A|I: The AI Times – Toronto wants to kill the smart city forever

Plus: Tesla is cutting about 200 Autopilot jobs.

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FinTech chatbot startup Finn AI gets acquired by former partner Glia (BETAKIT)

“Until now, none of the financial services bot vendors have been able to achieve widespread adoption on their own,” said Glia CEO Dan Michaeli.

Finn and Glia previously worked together to build an integrated chatbot into Glia’s digital customer service platform in 2020. According to Finn, the chatbot is able to understand and process over five hundred common banking queries and tasks.


Tesla is cutting about 200 Autopilot jobs and closing office in San Mateo, California (CNBC)

Tesla, which has yet to deliver on its promise of robotaxi technology, previously moved a number of its Autopilot data employees to its location in Palo Alto, California. The company has also been hiring and training data annotation teams in Buffalo, New York. Some San Mateo office employees had trained the teams in Buffalo, the staffers said.


Maxa raises $2.9 million CAD to help businesses automate resource planning (BETAKIT)

Founded in 2019 by brothers Alexis and Raphael Steinman, Maxa provides a data automation and artificial intelligence (AI) analytics software solution, working alongside enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms.


Supercluster program gets political renewal – and new name – from Innovation Minister Champagne (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne spoke on Monday with the heads of the five non-profit “supercluster” bodies mandated by Ottawa to bring together academia and business to collaborate on innovative projects, spin out companies and create jobs, economic growth and IP.


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US court partially rejects Urbx motion to dismiss Attabotic patent lawsuit (BETAKIT)

Attabotics’ initial complaint alleged that Urbx has and continues to infringe two patents held by Attabotics, by “making, importing, using, selling, and/or offering to sell in the United States a robotic storage and retrieval system embodying [Attabotics’] patented invention.”


Toronto wants to kill the smart city forever (TECHNOLOGY REVIEW)

The idea of an affordable, off-the-grid Eden in the heart of the city sounds great. But there was an entirely different urban utopia planned for this same 12-acre plot, known as Quayside, just a few years ago. It was going to be the place where Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation arm of Alphabet, was going to prove out its vision for the smart city.


Three trends defining the future of cybersecurity (BETAKIT)

Larger organizations with fortress-strength cyber security protocols and hundreds of cyber security employees can still be impacted by attacks on one of the thousands of vendors and partners in their supply chains.


Tech Giants Pour Billions Into AI, but Hype Doesn’t Always Match Reality (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

AI ethicists and researchers warn that some businesses are exaggerating the capabilities—hype that they say is brewing widespread misunderstanding and distorting policy makers’ views of the power and fallibility of such technology. “We’re out of balance,” says Oren Etzioni, chief executive of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a Seattle-based research nonprofit.


Mercator AI raises $1 million CAD to fuel North American expansion (BETAKIT)

“The industry is a black box where you’re constantly trying to meet as many people as possible to expand that network,” said CEO Chloe Smith, who co-founded Mercator with Hogan Lee, the company’s COO. “We can make that happen a lot faster and we can connect them with the right people at the right time about the right projects.”


Coatue-Backed Shopping Startup Lays Off 20% of Staff After Exaggerating Tech Capabilities to Potential Investors (THE INFORMATION)

Shopping startup Nate, which touted its use of artificial intelligence–powered checkout technology while it was actually relying on overseas workers to power transactions, has laid off at least 30 of its nearly 150 employees, according to an employee who was at an internal meeting to inform the laid-off workers.


Government of Canada invests $506 million into AI, computer science research (BETAKIT)

A total of around 69 institutions were granted with funding from the Discovery Grants program this year, representing more than 1,725 researchers. Researchers from across Canada will receive over $430 million of this cumulative amount to continue research programs in a wide variety of disciplines such as artificial intelligence, computer science, climate change, and biology.


Walmart is acquiring Memomi, an AR startup powering virtual try-on for eyewear (TECHCRUNCH)

This partnership had spanned more than 2,800 Walmart Vision Centers and 550 Sam’s Clubs. The technology also powers the optical e-commerce experience on SamsClub.com.


Federal government reveals plans for $443 million second phase of Pan-Canadian AI Strategy (BETAKIT)

“This is a race to the top and I intend for Canada to own the podium,” said François-Philippe Champagne. The Canadian government established its national AI strategy in 2017, providing $125 million for that first phase.


Gloat nabs $90M to build AI-powered internal jobs marketplaces (TECHCRUNCH)

Gloat sells an AI-powered platform to organizations to power their job boards. Integrated with existing software, Gloat sources information on employees to help match them to job openings at their employer — whether they’re proactively searching or a manager seeks them out. In cases where a worker falls short of requirements, the platform provides guidance on what they need to learn as well as part-time and shadowing opportunities.


Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist working out of the U.K. and a staff writer for BetaKit.

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