Rebrands as Dessa and Announces AlexNet Inventor Alex Krizhevsky as Exclusive Technical Advisor

TORONTO, June 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --, a leading artificial intelligence startup that deploys customized AI solutions for enterprises, is announcing today two exciting developments for the company’s future. To acknowledge the full scope of AI’s potential that extends beyond deep learning technologies, the company has rebranded itself to Dessa. In addition, Dessa is officially appointing AI expert and former Google Brain researcher Alex Krizhevsky as an exclusive Technical Advisor to the company.

Alex Krizhevsky is globally recognized as one of AI’s most singular contributors. In 2012, Krizhevsky helped usher in a new era for artificial intelligence alongside AI luminaries Geoffrey Hinton and Ilya Sutskever. While completing a PhD under Hinton at the University of Toronto, Krizhevsky invented AlexNet, a deep learning network that used high-performance GPUs to produce unprecedented results in image recognition. Since then, AlexNet’s results have played a significant role in shaping deep learning’s impact within the global technology industry. As Dessa’s Technical Advisor, Krizhevsky will provide mentorship to help Dessa’s team enhance their AI knowledge and also support the team’s development of state-of-the-art tools for building real-world AI systems.

Stephen Piron, Dessa’s Co-Founder and Co-CEO, believes the next generation of AI will incorporate a new wave of robust and dynamic tools in addition to the existing applications powered by deep learning. “We’re in a new era of artificial intelligence. Deep learning is a powerful tool that AI practitioners have been using since Hinton, Krizhevsky and Sutskever first demonstrated its potential to produce unprecedented results. While it’s still important to the field, a more diverse range of tools are emerging that will take AI to the next level. We’re proud and honoured to have someone like Alex on board at Dessa to help our team produce next-generation AI tools for our clients and partners.”

Adds Krizhevsky: “After meeting Dessa’s team, I was impressed by their technical knowledge, and also the way they’re working together to solve real-world problems with machine learning. The company’s culture is uniquely passionate and I’m excited to help them in their mission to uncover new tools for building applied AI systems. It’s a privilege to be working with them as they work towards their next phase of growth.”

In addition to the rebrand and Krizhevsky’s new advisory role, Dessa plans to double its staff to 80 employees by the end of this year amid surging demand for its AI services. Dessa also plans to bring its next-generation AI platform to market later this year, which is currently used by its team of machine learning engineers to design and deploy enterprise-grade AI systems. 

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About Dessa

Dessa is helping enterprises reinvent what’s possible for business with AI. Based in Toronto, the company works with enterprise leaders to collaboratively build and deploy customized AI systems designed to drive business value. Dessa’s expertise in applied AI is bolstered by strong partnerships with AI leaders including NVIDIA, the Vector Institute and Amazon Web Services. In 2017, Dessa was named AI Company of the Year and received $9 million in Series A funding.

Alyssa Kuhnert
Communications Director