A|I: The AI Times – Montréal’s AI map

Montreal skyline from Mount Royal

The AI Times is a weekly newsletter covering the biggest AI, machine learning, big data, and automation news from around the globe. If you want to read A|I before anyone else, make sure to subscribe using the form at the bottom of this page.


Clearbanc rebrands, raises $350 million USD to provide full-stack founder support (BETAKIT)

“We started to realize that the capital and funding is one part of a relationship that we can have.”


Chinese tech titan Baidu and carmaking giant Geely to pour US$7.7 billion into making next-generation smart cars (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

Jidu Auto, the electric vehicle venture formed by Baidu and Geely, said it will invest the money over the next five years and aims to deliver its first smart car by 2024.


Amazon’s automated checkout is coming to full-size supermarkets (BNN BLOOMBERG)

The breakthrough, if it works, would catapult Amazon ahead of rivals, which are testing similar camera-based technology developed by various startups.


New map highlights Montreal’s AI ecosystem (BETAKIT)

The map’s list of Montréal startups to watch includes My Intelligent Machines, Deeplite, and Heyday AI, all of which recently raised funding.


ActiveCampaign raises $240M at a $3B valuation as marketing and sales automation come into focus for SMBs (TECHCRUNCH)

The round is being led by a new, big-name investor, Tiger Global, with participation from another new backer Dragoneer, along with Susquehanna Growth Equity and Silversmith Capital Partners, which had both invested previously.


Automation software maker UiPath’s shares rise 23% in market debut (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Shares of UiPath Inc. rose 23% in their market debut, giving the company that helps other businesses automate repetitive tasks a valuation of roughly $36 billion.


“Faster than real-time” cybersecurity company raises $100m (SIFTED)

Israel’s Deep Instinct uses deep learning to recognise and thwart cyberattacks in milliseconds.


Congressmen, consumer reports raise concerns over Tesla’s autopilot (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Two U.S. senators have expressed concern about what they said may be an emerging pattern of safety concerns involving Tesla vehicles in the wake of a fatal crash in Texas. This comes as Tesla’s vice president of legal Al Prescott left to join Luminar, a lidar company.


This has just become a big week for AI regulation (MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW)

The EU has unveiled its new AI rules — but an announcement from the FTC may have more teeth.


Two U.S. senators make new push to advance self-driving cars (REUTERS)

Two U.S. senators are working to attach legislation to allow automakers to deploy tens of thousands of self-driving vehicles on U.S. roads to a bipartisan China bill, a significant reform that could help speed the commercial use of automated vehicles.


AI’s carbon footprint is big, but easy to reduce, Google researchers say (FORTUNE)

The researchers conclude that the carbon footprint of training these algorithms varies tremendously depending on the design of the algorithm, the type of computer hardware used to train it, and the nature of electricity generation where that training takes place.


Despite small decline in deals, Waterloo Region remained a healthy startup ecosystem in 2020 (BETAKIT)

Waterloo Region startups raised $689.6 million for all of 2020 — up 107 percent over 2019. An additional report from Hockeystick also indicated a potential investing gap for BC’s early-stage startups.


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Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.