A|I: The AI Times – Meet Sanctuary AI’s most human-like robot yet

Sanctuary AI - Gen7
Plus: OpenAI, Meta, and Google sign on to child exploitation safety measures.

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Sanctuary AI reveals seventh-generation robot it calls “analogous to a person”

Vancouver-based robotics startup Sanctuary AI has revealed the seventh generation of its general-purpose robot, Phoenix. The seventh-generation robot includes improved human-like range of motion, as well as improvements in uptime.

Sanctuary AI claims Phoenix can now automate new tasks in less than 24 hours. In addition to improving the functions of its robot, Sanctuary AI says it has also increased the speed at which the startup can build and commission the robots, and lowered the cost of manufacturing each unit.

“It’s incredible to see the progress that has been made in just 11 months,” Geordie Rose, CEO and co-founder of Sanctuary AI. “With Generation 7, we have a system that we believe is the most closely analogous to a person of any available.”


OpenAI, Meta and Google Sign On to New Child Exploitation Safety Measures

Major artificial-intelligence companies including OpenAI, Meta Platforms, and Google agreed on Tuesday to incorporate new safety measures to protect children from exploitation and plug several holes in their current defenses.

A host of new generative-AI powered tools have supercharged predators’ ability to create sexualized images of children and other exploitative material. The goal of the new alliance is to throttle the creation of such content before these tools can proliferate and hurt more children, according to Thorn, the child-safety group that helped organize the initiative along with the nonprofit organization All Tech Is Human.

(The Wall Street Journal)

Report: Canada must close its talent gap or risk falling behind in the AI race

Even as public- and private-sector organizations in Canada are turning their attention to artificial intelligence, almost half feel their staff are not adequately prepared to use it, according to a new report from Deloitte Canada’s Future of Canada Centre.

The data indicates that a strong majority of respondents consider adapting to technological change a moderate to high priority.


Microsoft, Amazon AI deals get deeper U.K. antitrust scrutiny

Amazon.com Inc’s US$4 billion investment into artificial intelligence firm Anthropic is facing the prospect of an in-depth U.K. antitrust probe, a week after the agency warned of Big Tech’s “interconnected web” of deals into the booming market.

The Competition and Markets Authority said Wednesday it was gathering information from market players to determine whether the collaboration between the two firms threatens competition in the U.K.

(BNN Bloomberg)

Forcen closes $8.35 million in funding to develop its touch-tech for robots

Toronto-based robotics sensing company Forcen has closed an $8.35 million CAD funding round as it looks to scale up its prototype production facilities.

Forcen said it will use the investment to support more customers and continue developing its force sensing technology for robots.


Canada puts $59.9M into IBM’s Quebec semiconductor packaging, quantum play

The federal government is providing $59.9 million in financing for a $226.5-million expansion of IBM’s semiconductor packaging plant in Bromont, Que., and for the tech giant to develop quantum technologies with a local R&D lab, The Logic has learned. The IBM plant is a key asset in Canada’s plans to create continental chip supply chains.

(The Logic)

AutoAlign spins off from Armilla AI, launches firewall solution for LLMs

Toronto-based AutoAlign has spun off from its parent company Armilla AI and has launched a firewall solution aimed at making large language models safer.

According to a spokesperson for AutoAlign, the new spinout is being led by Dan Adamson as interim CEO and co-founder, and Rahm Hafiz as CTO and co-founder.

Adamson will continue to work at Armilla AI, but Karthik Ramakrishnan, Armilla AI co-founder and chief product officer, will take over the role of CEO. Hafiz will serve at AutoAlign on a full-time basis, moving from his role as CTO of Armilla AI.


An AI startup made a hyperrealistic deepfake of me that’s so good it’s scary

I’m stressed and running late, because what do you wear for the rest of eternity?

This makes it sound like I’m dying, but it’s the opposite. I am, in a way, about to live forever, thanks to the AI video startup Synthesia. For the past several years, the company has produced AI-generated avatars, but today it launches a new generation, its first to take advantage of the latest advancements in generative AI, and they are more realistic and expressive than anything I’ve ever seen. While today’s release means almost anyone will now be able to make a digital double, on this early April afternoon, before the technology goes public, they’ve agreed to make one of me.

(MIT Technology Review)

BetaKit launches new program for Innovation Leaders

We are pleased to announce BetaKit Innovation Leaders, a new program designed to provide Canada’s top innovation organizations with exclusive programming and insights.

BetaKit Innovation Leaders will benefit from exclusive programming streams, tailored insights, and increased visibility of their work across the ecosystem through our partner offerings. Most importantly, their investment will help expand our coverage of Canadian tech and innovation, benefitting our readers and the sector at large.


Apple Removes Nonconsensual AI Nude Apps Following 404 Media Investigation

Apple has removed a number of AI image generation apps from the App Store after 404 Media found these apps advertised the ability to create nonconsensual nude images, a sign that app store operators are starting to take more action against these types of apps.

Overall, Apple removed three apps from the App Store, but only after [404 Media] provided the company with links to the specific apps and their related ads, indicating the company was not able to find the apps that violated its policy itself.

(404 Media)

Changemakers: Did the SEC just help Manifest Climate scale?

Greenhouse gas levels are at an all-time high, more than a million species face extinction, and we currently use more of the earth’s resources than we can renew.

If that’s not enough to keep you up at night, the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US just made climate reporting mandatory for public companies, following repeated commitments from Ottawa to introduce mandatory climate-related reporting requirements for Canadian companies as well.

To regulators, these changes present an opportunity to advance global climate goals and mitigate investor risk.


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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