seed investment led by Comcast Ventures and including NEA, Andreessen Horowitz, Pillar VC, and Amdocs. The company is on a mission towards “No-Hardware AI.”
If you are unaware, the company uses a novel software algorithm on commodity CPU hardware to deliver equivalent or better speeds on a variety of networks, from traditional ResNet and MobileNet to state-of-the-art EfficientNets.
With Neural Magic, data scientists can achieve similar or better prediction performance results in specialised chips at significantly lower costs.
Main image picture credits: Neural Magic
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