A|I: The AI Times – Cohere will cover its customers sued for copyright violations

Plus: Six months after launch, Toronto’s Ideogram secures $80 million.

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Toronto AI company Cohere to indemnify customers who are sued for any copyright violations

Cohere, a Toronto-based generative AI company, said it will indemnify customers who are sued for copyright violations, as the industry faces litigation over whether artificial-intelligence models that produce text and other media are unfairly profiting from the creative work of others.

Other companies that make generative AI products, including OpenAI, Microsoft and Adobe, announced similar policies last year to defend customers against copyright-infringement lawsuits.

Copyright is a major issue for both AI companies that need massive amounts of data to build their models, and creative industries that face disruption from this technology. Depending on how laws are interpreted, AI companies could be hit with hefty legal judgments or be compelled to strike licensing agreements, eroding profit margins.

(The Globe and Mail)

Midjourney competitor Ideogram closes $80-million Series A as it launches latest text-to-image model

Toronto-based artificial intelligence startup Ideogram has raised $80 million in Series A funding, as the startup releases its “1.0” update to its text-to-image generation platform and new subscription model.

Andreessen Horowitz returned to lead the round, having co-led Ideogram’s $22.3-million CAD seed round following the startup’s launch just six months ago.

Ideogram said in a blog post that its Series A financing was raised to accelerate its growth and build more capable generative media models. The company added it is hiring for roles in its engineering, research, design, and operations departments.


Tyler Perry Puts $800M Studio Expansion on Hold After Seeing OpenAI’s Sora: “Jobs Are Going to Be Lost”

Over the past four years, Tyler Perry had been planning an $800 million expansion of his studio in Atlanta, which would have added 12 soundstages to the 330-acre property. Now, however, those ambitions are on hold — thanks to the rapid developments he’s seeing in the realm of artificial intelligence, including OpenAI’s text-to-video model Sora.

As a business owner, Perry sees the opportunity in these developments, but as an employer, fellow actor and filmmaker, he also wants to raise the alarm.

(The Hollywood Reporter)

A year after its fundraising failure, Omnirobotic emerges from restructuring as a profitable robot builder BetaKit

This time last year, the end was approaching for Omnirobotic.

Following a “challenging and unpleasant” process, Omnirobotic had restructured by last July with the help of its largest and only secured creditor, Investissement Québec. The old Omnirobotic was shuttered and a new corporate structure with a fresh capitalization table was born.

Eight months later, the plan is working.


Figure rides the humanoid robot hype wave to $2.6B valuation

Figure confirmed long-standing rumors that it’s been raising more money than God. The Bay Area-based robotics firm announced a $675 million Series B round that values the startup at $2.6 billion post-money.

The lineup of investors is equally impressive. It includes Microsoft, OpenAI Startup Fund, Nvidia, Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund, Jeff Bezos (through Bezos Expeditions), Parkway Venture Capital, Intel Capital, Align Ventures and ARK Invest.

Figure says the money will go toward accelerating its go-to-market. The company has already signed a deal with BMW for robotics deployment.


Bench IQ raises $2.8 million CAD in pre-seed funding with buy-in from Maple VC, Haystack

Legaltech startup Bench IQ raised $2.8 million CAD ($2.1 million USD) in pre-seed funding to scale its artificial intelligence software and gain market share in the United States.

“We’re providing [law firms] with insight they can’t get anywhere,” CEO Jimoh Ovbiagele said in an interview with BetaKit. “Bench IQ helps lawyers understand how their judge thinks about legal issues so that they could build stronger arguments that lead to the outcomes they desire in court.”


B.C. lawyer reprimanded for citing fake cases invented by ChatGPT

The cases would have provided compelling precedent for a divorced dad to take his children to China — had they been real.

But instead of savouring courtroom victory, the Vancouver lawyer for a millionaire embroiled in an acrimonious split has been told to personally compensate her client’s ex-wife’s lawyers for the time it took them to learn the cases she hoped to cite were conjured up by ChatGPT.


Fuelled by new funding, RetinaLogik wants to prevent vision loss with AI and VR

Calgary-based startup RetinaLogik has closed $783,000 CAD in an oversubscribed round of pre-seed funding as it looks to scale its portable eye test device that combines artificial intelligence (AI) with virtual reality (VR).

RetinaLogik’s platform allows vision care providers to collect and analyze visual field data with a virtual reality headset and advanced analytics software.


Four Canadian companies selected to Comcast SportsTech Accelerator

Four Canadian tech startups have been selected to join Comcast NBCUniversal’s 2024 SportsTech Accelerator.

Customer engagement platforms StellarAlgo and Fobi AI are a couple of the Canadian startups in the 10-company accelerator program.

The program also gives companies access to mentors from sports brands such as the Premier League, PGA TOUR, NASCAR, and NBC Sports.


Elon Musk sues OpenAI, Altman for breaching firm’s founding mission

Elon Musk sued OpenAI and chief executive officer Sam Altman, alleging they violated the artificial intelligence startup’s founding mission by putting profit ahead of benefiting humanity.

Musk argued in the suit that Altman, OpenAI President Greg Brockman and Microsoft worked together to oust the majority of the startup’s board, who had been responsible for enforcing its original mission of developing technology for the benefit of humanity.

The Wall Street Journal also reported: The Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing internal communications by OpenAI Chief Executive Sam Altman as part of an investigation into whether the company’s investors were misled.

(BNN Bloomberg)

How money actually flows from VCs to startups

Speaking with BetaKit, Robert Rosen, Managing Director of Innovation Banking at CIBC, explained what capital call lines are, how they operate, and how liquidity instruments like these help keep Canada’s innovation economy moving.


AI startup Glean lures Citigroup as investor at $2.2 billion valuation after revenue quadruples

Artificial intelligence startup Glean attracted tech companies Databricks and Workday into its latest investment round.

Glean, whose software sifts through corporate repositories to provide quick answers to workers’ questions, said Tuesday that it’s raised $200 million at a $2.2 billion valuation.


OMERS Ventures’ Laura Lenz explains how startups can stand out when fundraising

VCs are paying more attention to company quality and pushing past what Laura Lenz, a partner at OMERS Ventures, called “ego-raising.” An investor for over 20 years, Lenz has prioritized in-depth diligence for companies regardless of economic cycle. And in her experience, one of the best ways a startup can stand out in the fundraising process is with a high-quality data room.

Speaking with BetaKit, Lenz explained the significance of a well-crafted data room and offered her three-step process for building one.


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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