5-Minute Read: Global AI News Roundup – Innovation or Self-Destruction?

Elon Musk’s Grok Upgrade, Uber’s AI Bias Compensation, Skyflow and Google.org’s Funding and Support, AI21 Labs’ Model Innovation, Amazon’s Heavy Investment, Innovative Applications in Recruitment, Transportation, Agriculture, Healthcare, Data Analysis, and New Endeavors by Adobe and Instagram Founders…

Under the AI Wave, various heroes emerge, but can the technology’s blind spots and ethical challenges behind them be properly addressed?

X’s Grok Chatbot Set to Upgrade to Grok-1.5 Model

Elon Musk’s AI startup, X.ai, recently unveiled Grok-1.5, boasting it as a substantial upgrade, especially in handling coding and mathematical tasks. It seems like Grok-1 was just the base model.

This new version handles longer texts, doesn’t shy away from controversial topics or profanity, and has quite the personality. Musk seems eager to make waves again on the X social network; let’s wait and see.

Uber Eats Courier Fights Against AI Bias Showcases the Difficulty of Obtaining Justice Under UK Law

Uber had to compensate black driver Pa Edrissa Manjang due to “racial discrimination” caused by its facial recognition system. This incident not only exposes the pitfalls of AI technology rushing to market but also raises questions about the UK legal system’s ability to combat AI discrimination.

After years of legal back-and-forth, the final compensation amount remains a mystery, and Uber refuses to admit fault. It’s hard to judge the UK government’s stance on AI safety.

Skyflow Raises an Additional $30 Million in Funding Due to Increased AI Demand, Driving Its Privacy Business Growth

Skyflow seems to be leaving no room for retreat, announcing a successful $30 million Series B extension led by Khosla Ventures. This funding comes just in time, especially after they expanded their data privacy business to support new AI technologies last year.

Now, AI-related software services have become a significant portion of their revenue, accounting for nearly 30%. It appears that the data management needs of the big data era have propelled Skyflow to the forefront.

Moreover, this funding round has a little trick – labeled as “Series B extension” to better attract investments in this AI boom. Smart move, but don’t get too complacent; the real challenge lies in how to translate the funds into faster growth and deeper market influence.

Google.org Launches $20 Million Generative AI Accelerator Project

Google.org’s move is a double-edged sword, providing $20 million to support 21 nonprofit organizations in generating AI. The intention is to leverage the AI trend to drive social progress, with initiatives such as Quill.org, which provides writing feedback to students, and AI applications making World Bank research widely known.

On one hand, these NGOs receive not only financial support but also the brains and sweat of Google employees. Let’s hope this isn’t another instance of the utopian vision of solving all problems with high technology turning into fantasy.

AI21 Lab’s New AI Model Handles More Context Than Most

The AI industry is moving towards generative AI models with longer contexts, which often come with hefty resource demands.

However, AI21 Labs’ Or Dagan claims that their new model, Jamba, may prove otherwise. It can handle multiple languages and impressively process 140,000 tokens on a single GPU, roughly equivalent to the length of a medium-sized novel.

Unlike other models, Jamba relies on a mix of transformers and state space models (SSMs) at the core, which not only innovates but also improves efficiency, especially for dealing with lengthy texts.

Dagan proudly declares it as the first commercial-grade large model based on SSM structure, capable of running rapidly while maintaining a large size. Despite still needing to address security and bias concerns, Professor Dagan is confident that Jamba’s SSM structure holds great promise.

Metaview’s Tool Records Interview Notes So Hiring Managers Don’t Have To

Magos and Tajbakhsh, fed up with cumbersome recruitment processes, created Metaview, an AI recorder claiming to liberate recruiters’ hands by automatically recording and summarizing interview highlights.

Although it claims to break biases, AI isn’t foolproof and occasionally conjures up some meeting mishaps. Whether this innovation will revolutionize recruitment remains to be seen. Nevertheless, with funds secured and the company’s upward trajectory, they seem to be on the right track.

Amazon Doubles Down on Investment in Anthropic, Completing Planned $4 Billion Investment

Amazon pours an additional $275 million into AI leader Anthropic, following the previous $125 million investment. This move resembles a gambler at the table, but Amazon seems to adopt a “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude.

With Amazon’s determination to challenge the big players in the AI field, it remains to be seen whether this high-stakes gamble will help Anthropic assist Amazon and add more excitement to the AI industry.

Cyvl.ai is Bringing Data-Driven Solutions to Transportation Infrastructure

Meet Daniel Pelaez, who, during his freshman summer, noticed the chaotic repairs on the streets while working for the public works department. Sensing an opportunity, he transitioned into Cyvl.ai’s CEO, raising $6 million in funding and servicing nearly 200 towns, generating close to $2 million in annual revenue.

Collaborating with civilian engineers, they employ sensors, LiDAR, and AI to digitize traffic infrastructure. This is entrepreneurship at its finest, turning a chance discovery into a successful venture.

Orchard Robotics Converts Farm Equipment into AI-Driven Data Collectors

Orchard Robotics introduces a new agricultural robot that does more than just pick apples; it transforms into a walking data center. With sensor modules attached, even the humble tractor becomes a high-tech reconnaissance unit.

With a camera capable of taking 100 photos per second, every tree in the orchard could have its own ID card! As other companies worry about costs, Orchard, starting from Cornell University, secures $3.2 million in seed funding, thanks to this innovation.

