A|I: The AI Times – Tiger Global’s share sale puts Cohere at a $3 billion valuation

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Plus: A new Canadian generative image startup gets $22.3 million.

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Ideogram launches with $22.3 million CAD for generative AI text-to-image platform like DALL-E (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Ideogram, which offers generative text-to-image technology, has launched its platform with $22.3 million CAD ($16.5 million USD) in seed funding.

Ideogram’s founding team consists of people who have previously led AI projects at Google Brain, UC Berkeley, and the University of Toronto.

Tiger Global Nears Deal to Sell Slice of Cohere Stake at $3 Billion Valuation (THE INFORMATION)

Tiger Global Management is nearing a deal to sell part of its stake in OpenAI rival Cohere at a roughly $3 billion valuation, a markup of more than 40% from Cohere’s last financing round in June, according to people familiar with the matter.

Charles Plant of The Narwhal Project lauded the valuation in a LinkedIn post that provided some interesting figures about Cohere's significant growth, saying "their success will end up fuelling the Canadian ecosystem."

Mila’s new partnership with KPI Mining Solutions will focus AI on efficiently capturing critical minerals (BETAKIT)

KPI Mining Solutions is partnering with Québec AI Institute Mila to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) modelling in the hopes of advancing mining efficiency, including reducing environmental impacts.

Founded by Professor Yoshua Bengio of the University of Montreal, Mila is an AI research institute that brings together over 1,000 researchers specializing in machine learning.

Addressing Canada’s talent gap in the tech industry boils down to removing the barriers for equity-deserving groups.
The Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) program is a cost-free digital and professional skills development initiative that bridges the employment gap. It equips students in their final semester and post-secondary graduates with in-demand skills for entry-level tech roles.

ADaPT supports a diverse group of talent from varied educational backgrounds, with 81% of participants identifying as belonging to at least one equity-deserving group. Backed by 70+ hours of intensive training, the program exposes participants to tech career pathways.    

The ADaPT program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and led by Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute in collaboration with TECHNATION Canada. 

To support future talent in thriving tech careers within Canada’s changing job market and become an ADaPT employer, find out more here.

How Nvidia Built a Competitive Moat Around AI Chips

Over more than 10 years, Nvidia has built a nearly impregnable lead in producing chips that can perform complex AI tasks like image, facial and speech recognition, as well as generating text for chatbots like ChatGPT.

“Everybody builds on Nvidia first,” MosaicML co-founder Naveen Rao said. “If you come out with a new piece of hardware, you’re racing to catch up.”

MindBridge founder Solon Angel joins Fresh Founders as managing partner (BETAKIT)

The founder of Ottawa-based artificial intelligence startup MindBridge, Solon Angel, announced that he has joined Fresh Founders as a managing partner.

Fresh Founders is an early-stage investment and advisory firm that calls itself “an exclusive, invite-only, mastermind group of founders, CEOs and high-impact individuals.”

AI Startup Hugging Face Valued at $4.5 Billion After Raising Funding From Google, Nvidia (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Hugging Face Inc., a startup that makes artificial intelligence software and hosts it for other companies, said it has been valued at $4.5 billion after raising $235 million in funding.

The deal reflects investors’ enthusiasm for pushing money into AI startups and rising interest from across the tech community in open source and freely available AI software.

Four startup growth tips for founders, from founders (BETAKIT)

No two startup journeys are identical. However, trends can emerge across businesses and, as the saying goes, success leaves clues.

As part of a CIBC Innovation Banking video series, leaders from four different companies–Bridgit, 7Shifts, Jane App, and Bloomerang–shared the key lesson that helped them scale.

Andreessen Co-Leads $200 Million Investment in Biotech Startup Genesis Therapeutics (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Venture firm Andreessen Horowitz has co-led a $200 million investment in Genesis Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup that uses artificial intelligence to discover medicines against molecular targets that have thwarted drugmakers.

Genesis is one of several companies applying AI in an effort to uncover novel medicines and make drug discovery more successful. It says this financing will enable it to launch its first clinical trials.

Meta launches own AI code-writing tool: Code Llama (THE VERGE)

Meta has released a tool called Code Llama, built on top of its Llama 2 large language model, to generate new code and debug human-written work, the company said.

In addition to the base Code Llama model, Meta released a Python-specialized version called Code Llama-Python and another version called Code Llama-Instrct, which can understand instructions in natural language.

Early-stage VC funding and mega-deals carry Canada to second-largest Q2 on record (BETAKIT)

As Canadian tech companies and investors continue to contend with tough economic conditions, the sector just posted its second-largest second quarter on record for venture capital funding, according to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

Per CVCA’s latest VC market report, in the second quarter, $2.8 billion CAD was put into Canadian tech startups across 170 deals. By dollars invested, this total represents a 140 percent jump quarter-over-quarter.

Google and Microsoft Are Supercharging AI Deepfake Porn

During the recent AI boom, the creation of nonconsensual pornographic deepfakes has surged, with the number of videos increasing ninefold since 2019, according to research from independent analyst Genevieve Oh.

For the targets of deepfake porn who would like to hold someone accountable for the resulting economic or emotional damage, there are no easy solutions.

According to Brandie Nonnecke, a founding director of the CITRIS Policy Lab, it seems like the victims’ best hope for justice is for the tech companies hosting the content to “grow a conscience.”

Bayer, AstraZeneca gain early access to AI-driven 'digital twins' courtesy of Altis collab (FIERCE BIOTECH)

Coming off a $7.9 million seed in June, canadian computational imaging company Altis Labs will lead an international project that includes drug giants AstraZeneca and Bayer to advance the use of "digital twins" in clinical trials.

Digital twins are simulations that help drug developers and clinicians understand how a patient and/or a therapy may perform in real-life situations.

Elevate, The Firehood reveal first cohort of 37 startups in new incubator for women entrepreneurs (BETAKIT)

The Firehood, an angel network that focuses on supporting women in the technology sector, and Toronto-based nonprofit Elevate have unveiled the 37 startups participating in the first cohort of its joint incubator for women entrepreneurs, the Women+ Entrepreneur Incubator.

Google and YouTube are trying to have it both ways with AI and copyright (THE VERGE)

Google has made clear it is going to use the open web to inform and create anything it wants, and nothing can get in its way. Except maybe Frank Sinatra.

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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