UK Startup Prolific Raises $32M to Expand 120K-Person Network of Generative AI Model Testers

AI research startup Prolific has raised $32 million in a Series A funding round led by Partech and Oxford Science Enterprises. Prolific offers generative AI developers quick access to over 120,000 prescreened participants for gathering crucial testing data to refine their models.

Prolific AI Tests

Prolific launched in 2014 as a hub for organizations looking to quickly form an array of participants for surveys and research. Generative AI’s rapid-fire spread as an industry has fueled a demand for diverse and unbiased training data. However, issues around inaccurate outputs, algorithmic bias, and questionable data sourcing have highlighted the need for thoughtful approaches. Prolific now focuses on connecting AI developers with a diverse community of prescreened research participants. This allows companies to rapidly gather high-quality insights for improving and validating AI systems.

Prolific employs proprietary technology for recruiting, vetting, compensating, and managing research subjects with what it calls Reinforcement Learning by Human Feedback. This allows researchers to refine AI models by having people validate the outputs, such as native speakers checking machine translation results. The company counts more than 120,000 people as active participants and has paid out more than $100 million for their participation. Those who join have provided insights to major academic institutes like Stanford and multinational brands like Google. At this point, Prolific has been utilized by more than 22,000 researchers in the last year, with a new study beginning on the platform about every three minutes. Prolific plans to use the funding to enhance its AI data-sourcing capabilities. In particular, Prolific plans to grow its presence in the US as more than half of its customer base is there. Prolific also aims to expand its specialized participant pools to support unique AI research needs.

‍“I’m incredibly proud of what Prolific has achieved already. Our platform is providing trusted insights to enable world changing research, and we’re excited to bring these advantages to new markets,” Prolific CEO Phelim Bradley said. “AI represents one of the biggest leaps forward in technology in recent years and our unique approach to data sourcing from humans positions us to make these systems more accountable and less biased. The funding we have secured will fuel our growth in the AI space, especially in the US, bolstering our commitment to human-guided AI development during this pivotal moment in the technology’s progression.”

Generative AI Compliance Startup Vendict Raises $9.5M

Generative AI Prompt Engineering Startup Raises $5M

Generative AI for Productivity Startup Dust Raises $5.5M