A|I: The AI Times – OpenAI debuts Sora, a hyper-realistic text-to-video generator

Plus: How Vector Institute is reversing Canada’s AI brain drain.

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 this form.

OpenAI introduces Sora, its text-to-video AI model

OpenAI is launching a new video-generation model, and it’s called Sora. The AI company says Sora “can create realistic and imaginative scenes from text instructions.” The text-to-video model allows users to create photorealistic videos up to a minute long — all based on prompts they’ve written.

The company also notes that the model can understand how objects “exist in the physical world,” as well as “accurately interpret props and generate compelling characters that express vibrant emotions.”

From The Information earlier this week: OpenAI has been developing a web search product that would bring the Microsoft-backed startup into more direct competition with Google, according to someone with knowledge of OpenAI’s plans.

(The Verge)


Discover the resources and communities available to you in Toronto’s tech ecosystem! ​

Whether you’re looking for an incubator to grow your AI startup or interested in building a career in entrepreneurship, we welcome you to join our Innovation Open House. ​​

This is your chance to interact with Toronto Metropolitan University’s vibrant startup incubators and discover how TMU’s Master of Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship program can help you accelerate your career.

Register Now

Vector Institute leaders chart AI hub’s progress and the challenges that remain

In opening remarks at a February 7 Founders Dinner, Vector board chair and former TD Bank CEO Ed Clark noted that Vector has built an engineering team capable of translating AI research into solutions that firms can use and a master’s program in applied AI to create a supply of talent for industry to tap.

“We reversed the brain drain, and we have made Canada one of the largest net importers of tech talent. And we are helping hundreds of companies—hundreds of companies—use AI,” said Clark.


GM’s Cruise hardware chief resigns in latest exit after operations suspended

The head of hardware at General Motors’ self-driving unit, Carl Jenkins, said on Thursday he had resigned from the company, the latest in a series of departures since the company suspended U.S. operations in October. On Oct. 2, a pedestrian in San Francisco hit by another vehicle was thrown into the path of a self-driving Cruise car and dragged 20 feet (6 m).

Jenkins’ LinkedIn post said his team was responsible for developing Cruise’s self-driving hardware, including microchips, sensors and computers and worked with GM on product development.


Staircase Ventures bets on Sibli as VC firm reveals first four investments

Early-stage venture capital firm Staircase Ventures has made one of its first bets on Montréal-based artificial intelligence startup Sibli, which today announced $6 million CAD ($4.5 million USD) in seed funding.

Sibli, which applies AI to investment research, is one of the first four investments that Toronto’s Staircase—led by former Real Ventures managing partner Janet Bannister—has made since closing its first VC fund in September.


Unbounce among the latest #CDNtech companies making changes at the top

Vancouver-based Unbounce led another wave of executive turnover in Canadian tech, which included top-level changes at AI firms Aifred Health, HumanFirst, Numana, and Stream Systems. They join an unprecedented tidal wave of executive leadership changes that have occurred since the beginning of the year.


New AI polyglot launched to help fill massive language gap in field

Cohere for AI, the nonprofit AI research lab at Cohere, on Tuesday released its open-source multilingual large language model called Aya.

It covers more than twice as many languages as other existing open-source models and is the result of a year-long project involving 3,000 researchers in 119 countries.


Professor Esma Aïmeur discusses the double-edged sword of GenAI ahead of the World AI Cannes Festival

Esma Aïmeur, a professor at the computer science department of Université de Montréal (Canada), focuses her academic body of work on how humans interact with and are impacted by AI.

Speaking with BetaKit ahead of her talk at the World AI Cannes Festival (WAICF), Aïmeur shared more about the explosive power of GenAI and why she calls it a double-edged sword.


Clarity raises $16M to fight deepfakes through detection

Clarity is among the many vendors large and small racing to develop deepfake-spotting tools.

Be that as it may, Clarity hasn’t had any trouble attracting backing. The New York-based, 13-employee startup recently closed a $16 million seed round co-led by Walden Catalyst Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners.


Why this Canadian VC strongly recommends SR&ED financing to his portfolio companies

In a funding landscape growing increasingly challenging for tech startups, the quest for capital has led many to explore alternatives to traditional equity investment, such as government tax incentives and grants.

While it’s a common belief that chasing this type of funding can be a time-intensive distraction for founders, Jason Robertson, co-founder and partner of Nimbus Synergies, an early-stage, healthtech-focused venture capital firm headquartered in Vancouver, has a different perspective.


Maple VC co-leads $4-million seed round for Canadian-led Inference.ai

Inference.ai has secured $4 million and is one of the latest Canadian-founded startups to secure an investment from Maple VC.

The Palo Alto, California-based startup, founded in 2023, helps companies acquire graphics processing units (GPUs) to support the training and inference of artificial intelligence.


Google quietly launches internal AI model named ‘Goose’ to help employees write code faster, leaked documents show

As Google injects artificial intelligence into every product it possibly can, it’s also turning to AI to make its business more efficient.

The company has launched a large language model named Goose that’s just for employees. It is designed to assist with building new products, according to internal documents reviewed by Business Insider.

(Business Insider)

Mining tech company GeologicAI acquires consultancy Resource Modeling Solutions

Calgary-based GeologicAI is acquiring Resource Modeling Solutions for an undisclosed amount, a move aimed to accelerate the company’s advancements in the mining sector.

GeologicAI said the deal will expand its product and service offerings while combining teams and respective tech.


Visa Canada, Plug and Play host Toronto FinTech Innovation Showcase to spotlight Canadian startup ecosystem

Earlier this month in Toronto, leaders from across Canada’s financial sector convened at the Plug and Play Toronto FinTech Innovation Showcase to highlight the tech set to transform Canada’s financial services ecosystem.

The event looked to explore opportunities for collaboration among members of the Canadian financial services community, to spotlight leading companies, and to discuss how Canada can accelerate the momentum of its FinTech sector.


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.

0 replies on “A|I: The AI Times – OpenAI debuts Sora, a hyper-realistic text-to-video generator”