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OpenAI employees call for Whistleblower protection

Plus FTC and DOJ launch antitrust investigations into Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia.

Today’s Highlights:

📰 News: Group of OpenAI employees call for protection for whistleblowers + FTC and DOJ launch antitrust investigations into Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia. 

💰 Funding: Cohere raises $450M at $5Bn valuation

⚡️ Top News Stories:

1. A group of current and former OpenAI employees have written a letter criticizing the company for a reckless and secretive culture, prioritizing profit and growth over safety in the development of AI systems. 

  • The group is calling for greater transparency in the AI industry and stronger protections for whistle-blowers to address the potential risks of advanced AI.

  • The letter is endorsed by notable AI experts such as Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Stuart Russell.

2. The FTC and DOJ are launching antitrust investigations into Microsoft’s significant investment in OpenAI and Nvidia’s dominance in AI chip supply.

3. OpenAI is stressing the importance of securing research infrastructure to mitigate risks associated with advanced AI development by calling for collaboration among AI researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders to establish robust security measures. They especially are emphasizing the need for advanced threat detection systems to protect sensitive AI research from cyber threats.

4. Elon Musk redirected thousands of Nvidia AI chips originally reserved for Tesla to his social media company X and AI startup xAI, postponed Tesla's receipt of over $500M worth of GPUs, likely contributing to delays in its supercomputer projects.

5. Vinod Khosla, Marc Andreessen, and other tech billionaires are engaged in a heated debate over the future of AI, with Khosla and allies advocating for controlled AI development with regulatory oversight, while Andreessen and his camp argue for minimal regulation to foster open-source innovation and prevent monopolistic control.

6. Shutterstock is licensing its visual media library to AI companies for training models, generating $104M in revenue last year, with notable deals from OpenAI, Meta, Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple,

7. TSMC has discussed relocating chip plants with customers due to rising China-Taiwan tensions, but moving the plants off the island is deemed impossible.

8. Chinese AI chip companies, including MetaX and Enflame, are designing less powerful processors to comply with U.S. sanctions and retain access to TSMC production.

9. Asana announced AI Teammates, adaptable AI collaborators designed to help teams maximize productivity and achieve goals faster by advising on priorities, powering workflows, and taking action on tasks.

10. Stability AI has launched Stable Audio Open, an open-source model for generating high-quality audio samples from text prompts, that can create drum beats, instrument riffs, ambient sounds, and production elements, allowing for audio variations and style transfers.

11. Google’s NotebookLM now supports uploads of Google Slides and web URLs, in addition to Google Docs, PDFs, and text files.

12. Humane sent an emergency email to AI Pin owners to stop using the charging case due to fire safety risks from a third-party battery cell.

13. Ashton Kutcher praised OpenAI's generative video tool, Sora, of which he is in a select group to have exclusive early access, highlighting that it can generate high-quality shots for a fraction of traditional costs, such as establishing shots or action scenes without needing physical shooting or CGI departments.

💰 Top Funding News:

1. AI startup Cohere has raised $450M in funding from Nvidia, Salesforce Ventures, Cisco and Canadian Pension fund PSP Investments. The funding round has raised Cohere's valuation to $5Bn, up from $2.2Bn in its previous raise last June.

2. FTX has sold its remaining shares in Anthropic, an AI startup, for over $450M, bringing the total proceeds from its original $500M investment to $1.3Bn.

3. Cisco announces a $1Bn global investment fund to accelerate AI development, aiming to support AI startups and foster innovation in AI across various industries specifically targeting AI infrastructure, tools, and applications to enhance business operations.

4. Sword Health introduces Phoenix, an AI Care Specialist, and raises $130M in funding from Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, and Founders Fund.

5. Twelve Labs, which uses AI to make video content searchable and understandable by training foundational models on video data, raised a $50M Series A, co-led by Nvidia and New Enterprise Associates, w/ Radical Ventures, Index Ventures, and Korea Investment Partners.

6. Storyblok, the headless content management system (CMS) w/ AI features, raised a $80M in Series C, led by existing investors Mubadala Capital and HV Capital, with participation from new investors.

7. Pika Art, an AI-powered art platform designed to democratize digital art creation, raised a $80M Series B led by Spark Capital, w/ Greycroft, Lightspeed, Neo, Makers Fund, Jared Leto, and Craig Kallman.

8. GetWhy, an AI platform for extracting insights from video interviews, raised a $34.5M Series A, led by PeakSpan Capital.

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