Scale AI Hires Former U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios as Head of Strategy

Startup wants to expand its customer base to include companies that need help bringing AI pilot projects to maturation

Michael Kratsios, former U.S. chief technology officer, joined late-stage startup Scale AI in March.

Photo: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg News

香蕉视频苹果下载Former U.S. technology chief Michael Kratsios has joined data management startup Scale AI Inc. as managing director and head of strategy, where he will help a wider range of customers bring AI pilot projects to maturity, the company said Thursday.

Mr. Kratsios in March began working at Scale AI, where he is focused on helping companies turn AI pilot projects into offerings that can be brought to market, according to the San Francisco-based startup.

“A lot of leading companies have AI teams,” said Mr. Kratsios, who served as U.S. chief technology officer during the Trump administration. “I think what we can do is move a lot of these companies from doing a lot of these tests and pilots to actually moving their AI into production,” he said. The position is a new role within the company, according to Scale AI.

Scale AI, which said its customers include PayPal Holdings Inc. and Toyota Research Institute Inc., offers services and software that help companies manage the data used to train AI algorithms.

Mr. Kratsios said the company has served sophisticated AI users such as government agencies and technology companies such as Lyft Inc. and Pinterest Inc. He said he would help expand the company’s customer base to include businesses that may not have experience executing AI projects.

“We’re in the very early innings of getting AI to be adopted across most traditional businesses,” Mr. Kratsios said. “So there’s a long runway ahead of us, and I think we’ve laid a tremendous foundation to kind of build on that,” he said.

香蕉视频苹果下载Mr. Kratsios said he would help the company land Fortune 500 customers in industries such as financial services and agriculture. He will report to Chief Executive Alexandr Wang and will also help advise executives on products, sales and marketing, the company said.

Founded in 2016, Scale AI has more than 300 employees and has raised $602 million in venture capital from investors including Dragoneer Investment Group, Greenoaks Capital and Tiger Global Management.

Mr. Kratsios said he would help Scale AI develop a product road map and introduce the company to a variety of industries that want to make a breakthrough in AI.

香蕉视频苹果下载Scale AI said its services include labeling the information required for training AI algorithms. For instance, a company developing self-driving cars might need to identify humans and other objects in a video feed. Scale AI would use a proprietary machine learning platform to label as much data as possible, which then gets reviewed by people.

The company also sells a platform that helps companies manage their data, and makes recommendations on how to improve the quality of data before it is submitted to Scale AI for labeling.

Enterprises struggle with taking AI projects from the pilot phase to actual deployment, according to Whit Andrews, an analyst at research firm Gartner Inc.香蕉视频苹果下载 Data preparation, which includes labeling, is a big obstacle, he said.

Mr. Kratsios joined the Trump administration in 2017 and was confirmed by the Senate as U.S. CTO in August 2019. He helped launch香蕉视频苹果下载 a consortium of government, industry and academic leaders who use high-performance computing for Covid-19 research.

He also served as acting undersecretary of defense香蕉视频苹果下载, where he was responsible for the research-and-development budget at the Defense Department. Before that, he served as a principal at Thiel Capital, where he invested in and advised technology companies.

Ritu Jyoti, program vice president for artificial-intelligence research at International Data Corp., said Mr. Kratsios brings to his new role a deep understanding of emerging technologies, as well as experience working with companies in a range of industries.

Write to Jared Council at jared.council@wsj.com

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