AI shop Zetane lands $180,000 grant from Epic Games

Zetane Systems, a Montreal-based company providing AI solutions for enterprise clients, is getting a $180,000 ($150,000 USD) grant from Epic Games, via its the Epic MegaGrant program.

The program, founded in 2019, is giving out $100 million in total cash to help those working within its Unreal Engine platform, or those enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

Zetane provides software and services for industries looking to de-risk AI innovation deployment. Rather than work with abstract computer code, Zetane’s software provides a detailed visual representation of AI solutions to bridge the gap between AI experts and industry experts. This is in order to support testing, validation, debugging, optimization and monitoring of AI.

Zetane to plug in to Epic Games’ Unreal Engine

Zetane will use the cash to connect its machine learning industrial application software with Epic’s Unreal Engine. The Unreal Engine is a real-time 3D software platform used to produce life-like renderings, rich fantasy worlds, and complex 3D graphics.

The two organizations say the link will come in an Application Programming Interface (API) plugin, providing a convenient juncture to implement machine learning technology in video gaming.

One area that the parnership will focus on is training AI technology with data generated in life-like video game environments that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.

For instance, AI-driven autonomous cars need to learn to avoid colliding with wildlife. However, acquiring the vast amounts of real-world video data of critters running across autoroutes needed to train AI algorithms is impossible. Generating synthetic videos of such events provides a practical alternative, writes Zetane.

So, the future Zetane API plugin will help streamline the use of synthetic data generated by Unreal Engine for training by machine learning algorithms.

Zetane says that expanding opportunities to generate quality data with ease will be of immense value to the technology sector. That’s because data is currently a limited and expensive commodity that few companies can afford, or have the expertise to amass.

“Zetane’s AI software design philosophy combines a detailed 3D work environment with real-time modelling and simulation capabilities and the most transparent and accessible displays of AI on the market, making it a great fit for the over 7.5 million users of Unreal Engine,” said Zetane’s CEO, Guillaume Hervé. “We can’t wait to see all the creative applications people will put forth once our API is embraced by the gaming community and diverse companies in the tech sector,”

Gaming not the only industry Zetane is working in

Interestingly, Zetane’s interest in applying AI to industry doesn’t stop at gaming.

One of the company’s priorities is to use AI technology to help train operators of heavy machinery or transport vehicles, such as flight simulators.

Previously, Zetane also prototyped a predictive algorithm for a neurosurgical simulation training tool. That was in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada.

Epic Games, meanwhile, is a large American video game and software developer and publisher based in Cary, North Carolina.

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