A|I: The AI Times – OpenAI employee secondary values company at at least $80 billion

Tenstorrent and Hyundai
Plus: Why Korean car makers want Tenstorrent’s AI hardware.

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Federal government launches consultation on AI’s copyright implications as privacy watchdog seeks input on new biometrics guidance (BETAKIT)

The Government of Canada and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) are seeking feedback from Canadians on the intersection of generative AI and copyright, and the OPC’s updated guidance for dealing with biometric data, respectively.

These moves come as the Government of Canada and affiliated agencies explore how to navigate new and evolving technologies, such as AI, fingerprinting, voice identification, and facial recognition, which pose a challenge to both copyrighted works and individual privacy.

Foxconn and Nvidia are building ‘AI factories’ to accelerate self-driving cars (TECHCRUNCH)

Nvidia and Foxconn are working together to build so-called “AI factories,” a new class of data centers that promise to provide supercomputing powers to accelerate the development of self-driving cars, autonomous machines and industrial robots.

Foxconn is targeting three platforms to start: Smart EVs, smart cities and smart manufacturing.

Procurify closes $68-million CAD Series C to invest in AI, global expansion of spend management platform (BETAKIT)

Vancouver-based spend management and procurement software startup Procurify has secured more than $68 million CAD ($50 million USD) in Series C funding.

This latest capital brings Procurify's total funding to more than $95 million. Procurify plans to use the funding to fuel its global expansion, roll out new payment capabilities, and strengthen its procure-to-pay platform with artificial intelligence.

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Tongue Twisted: Adams Taps AI to Make City Robocalls in Languages He Doesn’t Speak (THE CITY)

New York mayor Eric Adams is using artificial intelligence to turn himself into a polyglot: sending out robocalls with his voice to New Yorkers in a slew of languages he does not speak — and spooking out ethics and privacy advocates.

The recordings could pose ethical issues if it makes people believe the mayor is fluent in so many tongues, surveillance and privacy experts said.

Why Korean car makers want Tenstorrent’s AI hardware

“So many Canadian organizations today are sending their dollars, their economic capital, to AWS, to Azure, to Google. There really is no Canadian response to this today.”

Tenstorrent senior director of business development Eric Duffy explains why the company’s leadership pedigree and open standard tech have attracted interest from Korean auto manufacturers and consumer electronic companies alike, before discussing the opportunities and gaps before Canadian hardware companies competing with Apple, NVIDIA, and Intel. Recorded live at ALL IN 2023 in Montréal.

Conexus, Emmertech alum Sean O’Connor joins TechBrew Robotics as CEO (BETAKIT)

Sean O’Connor, former managing director of Conexus Venture Capital and Emmertech, has joined Salmon Arm, BC AgTech startup TechBrew Robotics as CEO, BetaKit has learned.

TechBrew, an Emmertech portfolio company that builds mushroom-picking robots, first hired O’Connor as interim CEO earlier this year.

In an exclusive interview with BetaKit, O’Connor laid out why joining TechBrew was a “natural” move for both parties, spoke about the startup’s progress to date under Boudreau’s leadership, and shared where the AgTech firm plans to go from here.

Thrive Capital to Lead Purchase of OpenAI Employee Shares at $80 Billion-Plus Valuation (THE INFORMATION)

Investment firm Thrive Capital is leading a deal to buy OpenAI shares from employees through a tender offer that would give the company a paper valuation of at least $80 billion.

The deal would boost OpenAI’s valuation by at least three times from a similar transaction the startup made six months ago.

With new funding, Astrus has secured $3.6 million CAD to date for its AI microchip design offering (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Astrus, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up the microchip design process, has announced $2.63 million USD ($3.6 million CAD) in funding to date with significant backing by Khosa Ventures.

While the digital design process is largely automated, Astrus says its application of AI will speed up the time-consuming process of designing analog microchip layouts.

How Meta and AI companies recruited striking actors to train AI

Hollywood actors are on strike over concerns about the use of AI, but for as little as $300, Meta and a company called Realeyes hired them to make avatars appear more human.

As the need for higher-quality data has grown, alongside concerns about whether data is collected ethically and with proper consent, tech companies have progressed from “scraping data from publicly available sources” to “building data sets with professionals,” explains Julian Posada, an assistant professor at Yale University.

What Allen Lau learned from Wattpad's $754-million acquisition (BETAKIT)

Allen Lau, co-founder and former CEO of Wattpad, has had first-hand M&A experience leading his company to its $754-million CAD acquisition deal with Naver in 2021.

Now, Lau wants to share the lessons he learned with Canadian founders currently pursuing M&A in an ever-changing economy. Ahead of his TechExit appearance on October 25, Lau spoke to the current state of M&A, the value of mentorship, and what role VCs can play.

Traffic management startup Miovision closes $36 million CAD, bringing latest round to $296 million (BETAKIT)

Traffic management startup Miovision has closed $36 million CAD for the second and final tranche of its latest funding round, bringing the total round to $296 million.

Miovision uses a combination of computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), and advanced analytics to help cities reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions. The Kitchener-Waterloo-based company has created both software and hardware aimed at helping communities remotely manage and track their traffic networks.

University of Alberta targets $50 million with new innovation fund, announces first investment in AI system control startup (BETAKIT)

The University of Alberta has launched a new donor-backed innovation fund to invest in local startups, and has announced artificial intelligence (AI)-firm RL Core Technologies as the fund’s first investment.

The university, which hopes to raise $50 million for the fund through donor support, said in a statement that the fund will focus on AI, health, energy, and agriculture as part of the university’s plan to increase its research impact over the next decade.

UK poised to establish global advisory group on AI (FINANCIAL TIMES)

The UK is planning to announce an international advisory group on artificial intelligence at a summit next month, as ministers seek to carve out a global approach to tackling the risks associated with the technology.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hopes to position Britain as a leader in AI regulation, making it an integral part of the fast-evolving global technology sector, where the UK has been losing ground to the US and China.

CANImmunize, PharmaGuide, Wave View Imaging named to inaugural cohort of Pfizer Canada’s Healthcare Hub (BETAKIT)

Pfizer Canada has revealed the first cohort of its inaugural healthcare innovation accelerator, created in partnership with Kitchener-Waterloo hub Communitech. The accelerator said it will provide $1.4 million to support the cohort.

Part of the cohort, PharmaGuide's proposal to the accelerator is a patient portal that integrates artificial intelligence into the drug coverage process, meant to predict insurance coverage and increase transparency.

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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