2º IA, Robots & Automation - 10th Jun


  • A look at The Frost, a 12-minute movie created by Waymark using DALL-E 2, as startups like Waymark and Runway make AI tools for fast and cheap video production (Will Douglas Heaven / MIT Technology Review)
  • Scientists and DNA sequencing startup Illumina identified 4.3M genetic variants in ~800 primates and then used AI to predict genetic health risks in 454K humans (Clive Cookson / Financial Times)
  • Harvard's popular CS50 MOOC plans to use AI to grade assignments, teach coding, and personalize learning tips, and is testing a virtual TA for student feedback (Saritha Rai / Bloomberg)
  • AI researchers say ChatGPT and rival chatbots are significantly less capable in languages other than English, exacerbating the bias against non-English speakers (Paresh Dave / Wired)
  • Stack Overflow moderators strike over last week's announcement to prohibit moderating AI-generated content; the company says 11% of moderators are on strike (Kevin Hurler / Gizmodo)
  • An interview with sci-fi writer Ted Chiang on AI's limits, how current machines are not conscious, his 2010 novella The Lifecycle of Software Objects, and more (Madhumita Murgia / Financial Times)
  • Carbon Health launches a GPT-4 tool to create medical records, using Amazon Transcribe Medical for transcription, and says nearly 90% are accepted without edits (Ilena Peng / Bloomberg)
  • Policymakers should not let tech executives, who argue their companies are best placed to regulate AI, shape the narrative, and should use independent oversight (Marietje Schaake / Financial Times)
  • Hands-on with Google's Search Generative Experience: answers are slow to load, the user interface is cluttered, simple queries yield error messages, and more (Jay Peters / The Verge)
  • Apple didn't mention AI at WWDC 2023, instead referring to machine learning and transformers while describing features and touting M2 Ultra for training models (Benj Edwards / Ars Technica)
  • A look at why AI will “save the world”, such as by augmenting human intelligence, a case against the moral panic about AI, and the China risk of not pursuing AI (Marc Andreessen / Andreessen Horowitz)
  • Instagram appears to be testing an AI chatbot feature, similar to Snapchat's My AI, that offers 30 AI personalities for answering questions and giving advice (Sabrina Ortiz / ZDNet)
  • Automattic launches Jetpack AI Assistant for WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites, letting users generate content, translate text into 12 languages, and more (Ivan Mehta / TechCrunch)
  • Sources: in recent months, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has met with 100+ members of Congress, Vice President Harris, and cabinet members to discuss AI regulation (Cecilia Kang / New York Times)
  • Microsoft starts offering OpenAI's GPT-3 and GPT-4 to Azure Government clients, including various US agencies; the DOD's DTIC plans to experiment with the LLMs (Rachel Metz / Bloomberg)
  • Luka, which develops Replika, launches Blush, an AI chatbot service to help users with “relationship and intimacy skills” via characters Klea, Aisha, and Theo (Morgan Sung / TechCrunch)
  • Chats, screenshots, and interviews: some people are pirating GPT-4 and offering free access after stealing OpenAI API tokens scraped from other people's code (Joseph Cox / VICE)
  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to host an AI summit in the fall with “like-minded” nations, saying the UK would be “well-placed” to convene discussions (Esther Webber / Politico)
  • DeepMind's AlphaDev, an AI for discovering better algorithms, devised a C++ sorting algorithm that is up to 70% faster; ISO has since added the algorithm to C++ (Will Douglas Heaven / MIT Technology Review)
  • A radio host sues OpenAI for defamation over a ChatGPT hallucination, alleging the tool generated a false legal complaint accusing him of fraud and embezzlement (Isaiah Poritz / Bloomberg Law)
  • Google releases a conceptual framework for companies to quickly secure their AI systems against hackers trying to manipulate AI models or steal AI training data (Sam Sabin / Axios)
  • Microsoft adds voice mode to Bing Chat on desktop, letting users ask questions using their voice in English, Japanese, French, German, and Mandarin (Emma Roth / The Verge)
  • Researchers find vulnerabilities in Nvidia's NeMo Framework, which helps developers work with LLMs, letting them bypass safety restraints to reveal private data (Financial Times)
  • Khan Lab School trials Khanmigo, an AI chatbot from Khan Academy to simulate one-on-one human tutoring, one of the first such education experiments in the US (Natasha Singer / New York Times)
  • Sources: Microsoft is moving top AI researchers from Beijing to Vancouver in part to stop Chinese companies from poaching them, amid US-China political tensions (Financial Times)

Startups raising funds

  • EliseAI, a conversational AI platform for real estate, raised $35m in Series C funding. Point72 Private Investmentsled, and was joined by Koch Real Estate Investments and insiders Golden Seeds, Navitas Capital, JLL Spark and DivcoWest. Link
  • MatrixSpace, a Burlington, Mass.-based developer of “AI collaborative sensing solutions,” raised $10m in Series A funding. Raptor Group led, and was joined by Intel Capital. Link
  • Cohere, a Toronto-based generative AI startup, raised US$270m. Inovia led, and was joined by Nvidia, Oracle, Salesforce Ventures, DTCP, Mirae Asset, Schroders Capital, SentinelOne, Thomvest Ventures and insider Index Ventures. Link
  • EvenUp, an SF-based provider of AI support for personal injury lawyers, raised $50.5m in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led, and was joined by Bain Capital Ventures, Clio, Scott Belsky and insiders DCM, SignalFire, NFX and Gokul Rajaram. Link
  • Granica, a Mountain View, Calif.-based AI efficiency platform, raised $45m from backers like NEA and Bain Capital Ventures. Link
  • Contextual AI, a developer of enterprise-focused language models, raised $20m in seed funding. Bain Capital Ventures led, and was joined by Lightspeed Venture Partners Greycroft and SV Angel. Link
  • Driver Technologies, a New York-based developer of driver safety solutions, raised $16m from IA Capital, CT Innovations, Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, State Auto Labs, Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund, ID8 Investments, C2 Ventures and Kapoor Capital. Link
  • Toronto-based NLP and chatbot startup Cohere raised $270M led by Inovia Capital, a source says at a $2.1B to $2.2B valuation, taking its total funding to ~$445M. Link

M&A and Private equity deals

  • JHFoster, an Eagan, Minn.-based portfolio company of High Road Capital Partners, acquired DevLinks, an Arlington Heights, Ill.-based robotics and automation systems integrator for the plastics industry. Link
  • Insight Partners invested in Bestpass, an Albany, N.Y.-based provider of toll management and automation software for fleets whose existing backers include Susquehanna Growth Equity. Link

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