A|I: The AI Times – Cohere partners with SAP, Apple preps “Apple GPT”

Plus: Meta, Google, OpenAI promise White House responsible AI development.

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Cohere secures strategic investment from SAP as enterprise demand for generative AI grows (BETAKIT)

German software giant SAP has made strategic investments in Toronto-based OpenAI rival Cohere.

For Cohere, the SAP investment and McKinsey partnership follow its recent $270-million USD Series C financing from Inovia, Nvidia, Oracle, and Salesforce Ventures, among others, which brought the company to a reported $2 billion-plus valuation.

Apple Tests ‘Apple GPT,’ Develops Generative AI Tools to Catch OpenAI (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Apple Inc. is quietly working on artificial intelligence tools that could challenge those of OpenAI Inc., Google and others, but the company has yet to devise a clear strategy for releasing the technology to consumers.

The iPhone maker has built its own framework to create large language models known as “Ajax,” Apple also has created a chatbot service that some engineers call “Apple GPT.”

YC-backed Reworkd secures $1.65 million CAD to build AI agents for business tasks (BETAKIT)

Reworkd AI has closed $1.65 million CAD ($1.25 million USD) in pre-seed financing from Canada’s Panache Ventures and California-based tech accelerator Y Combinator (YC).

Reworkd plans to use this capital to fuel the public launch of AgentGPT and the beta launch of Reworkd for Business, its new AI agent offering designed to help businesses automate repetitive tasks and meet rising demand from enterprises looking to deploy AI.

Elevate Festival offers 50% off for Startups until July 30, 2023

Elevate Festival was built to amplify and connect startups, so this summer, Elevate and Moneris have teamed up to offer a limited-time deal for startups.

Until July 30th, startups can take advantage of 50% of Elevate Festival Startup passes. That means that if you run or work at a startup, you will have the opportunity to get a 3-day Startup pass for only $125!

Hear from the world’s most innovative minds, meet with Canada’s leading investors, source leads, pitch on stage, network in the Startup lounge, connect with fellow founders at evening socials, and more!

Book Now.

Meta, Google, and OpenAI promise the White House they’ll develop AI responsibly (THE VERGE)

Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft, and OpenAI — have all agreed to a series of asks from the White House to address many of the risks posed by artificial intelligence. The promises consist of investments in cybersecurity, discrimination research, and a new watermarking system informing users when content is AI-generated.

The companies have entered into these agreements voluntarily, so there are currently no consequences if they fail to live up to their promises.

Venture funding in Toronto, British Columbia rebounds in second quarter of 2023 (BETAKIT)

Following a sluggish start to the year, two of Canada’s largest tech ecosystems saw a resurgence in venture funding in the second quarter of 2023, according to new data from briefed.in.

Mostly thanks to a handful of very large deals, tech startups in Toronto raised a cumulative $1 billion in Q2, up 733 percent from Q1 2023 and up 71 percent year-over-year. A similar story unfolded further west. BC’s tech startups raised $639.6 million in Q2, which represents a 573 percent increase quarter-over-quarter and a 213 percent increase year-over-year.

Insight: Race towards 'autonomous' AI agents grips Silicon Valley (REUTERS)

Experimental systems that run on GPT-4 or similar models are attracting billions of dollars of investment as Silicon Valley as companies search for an AI assistant to perform more complex personal and work tasks when commanded to by a human, without needing close supervision.

Some AI developers believe a low-grade version of that vision will be on the market within the year, while others say there are many ways AI can go wrong and it must be supervised "like a baby."

Canada’s private tech firms gather to talk AI, growth, global appeal (BETAKIT)

RBC Capital Markets hosted its fourth annual Canadian Private Technology Conference at the end of June, an exclusive gathering in Toronto of more than two dozen executives and founders from 17 tech companies across multiple disciplines and several venture capital firms.

The event culminated with a conversation with keynote guest, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who shared his own entrepreneurial journey and his perspective on the tech and AI landscape today.

Sergey Brin Is Back in the Trenches at Google

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is working alongside its AI researchers at tech giant’s headquarters, aiding efforts to build powerful Gemini system

Brin’s increased presence at Google reflects the pivotal moment in AI and his longstanding interest in the technology, which Google pioneered but was slower than rivals to turn into new products, said current and former employees.

Autostore to Pay Ocado $257 Million to End Global Patent Dispute

AutoStore Holdings, a Norwegian robotics company, will pay £200 million ($257 million) to UK software company Ocado Group to settle a global dispute over patent infringements.

The two firms have been locked in a global legal fight for years over Ocado’s warehouse system, where robots move thousands of customer orders as they glide around a chessboard-like grid. The agreement gives access to part of each party’s patent portfolio for them to use or develop their own products, the companies said.

Toronto and Montréal added the most tech jobs in Canada in the last five years: Report (BETAKIT)

Within Canada, Toronto and Montréal added the most tech talent jobs between 2017 and 2022, according to CBRE’s latest Scoring Tech Talent report. In the five-year period, CBRE’s report found that Toronto added 63,800 tech jobs, while Montréal added 51,500.

The report illustrated the emerging tech talent concentration in Canada, with three of the top five North American cities in this category located in Canada: Ottawa, Waterloo, and Toronto.

How artificial intelligence can help detect and fight wildfires in Canada (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

After a devastating start to Canada’s wildfire season left record-breaking wreckage in its wake, scientists are looking to artificial intelligence to play an important future role in detecting and fighting blazes.

“If we have 100 fires across the country and 30 crews, we need to determine where we most urgently have to focus our efforts – especially now that we have fires coast to coast,” said Joshua Johnson, a forest fire research scientist with Natural Resources Canada. “AI will be a powerful tool for helping us make those calls.”

Here's how much Canada's top public tech company CEOs were paid last year (BETAKIT)

A new report by human capital consulting firm Global Governance Advisors, and shared with the Globe and Mail, maps the compensation of Canada’s top public company CEOs across a variety of industries, determined by their market capitalization.

From Shopify's Tobias Lütke to Opentext's Mark Barrenechea, find out how much these CEOs were making as public tech companies faced a challenging year in 2022.

Why computer-made data is being used to train AI models

Artificial intelligence companies are exploring a new avenue to obtain the massive amounts of data needed to develop powerful generative models: creating the information from scratch.

The move comes as AI companies run out of accessible, high-quality data to train on while taking fire from regulators, artists and, media organizations around the world over the volume and provenance of personal data consumed by the technology.

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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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