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The AI Industry ramps up from summer vacation with major news from OpenAI, Anthropic, Microsoft, and many more

Sept 8, 2023

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The AI industry is officially back from summer vacation. With tons of news and 15+ funding announcements, this week was absolutely packed.

Let’s dive right in!

⚡️ Quick News Hits

📰 Top Stories This Week

(4 min read) (Source: The Verge)

TLDR: Microsoft will cover legal damages for customers using its AI products if they face copyright infringement claims due to AI-generated content, provided they use built-in safeguards to reduce such risks.

  • This move comes in response to concerns about generative AI's potential to create content without proper attribution to original authors.

  • Microsoft is heavily investing in generative AI, incorporating it into various products, including cloud services and enterprise software, building on its partnership with OpenAI.

  • The Copilot Copyright Commitment extends Microsoft's intellectual property indemnification to cover copyright claims related to the use of AI-powered assistants like Copilots and Bing Chat Enterprise.

Big Picture: Microsoft's decision to assume legal risks for AI-generated content underscores the growing importance of AI in the tech industry. It also highlights the need for legal safeguards in the evolving landscape of AI-generated content to balance innovation and copyright protection.

(7 min read) (Source: The Information)

TLDR: Internal conflicts over the allocation of computing resources between Meta's LLM development teams, OPT and Llama, resulted in significant tension and the departure of researchers, impacting project progress.

  • Despite these resource allocation challenges and staff movement, Meta remains committed to AI research and development, highlighting the competitive dynamics in the AI sector and the ever-evolving landscape of large-language models in the tech industry.

(6 min read) (Source: The Information)

TLDR: Apple has significantly increased its investment in AI and machine learning, focusing on conversational AI and "Foundational Models" for large language models.

  • Despite Apple's AI chief John Giannandrea's skepticism about AI chatbots, the company has a team working on conversational AI, which has been experimenting with an internal chatbot called "Ajax”.

  • Apple is spending millions of dollars daily on training its language models, similar to OpenAI's substantial expenditure on GPT-4 development.

  • Apple is aiming to enhance its voice assistant, Siri, to automate multi-step tasks, potentially integrating it into iOS 18, and is also working on AI for generating videos, images, and multimodal AI applications. However, its Ajax chatbot is reportedly less powerful than newer OpenAI models.

👀 Interesting Reads

Deep Dives

Analysis and Critiques

Insightful Information

💰 Funding News

  1. Imbue, focused on developing AI systems for complex reasoning, has raised $200M Series B, led by Astera Institute, with participation from NVIDIA and notable individuals

  2. Shop Circle, a comprehensive software provider empowering e-commerce brands with AI-driven tools, raised $120M in a Series A, led by 645 Ventures and 3VC.

  3. d-Matrix, a pioneer in Digital In-Memory Computing (DIMC) focusing on transformer and generative AI inference acceleration, raised a $110 M in Series B led by Singapore-based Temasek.

  4. Inceptive, founded by former Google AI expert Jakob Uszkoreit, specializes in drug development using cutting-edge AI tech to design unique mRNA molecules. They raised $100M from Nvidia and Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from new investors like Obvious Ventures.

  5. Mujin, a robotics firm specializing in Machine Intelligence for industrial and collaborative robots in logistics and pick-and-place applications, raised a $85M Series C led by Japan's SBI Investment Co.

  6. ThetaRay, a leader in AI-powered secure global payments with a focus on next-generation financial crime detection tech, raised $57M in growth capital led by Portage Capital Solutions.

  7. Ibex Medical Analytics, which specializes in AI-powered cancer diagnostics to assist pathologists with more accurate and efficient diagnoses, closed a $55M Series C led by 83North.

  8. Story Protocol, which is developing an open system using blockchain and AI to extend and manage intellectual property online, raised over $54M, led by a16z crypto (a part of Andreessen Horowitz), with additional contributions from Endeavor and Samsung Ventures.

  9. CLARA Analytics, an AI-powered insurance claims optimization platform, raised a $24M Series C, led by Spring Lake Equity Partners.

  10. Harmonya, which specializes in AI-powered product data solutions for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and retail industries, raised a $20M Series A led by Bright Pixel Capital.

  11. Ello, an edtech startup aiming to eliminate childhood illiteracy by leveraging AI and speech recognition tech, raised a $15M Series A led by Goodwater Capital.

  12. Tribun Health, a leader in digital pathology using AI to digitize laboratory workflows, raised a €15M Series B, led by Fonds Patient Autonome managed by Bpifrance.

  13. deskbird, a Swiss SaaS company specializing in AI-powered workplace management for hybrid businesses, raised a $13M Series A led by ALSTIN Capital and AVP.

  14. Mentra, a startup focusing on "neuroinclusive employment" uses AI algorithms to help large enterprises hire individuals with cognitive differences like autism, ADHD, OCD, and PTSD, raised a $3.5M Seed Round led Shine Capital, with participation from Hydrazine Capital (headed by OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman)

  15. Vytal.ai, which has built eye-tracking tech that uses everyday laptop or smartphone cameras to identify early signs of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, raised a $1.2M Seed round.

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