A|I: The AI Times – OpenAI passes $1.3B annualized revenue while Big Tech struggles to turn AI hype into profits

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Plus: Canadian quantum group appoints its first CEO.

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Quantum Industry Canada appoints Lisa Lambert as first-ever CEO following fed investment (BETAKIT)

Quantum Industry Canada (QIC), a non-profit group advocating for Canada’s quantum technology sector, has appointed Lisa Lambert as its first-ever CEO.

Lambert’s appointment marks QIC’s first major move since receiving $1.4 million as part of the federal government’s $360-million National Quantum Strategy.

“[Lambert’s] leadership will be invaluable in guiding QIC’s strategic direction, representing our members’ interests, and accelerating our impact in this dynamic field,” said Michele Mosca, co-founder of EvolutionQ and QIC’s Board Chair.

OpenAI’s Revenue Crossed $1.3 Billion Annualized Rate, CEO Tells Staff (THE INFORMATION)

ChatGPT maker OpenAI is generating revenue at a pace of $1.3 billion a year, CEO Sam Altman told staff this week. Altman’s remark implies the company is generating more than $100 million per month, up 30 percent from this summer, when the Microsoft-backed startup generated revenue at a $1 billion-a-year pace.

FluidAI Medical announces $15-million Series A for AI-driven postoperative monitor (BETAKIT)

Kitchener-Waterloo healthtech startup FluidAI Medical has announced it raised a $15-million Series A round for its AI-driven postoperative monitoring platform.

FluidAI announced the funding on Oct. 10, almost exactly one-year after it rebranded away from NERv Technology on Oct. 11, 2022, to lean into an identity as an AI-based healthtech solution.

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Universities seek $200M federal boost for sensitive research

The lobby group for Canada’s 15 research-intensive universities wants a $200-million-a-year federal program to support projects in sensitive fields like artificial intelligence The U15 group argues that the feds have identified these fields as strategically important enough to restrict cooperation with adversarial countries as China, which has made the research harder.

Ten Key Labs secures $10.5 million, launches AI equity management tool for founders (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based software startup Ten Key Labs has announced $10.5 million in seed funding and launched a new equity management platform called Mantle.

Through Mantle, Ten Key Labs aims to help startup founders simplify and automate capitalization table management, equity issuing, fundraising options, planning, forecasting, and signing and data rooms for documents.

Big Tech Struggles to Turn AI Hype Into Profits

Tech companies are touting new AI technology that can spit out business memos or computer code. They are still figuring out how those products will generate a profit.

Buddybuild founder is back with new code-assist platform Unblocked (BETAKIT)

Vancouver-based Unblocked emerged from stealth last Tuesday with a coding workflow platform and news of a January 2022 $8.3-million USD ($11.3-million CAD) seed round.

Unblocked claims to use large language models that connect with platforms where teams discuss their code, including Slack and Github, to learn how a team’s codebase works. A coder can consult Unblocked for insights on codebase formatting instead of asking a team member, which the startup says can save teams time.

Warning AI industry could use as much energy as the Netherlands (BBC)

The artificial intelligence (AI) industry could consume as much energy as a country the size of the Netherlands by 2027, a new study warns.

The study, by Alex De Vries, PhD candidate at the VU Amsterdam School of Business and Economics, is based on some parameters remaining unchanged – such as the rate at which AI is growing, the availability of AI chips, and servers continuing to work at full pelt all the time.

BetaKit Live: Bridging the cybersecurity gap for SMBs (BETAKIT)

Ahead of Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023, Mastercard found that only 16 percent of small business owners are certain of next steps to take following an cyber attack, with just 18 percent totally confident their business could fully recover within six months.

In partnership with Mastercard, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed panel conversation on what Canadian small business owners can do to bridge their cybersecurity gap.

Even Google Insiders Are Questioning Bard AI Chatbot’s Usefulness (BNN BLOOMBERG)

For months, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Discord Inc. have run an invitation-only chat for heavy users of Bard, Google’s artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. Google product managers, designers and engineers are using the forum to openly debate the AI tool's effectiveness and utility, with some questioning whether the enormous resources going into development are worth it.

A 'godfather of AI' says he's worried about AI eventually manipulating humans (INSIDER)

Geoffrey Hinton, known as a godfather of AI, appeared on "60 Minutes" to discuss the risks it could pose to humanity as tech giants race to develop their own AI assistants and chatbots.

"I think we're moving into a period when, for the first time ever, we may have things more intelligent than us," Hinton said during his "60 Minutes" interview.

Federal government announces first VCCI inclusive growth stream VC fund recipients (BETAKIT)

The Government of Canada is investing up to $25 million CAD into five Canadian venture capital (VC) funds through the inclusive growth stream of the renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI).

These VC fund recipients include Calgary-based District Ventures Capital and The51’s Food and AgTech Fund, Toronto's BKR Capital and Ripple Ventures, and Halifax-based Sandpiper Ventures.

Can AI Do Empathy Even Better Than Humans? Companies Are Trying It. (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Busy, stressed-out humans aren’t always good at expressing empathy. Now computer scientists are training artificial intelligence to be empathetic for us.

AI-driven large language models trained on massive amounts of voice, text and video conversations are now smart enough to detect and mimic emotions like empathy—at times, better than humans, some argue.

Neo Financial, Jobber, WaitWell among winners of sixth annual Start Alberta Tech Awards (BETAKIT)

Twelve awards were handed out to companies and members of Alberta's tech ecosystem at the Start Alberta Tech Awards hosted in Edmonton this week.

The 2023 awards not only celebrated some of this year's standout deals and capital raises, but also turned the spotlight to the province's emergent ventures. Chloe Smith, CEO and co-founder of real-time construction intelligence platform Mercator AI, was recognized with the Most Promising Founder award.

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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