Fiddler Labs on Wednesday said it has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Lockheed Martin’s [LMT] ventures unit that also includes an investment to help the company further develop, test and scale its capabilities in allowing users to understand and trust applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in the aerospace and defense industries.
The value of the investment by Lockheed Martin Ventures was not disclosed.
Fiddler, which is based in California, specializes in Explainable AI, which essentially allows users to understand why the autonomous technology is making certain decisions and taking actions, enabling the technology’s trustworthiness.
“Explaining AI outcomes is key to building great AI solutions,” Chris Moran, general manager and vice president of Lockheed Martin Ventures, said in a statement. “When businesses can understand why their models are doing something, they are empowered to make those models better. Fiddler is designing its Explainable AI Platform to get ahead of this, and we hope it enables users to gain actionable insights with continuous real-time monitoring of AI that ensures precise and rapid error detection on an ongoing basis.”
Fiddler was founded in 2018 and has received $14 million in investments to date. An initial funding round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and included Bloomberg Beta and Haystack Ventures. Last September, the company raised $10.2 million in Series A funding, again led by Lightspeed and Lux Capital, with Bloomberg and Haystack participating as well.
Explaining the significance of the company’s technology, Krishna Gade, co-founder and CEO of Fiddler, said in a statement that “When you build models you don’t always intrinsically know what features are impacting the models. It’s pretty much a black box. When pushing these models to production, operationalization becomes a challenge because of the lack of insight into errors, potential model decay, or anomalies. An Explainable AI Monitoring system provides deep model insights with actionable steps, helping users better understand the problem drivers, root cause issues, and analyze their models, essentially unlocking that black box.”
The investment in Fiddler is the third this year by Lockheed Martin Ventures. Two earlier investments included a start-up rocket company and another developing augmented reality for airborne tactical training.
Regarding the strategic collaboration between Lockheed Martin Ventures and Fiddler, Moran said, “We plan on using Fiddler’s tools to help us better understand how AI neural networks that are being developed are behaving and responding to inputs. We hope that this collaboration allows us to have a deeper engagement with developers and users of the technology to address specific problems Lockheed Martin is working to solve.”