A|I: The AI Times – AI companies secure massive funding despite economic downturn

Two cartoon men in suits holding barbells with Giant coins as the weight above their heads. One of the men is also on the phone.
Plus: D-Wave, Coveo, Canada Drives among companies receiving collective $50 million for Scale AI projects.

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D-Wave, Coveo, Canada Drives among tech companies receiving collective $50 million for Scale AI projects (BETAKIT)

D-Wave is working with Save-On-Foods, ThoughtsWin Systems, White Box Analytics, OpsGuru, and Deloitte (with $2.8 million from Scale AI) to develop a demand forecasting model for product placements and pricing. An optimization algorithm will also automate scheduling of ecommerce deliveries.


Why some AI companies are securing massive funding despite economic downturn (VENTURE BEAT)

The CB Insights State of AI report for Q2 2022 shows global funding for AI startups dropped for the third consecutive quarter with a 21% decrease quarter-over-quarter. At the same time, the market has seen a 116% increase in exits – 90% of which are mergers and acquisitions, indicating that startups are gravitating toward large and financially stable companies as they continue to face cash problems.


Canadian tech companies continue to hire despite downturn – here’s an (incomplete) list (BETAKIT)

Over 300 companies have now added their job listings, indicating a strong and continued desire to hire #CDNtech talent.


Twitter loses another top tech executive as its battle with Elon Musk rages on (INSIDER)

Sandeep Pandey, vice president of engineering at Twitter, is leaving after more than a decade. He joined in early 2012 as a staff engineer and worked his way up through the ranks, becoming director of engineering before being promoted to the VP level. His focus for the last few years been on machine learning, leading the “cortex” team at Twitter, which is heavily geared toward advertising and platform performance.


Emaww selected for Google’s latest Women Founders accelerator cohort (BETAKIT)

Emaww, along with Blossom Social and MedEssist, is part of the third installation of Google’s Women Founders program. Montréal artificial intelligence (AI) startup Emaww analyzes gestures made on computer devices, such as clicks, scrolls, and taps to detect emotion and understand user experience.


Digital Diagnostics dials up $75M funding for diabetic retinopathy AI (FIERCE BIOTECH)

There’s no shortage of artificial intelligence algorithms that have been trained to pick up on a wide variety of diseases and other health conditions—from heart disease to stroke to pulmonary embolism—by looking only at standard imaging data.


The many hurdles life sciences startups must overcome to commercialize (BETAKIT)

A lot of fantastic innovations find their origins in lab environments, but a working experiment doesn’t easily translate to a commercialized product. Speaking with BetaKit, Muggah shared some common hurdles that life sciences startups face as they move from functioning ideas to marketable products.


Deepfakes for all: Uncensored AI art model prompts ethics questions (TECHCRUNCH)

NovelAI has been experimenting with Stable Diffusion to produce art that can accompany the AI-generated stories created by users on its platform. Midjourney has launched a beta that taps Stable Diffusion for greater photorealism.


D-Wave lists on New York Stock Exchange following close of SPAC deal (BETAKIT)

D-Wave had hoped the deal would bring in $340 million USD in gross proceeds, however, SEC filings show that the company’s shareholders redeemed just more than $291 million USD worth of shares at a price of $10.01 USD per share.


Zilliz, the startup behind the Milvus open source vector database for AI apps, raises $60M, relocates to SF (TECHCRUNCH)

Led by Prosperity7 Ventures — a $1 billion venture fund created by Saudi oil giant Aramco — the round also includes previous Chinese backers Temasek’s Pavilion Capital, Hillhouse Capital, 5Y Capital and Yunqi Capital.

The company is not disclosing its valuation, but it’s worth pointing out that this latest injection is being described as an extension to that $43 million Series B rather than a new round. We’ll update this if we learn more. The total raised by the company is now $113 million.


How VR and AI could revolutionize language training for newcomers (TORONTO STAR)

“I don’t feel nervous speaking in English in the virtual world because I just disappear. When I talk, I’m not afraid to make mistakes anymore. I just feel more confident,” says the 51-year-old Mississaugan, a former pharmacist who resettled in Canada in 2018 via Lebanon.


Bootstrapped since 2008, Evidence Partners closes $20 million to tackle automated literature review market (BETAKIT)

The startup said customers turned to Evidence Partners to navigate the flood of new COVID-19 research emerging on a daily basis as quickly as possible.


The AI startup erasing call center worker accents: is it fighting bias – or perpetuating it? (THE GUARDIAN)

Only after he had spoken a few more sentences did I notice a hint of the software changing his voice: it rendered the word “technology” with an unnatural cadence and stress on the wrong syllable. Still, it was hard not to be impressed – and disturbed.


Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist and Carleton Journalism alumni working out of Ottawa and Montreal. Follow him on twitter @mwedgar.

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