A|I: The AI Times – The AI chip war goes hot

Three AI pictures side by side
Plus: Startup behind AI image generator in talks to raise at a valuation up to $1 billion.

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 the form at the bottom of this page.


Led by ex-Vidyard employees, HyperComply wants to get rid of security questionnaires (BETAKIT)

Security reviews are a necessary procedure designed to assess the cybersecurity and compliance of potential B2B software vendors. Amid the already significant and rising cost of cybercrime, HyperComply co-founder and CEO Amar Chahal says prospective buyers “must do due diligence” on their supply chain given that most of the damage from cybercrime can be traced back to third-party suppliers.


Startup behind AI image generator Stable Diffusion is in talks to raise at a valuation up to $1 billion (FORBES)

Stability AI’s open source text-to-image generator, Stable Diffusion, was released to the general public in late August. Since then, like DALL-E 2, it’s taken the internet by storm. Now, Stability AI is in discussions to raise $100 million USD from investors at a valuation of up to $1 billion, sources told Forbes.


Panache closes $100 million for second fund as firm doubles down on seed-stage startups (BETAKIT)

Originally launched in 2018 by a team that came out of 500 Startups Canada, Panache’s stated goal at the time was to become “the most active and best-performing fund of its kind in the country.” It’s a feat that Panache has been able to achieve in the last five years, according to Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) data. Panache has invested in 100 companies to date, including Certn, Clutch, MobSquad, and Dooly.


Nvidia AI chip export ban expected to impact U.S., China AI race (VENTUREBEAT)

Last week was filled with reports that U.S. government officials have ordered Nvidia to stop exporting its A100 and H100 GPUs to China, a signal of what Reuters called a “major escalation” of a U.S. campaign to slow China’s technological capabilities.

The move immediately led to speculation about the impact on Chinese firms, including their ability to compete in areas of AI research such as image recognition. Questions also came quickly about the impact on Nvidia’s business in China.


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Amazon is buying mechatronics specialist Cloostermans (TECHCRUNCH)

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Amazon family and extending the impact we can have at a global scale,” said Frederik Berckmoes-Joos, CEO of Cloostermans, in a statement in a blog post published by Amazon. “Amazon has raised the bar for how supply chain technologies can benefit employees and customers, and we’re looking forward to be part of the next chapter of this innovation.”


Darktrace shares slump after takeover talks collapse (THE GUARDIAN)

Despite full-year results that showed an increase in sales, helping the Cambridge-based company turn a profit after last year’s heavy losses, investors sold off Darktrace stock in droves on Thursday, as the chances of a money-spinning takeover evaporated.


Magna to Manufacture Thousands of Cartken Autonomous Robots for Last-Mile Deliveries (AUTOEVOLUTION)

Canada-based Magna announced recently that it entered into an agreement with the San Francisco company, Cartken, and will manufacture the latter’s Model C autonomous robot. Thousands of such machines are expected to be produced as specified in the agreement, with the manufacturing process already kicking off in a Magna facility in Michigan.

As stated by Magna, the production will ramp up over the next few months and additional robot models will be included, based on the same Cartken platform.


Thoughtwire, Finaeo make staff cuts as Canadian tech continues to face economic headwinds (BETAKIT)

Thoughtwire and Finaeo are among the latest Canadian startups to make layoffs in recent weeks as companies adjust to a tighter investment landscape and economy. Both companies are staying mum on the number of employees cut.


PolyAI lands $40M to handle contact center calls automatically (TECHCRUNCH)

With the market for call center software estimated to be worth tens of billions, there’s a strong incentive to crack the code — or to come close, at least. Countless tech giants and startups have thrown their tech at the automated call handling problem, from Google (and Google’s Area 120 incubator), Microsoft and Amazon to Got It AI, Replicant and Tenyx.

Now, a newer startup called PolyAI claims to be doing it more effectively — and points to its uptake as proof.


AI observability startup Arize AI secures $38M in funding (SILICON ANGLE)

Software tools designed to detect technical issues in traditional applications often can’t be used to troubleshoot AI models. An AI model can have upwards of billions of configuration settings, or parameters, that influence how it makes decisions. Identifying which specific parameter is causing an error isn’t always practical with traditional troubleshooting methods.


Supply chain analytics SaaS startup Lytica secures over $13 million in Series A round (BETAKIT)

Founded in 2005, Lytica uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze pricing data, offering market insights to reduce costs and mitigate supply chain risk. Lytica claims that Fortune 500 and blue chip companies rely on its platform to find better prices, manufacturers, and suppliers.


EU AI Act’s possible open-source regulation sparks Twitter debate (VENTUREBEAT)

As the European Union continues to debate its development of the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act), one step it has considered would be to regulate open-source general-purpose AI (GPAI).

The EU AI Act defines GPAI as “AI systems that have a wide range of possible uses, both intended and unintended by the developers … these systems are sometimes referred to as ‘foundation models’ and are characterized by their widespread use as pre-trained models for other, more specialized AI systems.”


Was This Viral UFO Photo a Hoax Generated By an AI? (VICE)

This interview features Juan Manuel Sánchez, a car mechanic, speaking to reporters outside his home where he took the original photograph. He claims that as he was photographing the clouds of an approaching storm, he suddenly realized there was a small saucer in the sky.


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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist and Carleton Journalism alumni working out of Ottawa and Montreal. Follow him on twitter @mwedgar.

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