A|I: The AI Times – Lemieux hits the bench(sci)

Shopify CTO
Plus: Anthropic’s quest for better, more explainable AI attracts $580M.

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Former Shopify CTO Jean-Michel Lemieux joins BenchSci advisory board (BETAKIT)

Ex-Shopify CTO Jean-Michel Lemieux has joined the advisory board of BenchSci, a pharmaceutical research support company focused on cutting down research times with artificial intelligence.


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Anthropic’s quest for better, more explainable AI attracts $580M (TECHCRUNCH)

Less than a year ago, Anthropic was founded by former OpenAI VP of research Dario Amodei, intending to perform research in the public interest on making AI more reliable and explainable. Its $124 million in funding was surprising then, but nothing could have prepared us for the company raising $580 million less than a year later.

Québec government grants $16 million to support quantum innovation at Université de Sherbrooke (BETAKIT)

The Université de Sherbrooke has secured $16 million in funding from the Québec government for its digital and quantum innovation platform (PINQ2). This financing is part of the $1.3 billion that the province is allotting for the Québec Research and Innovation Strategy.

Anduril Seeks to Raise at Least $500 Million as Defense Stocks Rally (THE INFORMATION)

Anduril Industries, a startup that sells artificial intelligence–powered defense technology, is raising capital that could propel its pre-investment valuation to more than $7 billion from $4.6 billion about a year ago, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The company is planning to raise at least $500 million in a Series E round, though that amount could reach $1 billion, the people said.

Software delivery platform Harness bags $230M (VENTURE BEAT)

Continuous integration and continuous delivery company, Harness, has raised $230 million in a series D round of funding, valuing the company at a hefty $3.7 billion.

Alberta allocates $30 million to AI as part of new innovation strategy (BETAKIT)

This $30 million for AI is part of the larger $73 million CAD amount that Alberta committed to the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy (ATIS)—a new plan to bolster the province’s tech sector and diversify its energy-reliant economy—over three years, in its 2022 budget.

Home energy monitoring firm Sense just raised $105M (TECHCRUNCH)

I assumed there was some sort of typo the last time I checked my energy bill. Honestly, it doesn’t bode well for someone who just installed a window air conditioning unit ahead of another climate change-fueled summer. Energy prices have been soaring of late, and while Sense’s primary selling point is helping homes lower emissions, if you can manage to cut a few ConEd bills along the way, that’s a win-win in my book.

How being open to feedback helped Stephany Lapierre scale TealBook (BETAKIT)

On the #CIBCInnovationEconomy podcast, Lapierre explained how feedback became critical to her success with TealBook and her response to critics who say she listens to too much feedback.

Endoscopic AI maker AI Medical Service scores $70M in Series C funding (MOBIHEALTH NEWS)

Japanese medtech firm AI Medical Service has raised 8 billion yen ($70 million USD) in a Series C funding round led by Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Vision Fund 2, along with other existing investors Globis Capital Partners, World Innovation Lab, and Incubate Fund.

TD chief AI officer, CDL-Toronto lead team up with health expert for new healthtech startup, Signal 1 (BETAKIT)

Signal 1, which was co-founded by TD chief AI officer Tomi Poutanen, raised the Inovia Capital-led seed round with participation from TD Bank Group, artificial intelligence pioneer Geoffrey Hinton, former Rogers Communications Inc. CEO Nadir Mohamed, as well as Radical Ventures, which Poutanen co-founded with Jordan Jacobs in 2017.

When Police Do Marketing for Surveillance Tech Companies (VICE)

A drone company called Skydio has managed to get autonomous drones into dozens of police departments by turning cops into their biggest fans.

Shopify makes strategic investment in US AI recommendation startup Crossing Minds (BETAKIT)

Fjolla Bakalli, Shopify’s manager of corporate development and strategic initiatives, said that the company’s strategic investment in Crossing Minds will help Shopify merchants “meet customer’s evolving needs” by providing product recommendations and personalized experiences.


Cameron Chaddad

Cameron is a fourth-year journalism student at Carleton University, with a minor in business. Originally from Ottawa, ON, his family roots are both Italian and Lebanese.

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