AI Transformer Inventors Launch Adept with $65M to Lend a Hand to Knowledge Workers

·3 min read

Adept is building a natural language interface to everyday software tools

SAN FRANCISCO, April 26, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Adept, a research and product AI lab, announced today that it has launched from stealth and raised a $65 million Series A led by Greylock and Addition. The round includes participation from Root Ventures and angels including Scott Belsky (founder of Behance), Howie Liu (founder of Airtable), Chris Re (Stanford), Andrej Karpathy (head of Tesla Autopilot), and Sarah Meyohas.

Adept was founded by a team with deep roots in large-scale neural networks. David Luan (CEO) led Google’s large model program, and before that was head of engineering at OpenAI. Ashish Vaswani (Chief Scientist) and Niki Parmar (CTO) are former Google Brain researchers and inventors of the Transformer, a model architecture that dramatically improved the way computers understand natural language. Since their invention in 2017, Transformers have unlocked decades-old problems in rapid succession – powering groundbreaking applications like GPT-3, a model that can generate human-like language such as tweets, emails, and trivia questions.

While at Google, Ashish, Niki, and David trained bigger and bigger Transformers, with the goal of eventually building a model that could power all ML use cases. Along the way, the team discovered a major limitation: models like GPT-3 can write great prose, but they can’t take actions in the digital world.

"Transformers and their applications represent the single largest step towards general intelligence in recent history. But we believe true general intelligence requires Transformers that can act – not just read and write," said David Luan, CEO and Co-founder of Adept. "At Adept, we’re training a model to use every software tool and API that people use today. "

Users will work hand-in-hand with Adept’s technology, using a natural language interface to use existing software like Airtable, Photoshop, an ATS, Tableau, and Twilio. Adept sees this product vision as a practical path to general intelligence that puts people in the driver’s seat, enabling people to offload manual tasks and free up time for the work they most enjoy.

"Machine learning has undergone significant advances in the last few years since the Transformer came out in 2017, and Adept’s team has literally invented it along with several other breakthroughs. There are few startups with the same level of technical capability in AI," said Saam Motamedi, partner at Greylock and board member at Adept. "We’re excited to see Adept drive the next wave of advances through their integrated approach to research and product – pushing the frontier of generally capable models while creating tremendous user and business value."

About Adept

Adept is an ML research and product lab building general intelligence by enabling people and computers to work together creatively. It was founded by a team with deep roots in ML, including co-authors of Transformer and the key individuals behind Google, DeepMind, and OpenAI’s largest models. A San Francisco-based company, the team is backed by Greylock and Addition. To learn more, visit

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