Databricks Acquiring OpenAI Competitor MosaicML for $1.3B

Data management firm Databricks has agreed to purchase generative AI company MosaicML in a deal valued at $1.3 billion. The three-year-old generative AI startup has developed a platform it says makes it “fast, cost-effective, and easy” for companies to train LLMs and deploy tools to use them. MosaicML has privately raised roughly $64 million to date. Its last valuation was $222 million in January, which means it was purchased for a healthy 6x multiple in a move that appears to prime Databricks for what one brokerage calls an “inevitable” IPO. Continue reading Databricks Acquiring OpenAI Competitor MosaicML for $1.3B

Inflection Shares Test Results for Its First AI Language Model

AI-startup Inflection has unveiled a new foundation LLM (large language model) to power its Pi chatbot. Inflection-1 approximates OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 in terms of size and functionality, which puts it on a par with ChatGPT insofar as model training. Inflection claims its LLM exceeds some benchmarks when tested against that competing system, as well as Meta Platforms’ LLaMA, DeepMind’s Chinchilla and Google’s PaLM-540B. Pi is short for Personal Intelligence, and Inflection compiled its LLM with a goal of creating an emotive AI whose conversation provides a reasonable facsimile of empathy and human-like sensibilities. Continue reading Inflection Shares Test Results for Its First AI Language Model

Meta Announces Quest+ Subscription Service for VR Games

Meta Platforms is marketing its Quest catalog with the new monthly VR subscription game service Meta Quest+. For a monthly fee of $7.99 or $59.99 annually, Quest 2 and Quest Pro enthusiasts will gain access to two hand-picked VR titles per month that they can download and play through the life of their subscription. The “browse less and play more” approach aims to provide users an easy point of entry to explore the Meta Quest catalog. Available as of this week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the Quest+ pass Monday on Meta’s Instagram channel. Those who sign up through July 31 get their first month for $1. Continue reading Meta Announces Quest+ Subscription Service for VR Games

AWS Invests $100 Million in Generative AI Innovation Center

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is investing $100 million to fund a global AI accelerator, aiming to link its machine learning initiatives with experts, customers and partners worldwide. Twilio, Highspot, Lonely Planet and Ryanair are among the first companies to get onboard with the AWS Generative AI Innovation Center to develop new applications. “Through free workshops, engagements and training, AWS will help customers imagine and scope the use cases that will create the greatest value for their businesses, based on best practices and industry expertise,” the company explains. Continue reading AWS Invests $100 Million in Generative AI Innovation Center

RIAA Alleges Popular ‘AI Hub’ on Discord Violates Copyright

The AI Hub server on Discord has drawn attention from the Recording Industry Association of America, which sent a DMCA takedown notice and is alleging copyright infringement. The users are said to share a wide range of AI voice models, including some based on recognizable performers. Those that may sound familiar are in the style of Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Rihanna and Bruno Mars. AI Hub reportedly has more than 142,000 members that engage in sharing topical information, such as guides. One point that is getting a lot of attention is the RIAA demand that Discord identify the accused infringers. Continue reading RIAA Alleges Popular ‘AI Hub’ on Discord Violates Copyright

Canadian Law Requires That Tech Firms Pay for News Links

The Parliament of Canada passed a law requiring technology companies to pay news outlets when linking to their articles, a move that has Meta Platforms threatening to pull news content from Facebook and Instagram in that country. Canada’s Online News Act, which applies to domestic outlets, is the latest move in a global battle between publishers and Big Tech, and follows a similar law in Australia. “A strong, independent and free press is fundamental to our democracy,” a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration tweeted when the law cleared the vote last week. Continue reading Canadian Law Requires That Tech Firms Pay for News Links

Biden Supports FCC Plan for Multichannel Price Disclosures

The Federal Communications Commission proposed a rule that would require cable TV and multichannel satellite services to disclose full pricing for programming plans in consumer promotional materials and invoicing, a plan President Biden quickly endorsed. The intent is to clearly convey “all-in” costs as a prominent single line, avoiding taxes and surcharges excluded from sales pitches and sometimes difficult to decipher on bills. “Too often, these companies hide additional junk fees on customer bills disguised as ‘broadcast TV’ or ‘regional sports’ fees that in reality pay for no additional services,” Biden said. Continue reading Biden Supports FCC Plan for Multichannel Price Disclosures

