2º IA, Robots & Automation - 6th May

Analyst reports:

  • Q2 2023 - Emerging Tech Future Report: Generative AI. A new dawn in tech has arrived: The generative AI craze has taken hold—and it’s showing no sign of letting up. What does this new epoch mean for investors and the companies into which they pour their capital? Our latest analyst note, the Emerging Tech Future Report: Generative AI, dives into how the new technology may transform a range of verticals. PitchBook analysts who cover health, ecommerce, fintech, climate tech, and more weigh in on the opportunities in generative AI. (PitchBook)


  • Interviews with EU lawmakers and sources reveal how, over just 11 days, MEPs wrote a draft bill on generative AI, a rare example of quick consensus in Brussels (Reuters)
  • The creator of the GPT4Free GitHub project, which allows free access to GPT-4 and GPT-3.5, says OpenAI is demanding he take the repo down or face a lawsuit (Avram Piltch / Tom's Hardware)
  • Inside Miami Tech Week 2023, where more attention was devoted to AI than crypto and NFTs; tech's downturn was hardly noticeable in Miami despite low VC funding (Lizette Chapman / Bloomberg)
  • A WSJ columnist used Synthesia, ElevenLabs, and ChatGPT to create an AIvideo clone that could trick her bank's voice biometric system, make a TikTok, and more (Joanna Stern / Wall Street Journal)
  • An interview with Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn on investing $100M+ in 100+ AI startups and why he thinks he failed to steer AI development toward human safety (Reed Albergotti / Semafor)
  • NewsGuard finds 49 websites with generic names like “News Live 79” using generative AI and posing as news outlets; some feature falsehoods and programmatic ads (Davey Alba / Bloomberg)
  • As labor contract negotiations heat up in Hollywood, unions representing screenwriters and actors seek to regulate the use of AI-produced material (New York Times)
  • Sources: Microsoft plans to sell a ChatGPT version on a dedicated cloud server in Q2 that separates the data from that of other clients and costs up to 10x more (Aaron Holmes / The Information)
  • Online study company Chegg suspends its full-year outlook, saying ChatGPT's popularity is pressuring its subscriber growth; CHGG drops ~50%, now down 64%+ YTD (Medha Singh / Reuters)
  • Inflection AI, founded by Reid Hoffman, Mustafa Suleyman, and Karén Simonyan, debuts Pi, a chatbot that's more sounding board than “repackaged Wikipedia answer” (Alex Konrad / Forbes)
  • Why chatbots are not the future of LLM interfaces: all users must learn what prompts work well, people will get sick of typing, responses are isolated, and more (Amelia Wattenberger)
  • Seattle-based CS education nonprofit Code.org launches TeachAI, which aims to guide on teaching AI by convening leaders from Amazon, Microsoft, OpenAI, and more (Kurt Schlosser / GeekWire)
  • Music labels are citing copyright infringement to get streaming services to take down AI voice clone songs, an approach experts say is far from straightforward (Mia Sato / The Verge)
  • Kamala Harris plans to meet the CEOs of Alphabet, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Anthropic at the White House on May 4 to discuss the risks in current and near-term AI (Justin Sink / Bloomberg)
  • Geoffrey Hinton should have spoken up sooner, when others like Google's Timnit Gebru highlighted LLM risks; hopefully, Hinton's warnings spur others to speak up (Parmy Olson / Bloomberg)
  • Striking Hollywood writers have two main AI worries: their work being used as training data and being tasked with just fixing AI-generated “sloppy first drafts” (Benj Edwards / Ars Technica)
  • A look at So-Vits-SVC, the free open-source software launched in March 2023 that was used to make the AI-generated vocals for the viral song Heart on My Sleeve (Lane Brown / Vulture)
  • Hugging Face and ServiceNow Research release StarCoder, a free alternative to code-generating AI systems like GitHub Copilot, as part of their BigCode project (Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch)
  • Sources: Google, which published AI papers prolifically, in February moved to sharing only after the work had been productized, due to OpenAI's ChatGPT launch (Washington Post)
  • Nasscom report: India is facing an AI, ML, and data science talent crunch as unfilled job roles grow, despite having the second largest talent pool after the US (Saritha Rai / Bloomberg)
  • Experts say Nvidia's H800 chip for China will likely take 10% to 30% longer to carry out some AI tasks and could double some costs compared with its H100 chip (Reuters)
  • A Finder.com experiment using ChatGPT to pick 38 stocks finds the portfolio rose 4.9% over eight weeks, compared to an average 0.8% loss for 10 popular UK funds (Alf Wilkinson / Financial Times)
  • Khan Academy pilots Khanmigo, a chatbot based on GPT-4 to help students with math problems, debugging code, debating, and other topics without enabling cheating (Steven Melendez / Fast Company)
  • Maryland-based iLearningEngines, which uses AI to offer companies personalized training materials, plans to go public via a SPAC merger at a $1.4B valuation (Echo Wang / Reuters)
  • Some US hospitals test if GPT-3 can cut the time staff spend replying to online queries; a study claims the first ChatGPT version replied better than doctors (WSJ)

Startups raising funds

  • Alison, an Israeli startup that analyzes creative work, raised $5.1m in pre-seed funding from a16z, Crescendo Venture Partners and Yellowhead. Link
  • Consensus, a Boston-based AI search engine for scientific research, raised $3m in seed funding led by Draper Associates. Link
  • NinjaTech AI, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based personal assistant developer, raised $5m in seed funding. SRI Ventures led, and was joined by Candou Ventures, DCVC and Lazlo Bock. Link
  • Cohere, a Toronto-based generative AI startup, raised US$250m at around a $2b valuation, per the NYT. Backers include Salesforce, Nvidia, Inovia Capital and Index Ventures. Link
  • Foretellix, an Israeli developer of safety-focused vehicle verification services, raised $43m in a first close of its Series C round. 83North led, and was joined by Atrofin VC, Nvidia and Toyota's Woven Capital. Link
  • Instock, a San Carlos, Calif.-based automated storage and retrieval solution for micro-fulfillment operators, raised $4m in seed funding. One Way Venture and Lux Capital co-led, and were joined by Commerce VC. Link

M&A and Private equity deals

  • New Mountain Capital agreed to acquire Apixio, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of health care AI solutions, from Centene (NYSE: CNC). Link

Inverstors raising funds:

  • Sound Ventures, an LA-based VC firm, raised $243m for a fund focused on AI startups. Link

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