AI company Hypergiant to help consulting firm turn intellectual property into products

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A Texas-based artificial intelligence startup will work with technology consultant giant Booz Allen Hamilton to develop artificial intelligence products for the federal government and commercial companies.

The strategic relationship with Hypergiant Industries is designed to capitalize on the skill sets of both companies and develop Booz Allen's intellectual property archive into new products. They'll initially focus on health technology, fraud monitoring, predicting fake domain names and detecting malware.

"We believe it'll help build a bridge between startups like (Hypergiant) and where they excel at commercialization of different A.I. technologies, and our experience in bringing those technologies to the ," said Josh Elliot, director of artificial intelligence at Booz Allen.

Hypergiant has employees in Dallas, Austin and Houston, and also Washington D.C. and Seattle. Ben Lamm, a Dallas-based serial entrepreneur, founded the company in February 2018 with the idea to use artificial intelligence and emerging technologies to solve a variety of problems. It has about 185 employees, with 28 in Dallas. Clients include commercial giants Shell and GE, and government clients such as NASA and Department of Homeland Security.

Booz Allen is a Virginia-based consulting firm with with over 26,000 employees and expertise in analytics, digital solutions, engineering and cybersecurity. It has commercial and government clients, including the Department of Defense and others in the intelligence community.

Lamm said the multiyear agreement includes shared revenue, though he declined to disclose further details.

The companies have worked together in the past. Lamm also has collaborated with Booz Allen on other projects outside of Hypergiant. Because of this familiarity, and the company's shared values and capabilities, the makes sense, Elliot said.

"We share similar ideas and insights ... in terms of how this technology can be applied and how challenges can be overcome," Elliot said.

The goal is to launch a product together by early 2020, Lamm said. It's a fast pace for software, which can take years to develop, but he expects the shared intellectual property to accelerate the process.

"Our focus is building great products. That doesn't happen overnight, so we have to make those investments together," Lamm said. "The only reason that we're able to do that is given the fact that we both have this treasure trove that we can start working off."

The announcement comes as many technology companies remain wary of working with the , especially on defense contracts. Lamm said he has his limits on what contracts he takes, including not working on weapon systems.

Partnering with the defense industry helps ensure future use of AI and other technology is thoughtful, responsible and safe, he said.

Lamm said the federal government is also changing its attitude toward new , and more government groups are actively looking to work with startups.

"I think the big black box scary federal government world is starting to change," Lamm said. "I think that change is going to continually lead to more transparency, better ideas and safer communities."

©2019 The Dallas Morning News
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