A|I: The AI Times – Nvidia rides the AI wave to a $2-trillion valuation

Plus: Yoshua Bengio calls for deepfake regulations.

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Nvidia Set to Top $2 Trillion Valuation in First for Chipmakers

Nvidia Corp. is on its way to becoming the first semiconductor firm with a $2 trillion valuation, another milestone in its ascendancy as the biggest beneficiary of a rush into artificial intelligence-related stocks over the past year

While Apple and Microsoft took over two years to go from $1 trillion to $2 trillion, Nvidia is on track to accomplish that in under a year’s time as the stock rides Wall Street’s AI frenzy.

Nvidia dominates the market for graphics chips designed for complex computing tasks needed to power AI applications that companies are rushing to develop.

(BNN Bloomberg)

Yoshua Bengio co-signs statement calling for new laws to combat deepfakes

Over 800 individuals globally, including deep learning pioneer and Montréal-based Mila co-founder Yoshua Bengio, have put their names to a statement this week calling for new laws to crack down on deepfakes.

Bengio has put his name to several open letters urging for more caution around the development of AI. Despite these letters garnering a good deal of support from AI leaders, other members of Canada’s tech sector this week offered a contrasting perspective, arguing that Canada should accelerate its adoption of AI, or risk getting left behind on the global stage.


Google Gemma: because Google doesn’t want to give away Gemini yet

Google has released Gemma 2B and 7B, a pair of open-source AI models that let developers use the research that went into its flagship Gemini more freely. While Gemini is a big closed AI model that directly competes with (and is nearly as powerful as) OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the lightweight Gemma will likely be suitable for smaller tasks like simple chatbots or summarizations.

(The Verge)

Y Combinator and Yoshua Bengio-backed Armilla AI secures $6 million CAD in new funding

Toronto-based Armilla AI has raised $6 million CAD ($4.5 million USD) in seed funding to scale its risk assurance and warranty product for artificial intelligence models.

After an assessment, if Armilla is confident in the quality of an AI product, it backs the model with its warranty. Should the backed AI model fail or not perform as promised, a model’s buyer will be reimbursed the licence fee that they paid.

AI model errors have made headlines in recent weeks, with ChatGPT responding to prompts with “gibberish” Tuesday while Air Canada was forced to honour a refund its chatbot seemingly made up out of thin air last week. Ramakrishnan told BetaKit that, hypothetically, if Air Canada had used an Armilla Guaranteed AI model, the error would have been covered by its warranty.


The ‘Magic’ Breakthrough That Got Friedman and Gross to Bet $100 Million on a Coding Startup

Former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman and his investment partner, Daniel Gross, raised eyebrows last week by writing a $100 million check to Magic, the developer of an artificial intelligence coding assistant. There are loads of coding assistants already, and the top dog among them is Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot. So what did Friedman and Gross see in Magic?

(The Information)

Canadian late-stage VC funding continued to slip in 2023

For the second consecutive year, venture capital investment in Canada fell as investors remained cautious, according to new data from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

The CVCA tracked $6.9 billion invested across 660 deals during the year. Investment fell by 34 percent compared to 2022, whereas deal volume remained relatively flat year-over-year, declining by six percent.


Women in AI: Irene Solaiman, head of global policy at Hugging Face

To give AI-focused women academics and others their well-deserved — and overdue — time in the spotlight, TechCrunch is launching a series of interviews focusing on remarkable women who’ve contributed to the AI revolution.

Irene Solaiman began her career in AI as a researcher and public policy manager at OpenAI, where she led a new approach to the release of GPT-2, a predecessor to ChatGPT. After serving as an AI policy manager at Zillow for nearly a year, she joined Hugging Face as the head of global policy. Her responsibilities there range from building and leading company AI policy globally to conducting socio-technical research.


BEKH, Volta and Tribe launch new initiatives to support Black Canadian founders

Tribe Network has partnered with Atlantic Canada accelerator Volta to launch a new residency program for Black founders, while the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (BEKH) is developing a new ecosystem mapping tool for Black entrepreneurs.

The new joint program between Tribe and Volta, called Accelerate Black Tech, will combine Volta’s startup mentorship model with Tribe’s network to support Black tech entrepreneurs and their startups.

Meanwhile, BEKH is developing an ecosystem mapping tool meant to help users tap into a network of resources, support, and opportunities.


AI startup Jasper acquires image generator Clipdrop from Stability AI

U.S. writing assistant startup Jasper has acquired Clipdrop, an artificial intelligence-powered photo application from Stability AI, the company told Reuters, as Jasper expands its offerings beyond text editing to photos.

The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, marks a reversal in strategy for Stability AI, a London-based startup known for its image generation AI model, which acquired Clipdrop under a year ago.


Golden Ventures closes nearly $140 million CAD for fifth seed-stage VC fund

Toronto-based Golden Ventures has secured about $103 million USD ($139 million CAD) for its fifth venture capital (VC) fund focused on seed-stage technology startups across North America.

Golden will focus on leading or co-leading rounds across the seed spectrum, companies in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montréal, and Vancouver, with initial cheques of $500,000 to $3 million.


Stable Diffusion 3 arrives to solidify early lead in AI imagery against Sora and Gemini

Stability AI has announced Stable Diffusion 3, the latest and most powerful version of the company’s image-generating AI model. While details are scant, it’s clearly an attempt to fend off the hype around recently announced competitors from OpenAI and Google.

SD3 uses an updated “diffusion transformer,” a technique pioneered in 2022 but revised in 2023 and reaching scalability now. Sora, OpenAI’s impressive video generator, apparently works on similar principles.


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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