A|I: The AI Times – The big piggyback

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.


Xanadu secures $120 million CAD led by Bessemer to build photonic quantum computer (BETAKIT)

Prior to the Series B round, Xanadu’s total investment to date was $41 million following a round led by OMERS Ventures in 2019.


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The pandemic effect: IPOs the new path for Canadian tech firms

The Canadian tech ecosystem is thriving in Canada. COVID-19, or the “pandemic effect” has resulted in emerging tech companies in Canada eyeing the public market more than ever for growth. This has led to a tech IPO boom early in 2021, with likely more to come.

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Anthropic is the new AI research outfit from OpenAI’s Dario Amodei, and it has $124M to burn (TECHCRUNCH)

Today the general rule is: the more powerful the system, the harder it is to explain its actions. That’s not exactly a good trend.


How Ada piggybacked Zoom and Shopify’s growth during the pandemic to become a Canadian unicorn (BETAKIT)

Earlier this month, Ada announced a $130 million USD Series C round that brought its valuation to $1.2 billion.


Chinese AI firm blacklisted by U.S. gave funds to York, Queen’s universities (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

York and Queen’s received funds from a Chinese AI firm that has been blacklisted by the U.S. for human rights abuses.


Germany, birthplace of the automobile, just gave the green light to robotaxis (FORTUNE)

Germany is set to become the world’s first major economy to legalize the commercial use of fully autonomous “robotaxis,” beating out the United States and China.


Tenstorrent raises over $200 million (BETAKIT)

“Our goal is to continue creating AI-focused hardware for developers,” said Ljubisa Bajic, Tenstorrent’s CEO.


OpenAI’s $100M startup fund will make ‘big early bets’ with Microsoft as partner (TECHCRUNCH)

OpenAI is launching a $100 million startup fund, which it calls the OpenAI Startup Fund, through which it and its partners will invest in early-stage AI companies tackling major problems (and productivity).


How a largely untested AI algorithm crept into hundreds of hospitals (FAST COMPANY)

During the pandemic, the electronic health record giant Epic quickly rolled out an algorithm to help doctors decide which patients needed the most immediate care. Doctors believe it will change how they practice.


Why startups are easier targets for cybercrime (and what founders can do about it) (BETAKIT)

Microsoft Canada CSO Kevin Magee explains how startup leaders can prioritize security without impacting growth potential.


Vancouver-based Dooly raises $80 million USD Series B round (BETAKIT)

News of the raise comes two months after Dooly announced $20.3 million in funding, which consisted of a 2020 seed round and Series A round.


Clearview AI hit with sweeping legal complaints over controversial face scraping in Europe (THE VERGE)

The privacy watchdogs believe Clearview’s image-scraping methods violate European laws.


An insurance startup bragged it uses AI to detect fraud. It didn’t go well (VICE)

Lemonade backtracked after suggesting it uses “non-verbal cues” like eye movements to reject claims. Its response raises more questions than answers.


GTX re-brands to Vosker following 4X revenue increase for remote monitoring tech (BETAKIT)

Across four brands, GTX has surpassed 360 employees and increased its revenue by 316 percent in the last few years, from $30 million two years ago to $125 million in 2020.


The U.S. is alarmingly close to an autonomous weapons arms race (FAST COMPANY)

Weapons systems that think for themselves remain in their infancy, but geopolitical pressures and mistrust may force them into use prematurely.


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Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.