Century Health, With $2 Million in Funding, Uses AI to Provide Pharmaceutical Companies with Quality Patient Data Access

Get ready for another wave of AI revolution! Nvidia launches a dozen AI tools to tackle various challenges, from biotechnology to drug discovery. However, they’re not the only ones in the game; emerging player Century Health quietly mines clinical data using AI to uncover pharmaceutical treasure, aiming for a breakthrough in drug applications.

Behind this ambition lies a heartwarming story: co-founder Vish Srivastava embarked on this journey after witnessing his grandfather suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. It seems that technology also has a warm side. But to claim a share in this AI boom, one must first prepare their data as a ticket to the party.

Databricks Invests $10 Million in Developing New DBRX Generative AI Models

Investing $10 million in AI isn’t your traditional marketing move; it’s more like a tech spectacle. Databricks unveils DBRX, claiming it’s open source (though the reality may differ), inviting everyone to play on GitHub and Hugging Face.

Want to run fast? You’ll need Databricks’ customers to have substance; otherwise, you’ll need four Nvidia H100s. Plus, you’ll need to use it “responsibly,” whatever that means. Although DBRX is impressive, it still needs to step up its game compared to GPT-4. Looks like Databricks is risking its own neck!

Elon Musk: Grok Access for Advanced X Users This Week

Musk is at it again, this time planning to open up the Grok chatbot to more paying subscribers. Originally reserved for high-end users, now even $8 regular subscribers can join in. It seems like a direct challenge to ChatGPT and similar rivals, while also aiming to boost user activity and subscriptions on the X platform.

In short, Musk is finding ways to keep his X platform afloat, especially amidst declining user numbers and plummeting ad revenue. For users interested in niche topics, Grok might become their new favorite.

Vibrant Planet Utilizes AI for Land Mapping and Climate Resilience

As the Earth warms due to human activities, wildfires wreak havoc, with a 320% increase in forest area burned from 1996 to 2021. Enter Vibrant Planet, with its digital mapping + AI combo, helping government and fire departments tackle climate crises.

Allison Wolff, the boss, says if this field is still using paper maps, it’s time to go digital. Not only does it facilitate collaboration, but it also enables real-time disaster simulations to find the best land management strategies.

In short, it’s time to bid farewell to the old era of paper maps and usher in the era of intelligent fire prevention.

Apple WWDC 2024 Set for June 10-14, Promising to Be “Absolutely Incredible”

Apple’s annual WWDC is scheduled for June 10-14, with boss Greg “Big Move” Joswiak teasing it as a showcase of Apple’s AI ambitions, promising it to be “absolutely amazing.”

Hey, let’s look forward to Apple’s secret weapons in the AI battle, while not forgetting about possible updates to hardware gadgets. IOS 18 might become the biggest update ever, and is Apple teaming up with Google’s Gemini? Ah, another tech frenzy in the making. Don’t miss out; time will tell.

EU Releases Election Security Guidelines Applicable to Social Media Giants and Other Entities Governed by the Digital Services Act

Looks like the EU isn’t letting those big shots (you know who I mean, Facebook, Google, etc.) have too much fun during elections. They’ve come up with a draft requiring these platforms to combat deep political fakes while also protecting free speech and privacy.

It’s like making them dance on a knife’s edge, both combating monsters and protecting villagers. I wonder how these big shots will balance under the Digital Services Act’s iron fist. Don’t forget, if they mess up, there are hefty fines waiting for them!

Adobe’s Firefly Service Provides Over 20 New Generative and Creative APIs for Developers

Adobe is going all out this time, introducing Firefly Services, offering over 20 new generative APIs, tools, and services. It’s like bringing the high-end features of Photoshop to enterprise developers, speeding up content creation or innovating directly.

Additionally, Custom Models allow enterprises to fine-tune models based on their assets. Adobe sees the potential here, not only accelerating content creation but also ensuring security, avoiding brand safety concerns. IBM’s design guru personally praises it; it seems Adobe is really on fire this time.

Instagram Co-Founder’s AI-Powered News App Artifact Might Not Shut Down

Artifact, the AI-enabled news app launched by Instagram co-founders, initially planned to bid farewell, but it seems it might survive a while longer. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, this dynamic duo, revealed that operating this venture isn’t as costly as they imagined, so the “deadline” hasn’t arrived yet.

This app not only rewrites clickbait headlines but also provides news with fancy summaries like “Gen Z Digest.” Don’t rush to say goodbye; Artifact might have a turnaround. At least in its current version, it can still meet your news reading and AI summarization needs.

Adobe’s GenStudio Brings Brand-Safe Generative AI to Marketers

Adobe is playing big with GenStudio, allowing marketers to flex their muscles with generative AI without tarnishing their brand image. It sounds great, but it’s also because their own AI behaving unexpectedly would be embarrassing.

This tool not only creates social media posts and email campaigns but also emphasizes brand safety. It’s like saying, “Rest assured, our AI won’t misbehave.” Well, let’s look forward to the real-world results; it might just become the “king of comedy” in the marketing world.

YC-Backed SigmaOS Browser Turns to AI-Driven Features for Profit

SigmaOS is riding the AI wave, introducing a slew of new features that let you “reach for the stars,” such as article summaries, zooming summaries, web searches, and link previews. Doesn’t it sound a bit like someone’s Arc browser?

However, SigmaOS confidently claims their product is superior. They’ve even dabbled in voice control and trigger-based automation, showing quite the imagination.

Oh, and if you want unlimited access to these AI services, cough up $20 to $30 per month, buddy. Looks like they’re planning to make big bucks with AI features.

>> Further Reading:
Global AI Events in March – A Glimpse into the Future of 9 Trillion USD AIGC
Lawsuit Offers a Detailed History of OpenAI: Musk Sues OpenAI
AI Milestones Timeline

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