A|I: The AI Times – OpenAI is now everything it promised not to be

The OpenAI logo on a black background
Plus: Who's actually getting rich off of AI?

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From desk to doorstep: KitchenMate expands smart food kiosk to condo market (BETAKIT)

While office occupancy rates have improved markedly in some cities since the pandemic began, the return to work has not been as instantaneous as some expected.

So, where are the workers? For office workers, it’s still mostly at home, and for those in urban areas across Canada, home is usually a condo building, which is the newest target market for KitchenMate.

As A.I. booms, lawmakers struggle to understand the technology

But even as lawmakers put a spotlight on the technology, few are taking action on it. No bill has been proposed to protect individuals or thwart the development of A.I.’s potentially dangerous aspects. And legislation introduced in recent years to curb A.I. applications like facial recognition have withered in Congress.

The problem is that most lawmakers do not even know what A.I. is, said Representative Jay Obernolte, a California Republican and the only member of Congress with a master’s degree in artificial intelligence.

Miovision acquires Winnipeg’s MicroTraffic to better predict traffic collisions (BETAKIT)

Miovision has acquired Winnipeg startup MicroTraffic with the goal of bringing collision predictions to its traffic management tech.

With the use of machine learning and predictive modelling, MicroTraffic analyzes traffic data to help road safety engineers recommend plans for safer intersections. According to the company, its tech can result in an up to 80 percent reduction in risk.

Inventures 2023: The Breakthrough Innovation Event

A one-of-a-kind experience, Inventures is a high-energy forum of conversations, convergence and creative collisions that attracts more than 3,000 investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders. It’s the place to discover new technologies, talent, capital, customers and markets.

Hosted by Alberta Innovates, Inventures brings the world’s brightest minds and boldest ideas together in Calgary for three extraordinary days of learning, sharing, inspiration and fun. The diverse program features eight curated program tracks with more than 150 sessions and 300+ speakers, including keynotes, expert panels, startup pitch events, networking opportunities, and more.

Register for Inventures 2023 today.

Who’s actually getting rich off of AI? (THE VERGE)

Casey Newton at The Verge asks if an ever-growing number of companies find ways to integrate AI into products that are valuable enough to charge for — or will the bulk of the profits go to the small number of companies building and refining the underlying models on which those tools are based?

Latest Alberta, BC budgets target talent shortage with otherwise minimal new tech investment (BETAKIT)

Though British Columbia and Alberta’s latest budgets allocate some funding towards each province’s innovation sector, the promises for tech were minimal, with industry stakeholders hoping to see more for the sector and small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Fighting ‘Woke AI,’ Musk Recruits Team to Develop OpenAI Rival

Elon Musk has repeatedly criticized OpenAI for installing safeguards that prevent ChatGPT from producing text that might offend users. Musk, who co-founded OpenAI in 2015 but has since cut ties with the startup, suggested last year that OpenAI’s technology was an example of “training AI to be woke.”

His comments imply that a rival chatbot would have fewer restrictions on divisive subjects compared to ChatGPT.

Yoshua Bengio, Element AI co-founders back AI startup Glowstick in $1.3 million round (BETAKIT)

Glowstick’s platform helps businesses create new sales by surfacing leading indicators from recorded customer video calls. Its technology can identify visual cues, body language, or key words that stand out in a video call.

Glowstick said its technology is adept at picking up subtleties from video calls that would otherwise require a human business development representative to uncover.

OpenAI is now everything it promised not to be:
corporate, closed-source, and for-profit

In a blog post published by OpenAI Sam CEO Altman, he declared that his company’s Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)—human-level machine intelligence that is not close to existing and many doubt ever will—will benefit all of humanity and “has the potential to give everyone incredible new capabilities.” Altman uses broad, idealistic language to argue that AI development should never be stopped and that the “future of humanity should be determined by humanity,” referring to his own company.

This blog post and OpenAI's recent actions—all happening at the peak of the ChatGPT hype cycle—is a reminder of how much OpenAI's tone and mission have changed from its founding, when it was exclusively a nonprofit. While the firm has always looked toward a future where AGI exists, it was founded on commitments including not seeking profits and even freely sharing code it develops, which today are nowhere to be seen.

AssistIQ raises $2.5 million CAD to cut down on medical waste in hospitals (BETAKIT)

The startup’s AI platform claims that it tracks the usage of disposable medical devices and supplies across surgeries and common procedures while saving time for nurses. This new data set provides visibility and insights for many hospital stakeholders that result in savings, according to AssistIQ.

Ford is creating a new division to lead its partial autonomy and hands-free driving tech (THE VERGE)

Ford announced the creation of a new wholly owned subsidiary called Latitude AI to lead its efforts to develop a hands-free, eye-off, unsupervised driving system. The company has rehired about 550 employees from Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle operator that shut down last year after Ford pulled its funding.

How to build a diverse talent ecosystem for Canada (BETAKIT)

In an Op-Ed, Palette Skills Chief Strategy Officer AJ Tibando says Canada seems well placed when it comes to talent acquisition, particularly in tech and innovation.

However, Tibando argues that firms still struggle to recruit workers and an educated workforce alone is not enough to solve Canada's talent crunch.

Skydio soars to a $2.2 billion valuation after raising
$230M Series E

Drone company Skydio sets itself apart from the competition with its autonomous capabilities. The company had viral success with its original drone that featured a market-leading collision avoidance detection.

Canada’s small businesses want open banking, too (BETAKIT)

According to a recent survey by Mastercard, over the past two years 90 percent of small business owners with disabilities, 79 percent of Indigenous small business owners, and 71 percent of women small business owners have sought out new digital tools to manage their businesses.

Factbox: Elon Musk's missed deadlines for FDA approval of Neuralink brain-chip trials (REUTERS)

Rachel Levy of Reuters provides a timeline of Elon Musk's promises to secure FDA approval for the Neuralink brain-chip.

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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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