Microsoft has launched a $5.5m (£4.2m) funding competition for start-ups putting artificial intelligence (AI) at the heart of their innovation.
Through its venture capital firm Microsoft Ventures, Microsoft will hand out the cash in the form of funding and cloud credits to one firm from each of north America, Europe and Israel.
The selected companies will receive $1m and $500,000 in Microsoft Azure credit.
Nagraj Kashyap, vice president at Microsoft Ventures, said: "At Microsoft, the future is rooted in the advancement of AI technologies.
"We're excited to launch this competition with a strong group of venture capitalists that recognises the importance of leveraging these technologies to amplify human ingenuity and power innovation in AI going forward."
Up to 10 finalists will be selected from each region and will pitch their innovation in person to Microsoft and one of its venture capital partners.
Start-ups can submit their entries until 31 December, provided they have received less than $4m funding.
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