Schumer Shares Plan for SAFE AI Senate Listening Sessions

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled his approach toward regulating artificial intelligence, beginning with nine listening sessions to explore topics including AI’s impact on the job market, copyright, national security and “doomsday scenarios.” Schumer’s plan — the SAFE (Security, Accountability, Foundations, Explainability) Innovation framework — isn’t proposed legislation, but a discovery roadmap. Set to begin in September, the panels will draw on members of industry, academia and civil society. “Experts aren’t even sure which questions policymakers should be asking,” said Schumer of the learning curve. “In many ways, we’re starting from scratch.” Continue reading Schumer Shares Plan for SAFE AI Senate Listening Sessions

IBM and Adobe Advance AI Content Workflow for Enterprise

IBM and Adobe are expanding their partnership to help enterprise clients accelerate their content supply chains using artificial intelligence including Adobe Sensei GenAI, released in March, and Adobe Firefly, now in beta, as well as Adobe’s generative AI models. IBM says it will create a portfolio of Adobe-specific consulting services. Leveraging Adobe’s AI solutions and IBM Consulting services, the companies aim to “help clients build an integrated content supply chain ecosystem that drives collaboration, optimizes creativity, increases speed, automates tasks and enhances stakeholders’ visibility across design and creative projects.” Continue reading IBM and Adobe Advance AI Content Workflow for Enterprise

FTC Sues Amazon Over Deceptive Practices Involving Prime

The Federal Trade Commission has filed suit against Amazon, alleging the e-commerce giant surreptitiously enrolled millions of people in the $139 per year Amazon Prime program, and once subscribed made it difficult for them to cancel. “Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said, citing “deceptive user-interface designs known as ‘dark patterns’ to trick consumers into enrolling in automatically renewing Prime subscriptions.” Continue reading FTC Sues Amazon Over Deceptive Practices Involving Prime

MAGE AI Unifies Generative and Recognition Image Training

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have introduced a computer vision system that combines image recognition and image generation technology into one training model instead of two. The result, MAGE (short for MAsked Generative Encoder) holds promise for a wide variety of use cases and is expected to reduce costs through unified training, according to the team. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first model that achieves close to state-of-the-art results for both tasks using the same data and training paradigm,” the researchers said. Continue reading MAGE AI Unifies Generative and Recognition Image Training

Sky Glass TVs Add Interactivity with Motion Tracking Camera

Comcast’s UK broadcaster Sky is upping the ante on its Sky Glass smart TVs with a new camera called Sky Live designed to make content more immersive. In addition to Kinect-style games and interactive workouts, Sky Live supports Zoom calls and watch parties. Sky Live runs on the company’s proprietary Entertainment OS and requires a television that is part of that ecosystem. The camera launch comes as Xumo, the U.S. joint venture between Comcast and Charter Communications prepares to launch a new family of 4K smart TVs in partnership with Element Electronics. Continue reading Sky Glass TVs Add Interactivity with Motion Tracking Camera

Feds Escalate Urgency Around AI, Biden Meets with Experts

President Biden heralded the “enormous promise” of artificial intelligence while pointing out that we must manage risks to society and our economy. These include misinformation and job loss. Meeting with experts in San Francisco, Biden said AI is already fueling “change in every part of American life, often in ways we don’t notice.” Citing social media and its potential harms, Biden called for proper AI guardrails. The Bay Area visit was part of Biden’s 2024 reelection fundraising campaign, and included an event co-hosted by venture capitalist Reid Hoffman, who was integral to the launches of LinkedIn and PayPal. Continue reading Feds Escalate Urgency Around AI, Biden Meets with Experts

Vimeo Says Its AI Makes Video as Easy to Edit as Word Docs

Vimeo is leveraging artificial intelligence to automate video editing, and says its new AI suite of tools enables the creation of “a fully produced video in minutes by generating scripts from text prompts, recording videos in one take, and editing content as easily as a Word doc,” the company claims. Features include recording using a built-in screen teleprompter and the ability to quickly delete unwanted filler words (“ums” and “uhs”) and long pauses. The video hosting and sharing platform is rolling out the AI tools in July as part of the $20 per month standard subscription. Continue reading Vimeo Says Its AI Makes Video as Easy to Edit as Word Docs

Snorkel AI Debuts Products for Model Training, Development

Snorkel AI is offering new capabilities to help companies curate and prep data for generative artificial intelligence. Formed in 2015, Snorkel AI has been developing software for data-centric AI. Its best known product is Snorkel Flow, which helps enterprise clients build and deploy AI applications efficiently using programmatic labeling to automate the process of creating training data for AI models. Now Snorkel AI’s Foundation Model Data Platform is going beyond programmatic labeling with two new core solutions: Snorkel GenFlow for building generative AI applications and Snorkel Foundry for developing custom LLMs with proprietary data. Continue reading Snorkel AI Debuts Products for Model Training, Development