ChatGPT can now see, hear, and speak

Sept 26, 2023

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Today’s Highlights:

📰 Top Stories: OpenAI is enhancing ChatGPT with new voice and image capabilities + Amazon will invest $4Bn in Anthropic AI

👀 Content: Is Sam Altman the Oppenheimer of our age?

💰 Funding: AI-focused VC firm launches $250M investment fund + AI-powered home insurance company raised $100M

⚡️ Quick News Hits

📰 Top Stories

(Source: OpenAI)

TLDR: OpenAI is enhancing ChatGPT with new voice and image capabilities. Users can engage in voice conversations and submit images to ChatGPT for discussion, enabling more intuitive interactions.

  • The voice feature is powered by a text-to-speech model and offers five different voices, synthesized with input from professional voice actors.

  • The addition of image understanding utilizes multimodal AI models and a drawing tool, allowing users to discuss images and their content.

  • These updates position ChatGPT as a consumer-oriented AI app, competing with voice assistants like Siri and Alexa. OpenAI aims to expand access to these capabilities in the future.

The Big Picture: The continuous improvement of ChatGPT reflects the rapid evolution of AI apps. The integration of voice and visual data represents the broader trend of AI models becoming increasingly multimodal, capable of understanding and generating content across different mediums, all in an effort to move closer toward the goal of creating human-like AI.

(Source: The New York Times)

TLDR: Amazon plans to invest up to $4Bn in AI start-up Anthropic, aiming to strengthen its presence in AI, an area where rivals like Microsoft and Google have already made substantial investments.

  • Anthropic specializes in generative AI, which can create human-like texts and images by learning from large datasets. Amazon's investment will give it a minority stake in Anthropic.

  • The collaboration aligns with Amazon's efforts to compete in cloud computing and AI, particularly against Microsoft and Google. Amazon's cloud computing business accounts for over 70% of its profits.

The Big Picture: The investment continues the trend of major tech companies partnering w/ pioneering AI start-ups to harness AI's transformative potential, and further heating up the competitive landscape in AI R&D, where companies are racing to harness AI's capabilities and shape the future of a wide range of industries.

(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

TLDR: Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, is planning to launch AI chatbots with distinct personalities across its social-media apps, aimed at attracting young users and driving engagement. These chatbots, known as Gen AI Personas, may also possess productivity-related skills.

  • The move is part of Meta's strategy to appeal to younger users who have increasingly favored platforms like TikTok. It aligns with Meta's refocused efforts on harnessing generative AI capabilities for its apps and metaverse.

  • Meta intends to develop multiple AI personality chatbots, including one named "Bob the robot," designed to resonate with young people through its sassy and humorous persona. However, the introduction of personalities to chatbots has raised concerns about toxicity and challenges in maintaining appropriate behavior.

The Big Picture: Meta's adoption of AI-driven chatbots w/ unique personalities will provide some key insights into the growing role of AI in shaping user engagement strategies for all social media platforms.

👀 Interesting Reads and Content

Deep Dives

Insightful Information

Analysis and Critiques

💰 Funding News

1. Fuse, an early-stage VC firm focusing on Pacific Northwest software and AI-enabled startups, launched a new $250M investment fund with backing from state-affiliated accounts, foundations, universities, and prominent Seattle-based software executives.

2. Openly, a startup leveraging AI to generate homeowners insurance quotes quickly and efficiently, raised a $100M Series D led by Eden Global Partners.

  • Other Notable Investors: Gradient Ventures, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Trinity Capital, and others.

3. Lepaya, a corporate EdTech provider in EMEA specializing in AI-driven capability development platforms, raised a $38M Series C led by Endeit.

  • Other Notable Investors: Educapital, Mars Growth Capital, Liquidity Capital, Target Global, and Mediahuis Ventures.

4. JURA Bio, a biotech company utilizing ML and synthetic biology to develop immune-based therapies, raised $16.1M in financing led by investors.

5. Day Zero Diagnostics, an infectious disease diagnostics company leveraging whole-genome sequencing and AI to combat antibiotic-resistant infections, raised $16M in funding, bringing the total to $49M.

6. Genus AI, a generative AI platform tailored for direct-to-consumer (D2C) and e-commerce brands, raised over $6M in a Seed Round extension, bringing the total seed round to $11M.

  • It leverages AI to generate product catalog images, audiences, copy, and videos to enhance brand growth across various social channels

  • Notable investors: Aleph Group Inc. and strategic angel investors such as Kazuki Ohta, Co-Founder & CEO of Treasure Data, among others.

7. GeologicAI, a global leader in digital rock analysis, utilizing advanced ML and proprietary core scanning robots to analyze rock samples, raised $10M in additional Series A funding from Export Development Canada (EDC), bringing its Series A round to a total of $30M.

8. Continuum Industries, a tech company using automation and advanced tools to revolutionize the planning and implementation of energy and utility networks, raised a $10M Series A led by Singular (Henri Tilloy).

9. Correcto, a language writing tool startup offering a Grammarly-style auto-editing tool for correcting written Spanish using AI, raised a $7M Seed round led by Octopus Ventures.

10. Iluma AI, an AI copilot for C-level executives and team leads that proactively delivers critical information to prevent and resolve bottlenecks in midsize companies, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Techstars.

11. OnSight Technology, a prominent robotics and computer vision company specializing in advanced solutions for the Utility and Commercial Solar Industry, raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding led by Moneta Ventures (Lokesh Sikaria, Managing Partner).

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