A|I: The AI Times – Google & Nvidia are betting on this Canadian startup to boost ML model performance

Plus: Hinton and Bengio among leaders signing new AI policy letter.

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Google and Nvidia-backed CentML secures $37 million CAD to help companies deploy AI amid chip shortages (BETAKIT)

CentML, which has secured $37 million CAD ($27 million USD) in seed funding and support from a host of big-name investors, looks to help companies figure out what hardware they can use to boost the performance and reduce the cost of their ML models.

"Essentially, what we've done is we get way more juice out of the available hardware for customers," CentML co-founder and CEO Gennady Pekhimenko told BetaKit in an interview.

Will artificial intelligence take over for humans? The jury is still out (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

As productivity-fixated economists have long said, technology may taketh away, but technology also giveth back.

The Globe and Mail's John Lorinc explores studies on the job market as the increasing number of organizations hustling to incorporate AI tools with executives and shareholders hoping these systems sharply reduce headcounts.

Hinton, Bengio, among 24 expert signatories with policy-focused AI recommendations in new letter (BETAKIT)

Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) pioneers Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio have added their names to a new letter warning against the unfettered development of AI.

They join 22 other academics and experts, including CIFAR chairs responsible for implementing the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, in a call for industry labs to devote one third of their research and development resources to ensuring safe and ethical use of the technology, among other policy recommendations.

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Databricks, the $43 billion analytics firm, acquires data startup Arcion for $100 million (CNBC)

Databricks has agreed to acquire Arcion, an enterprise data company, for about $100 million, including incentives, CEO Ali Ghodsi told CNBC.

The acquisition comes after Databricks announced a $500 million funding round in September at a valuation of $43 billion. Arcion is Databricks' first acquisition since acquiring MosaicML, an AI infrastructure startup specializing in training large language models, for $1.3 billion.

Deloitte spinout Arteria AI closes $46-million CAD Series B to help banks turn documents into data (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) startup Arteria AI, which helps some of the world’s largest banks address documentation challenges, has secured about $46 million CAD ($30 million USD) in Series B funding to fuel its go-to-market and product development efforts.

Arteria AI sells AI-powered software designed to help financial institutions generate, collaborate on, and analyze various documents, from contracts to invoices and notices.

AI-based data center optimization startup MangoBoost raises $55M Series A (TECHCRUNCH)

One data processing unit (DPU) developer, MangoBoost, has raised a $55 million Series A for its DPU hardware and software solutions that help enterprises and data centers manage massive amounts of data to optimize workloads.

The Seattle- and Seoul-based startup says its DPU solution enables data centers to reduce power consumption and optimize performance with cost efficiency and security.

How to get hybrid work right for the long term (BETAKIT)

Experts in support of remote work say employee difficulties are the fault of leadership, while leaders driving the return-to-office push say hybrid work is fundamentally flawed.

For John P. Trougakos, a professor of organizational behaviour at the University of Toronto and a workplace productivity consultant, both parties have a point, so what are businesses to do?

Speaking with BetaKit, Trougakos explained how to truly get hybrid work right—and why no two organizations should use the same strategy.

BenchSci, Inovia, Ada among #CDNtech orgs pledging to fight workplace hate in wake of Israel-Hamas war (BETAKIT)

A coalition including BenchSci, Ada, and Cohere, among other large Canadian tech firms and investors has pledged to combat hate and intolerance in the workplace amid the global response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Published by BenchSci on Monday, the pledge says it is a response to the rising concerns of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and hate, which it notes are not only global issues but are also being felt in Canada.

Some tech leaders fear AI. ScaleAI is selling it to the military.

Alexandr Wang grew up in the shadow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory — the birthplace of the nuclear bomb. Now, the CEO of artificial intelligence company ScaleAI intends to play a key role in the next major age of geopolitical conflict.

Scale, which was co-founded by Wang in 2016 to help other companies organize and label data to train AI algorithms, has been aggressively pitching itself as the company that will help the U.S. military in its existential battle with China.

Version One Ventures explains how to fundraise when capital is no longer a commodity (BETAKIT)

What’s a founder to do if you’ve only just started your company in 2023—right on time to miss the COVID-19 stimulus-fueled boom cycle and see capital dry up?

Angela Tran, General Partner at Version One Ventures, on the #CIBCInnovationBanking podcast shared more about the first major venture “winter” since the Great Recession and what founders can do about it today.

OpenAI forms team to study ‘catastrophic’ AI risks, including nuclear threats (TECHCRUNCH)

OpenAI today announced that it’s created a new team to assess, evaluate and probe AI models to protect against what it describes as “catastrophic risks.”

The team, called Preparedness, will be led by Aleksander Madry, the director of MIT’s Center for Deployable Machine Learning. Preparedness’ chief responsibilities will be tracking, forecasting and protecting against the dangers of future AI systems, ranging from their ability to persuade and fool humans to their malicious code-generating capabilities.

How to navigate the “imperfect storm” of startup cybersecurity (BETAKIT)

What would you do if your business was the victim of a cyberattack—and to top it off, you lost half your customers because of it?

In a recent BetaKit Live conversation, three expert panellists discussed the very real business risks of a cyberattack and how small business and startup owners should engage with those risks.

Learn about the rapid growth of cybercrime from Aviva Klein, VP of Digital Payments & Cybersecurity Solutions at Mastercard in Canada, Darryl Julott, Managing Lead at Digital Main Street, and Charles Finlay, Executive Director of the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Federal, Québec governments invest over $7.6 million into quantum telecom testbed (BETAKIT)

The federal government and the Government of Québec are jointly investing over $7.6 million into a testbed that will allow businesses to experiment with quantum systems and applications for telecom networks.

The new testbed, which project-deployer Numana said is the first of its kind in Canada, will allow businesses to experiment with new quantum technologies for telecom networks, without disrupting existing infrastructure.

Tech alliance in AI standards push to fill ‘gap’ in regulation

Microsoft, OpenAI, Google and Anthropic have stepped up a united push towards safety standards for artificial intelligence and appointed a director as their alliance seeks to fill “a gap” in global regulation.

The four tech giants picked Chris Meserole from the Brookings Institution to be executive director of the group. The forum also divulged plans to commit $10mn to an AI safety fund.

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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