Tech Firms Push Back Against California AI Safety Regulation

California tech companies are bristling at a state bill that would force them to enact strict safety protocols, including installing “kill switches” to turn-off AI models that present a public risk. Silicon Valley has emerged as a global AI leader, and the proposed law would impact not only OpenAI, but Anthropic, Cohere, Google and Meta Platforms. The bill, SB 1047, focuses on what its lead sponsor, State Senator Scott Wiener, calls “common sense safety standards” for frontier models. Should the bill become law, it could affect even firms like Amazon that provide AI cloud services to California customers even though they are not based in the state. Continue reading Tech Firms Push Back Against California AI Safety Regulation

Global Technology Companies Sign Pledge to Foster AI Safety

Leading AI firms spanning Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East have signed a new voluntary commitment to AI safety. The 16 signatory companies — including Amazon, Google DeepMind, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, OpenAI, xAI and China’s Zhipu AI — will publish outlines indicating how they will measure the risks posed by their frontier models. “In the extreme, leading AI tech companies including from China and the UAE have committed to not develop or deploy AI models if the risks cannot be sufficiently mitigated,” according to UK Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan. Continue reading Global Technology Companies Sign Pledge to Foster AI Safety

Microsoft Upgrades Azure AI Stack, Previews Cobalt 100 VMs

Microsoft is implementing a series of upgrades to its AI stack, including Azure AI Studio and Copilot Studio, developer platforms for building apps that leverage generative AI. At its Build 2024 conference, the company also announced it is going into preview with its Azure virtual machines (VMs), the first platform to use the powerful Arm-based Cobalt 100 cloud processors developed by Microsoft, which shared that plan at its November Ignite conference. Other Build highlights include the general availability of OpenAI’s new GPT-4o flagship model across the Azure OpenAI Service and the new multimodal Phi-3-vision SLM. Continue reading Microsoft Upgrades Azure AI Stack, Previews Cobalt 100 VMs

AWS Simplifies AI Development with Amazon Bedrock Studio

Amazon Web Services has added Bedrock Studio to the lineup of offerings at Bedrock, its cloud-based managed service for artificial intelligence. Available beginning this week in public preview, Bedrock Studio aims to greatly simplify the development of artificial intelligence apps for its subscribers, allowing them to get going “within minutes,” according to AWS. Developers can log in to the Amazon Bedrock Studio web experience using single sign-on (SSO) company credentials “and instantly start experimenting with Bedrock FMs and tools to build applications,” the cloud giant says, describing the studio as a “rapid prototyping environment” for generative AI. Continue reading AWS Simplifies AI Development with Amazon Bedrock Studio

OpenAI Hopes ChatGPT Enterprise Will Help Drive B2B Profit

There are now more than 600,000 users signed up for OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enterprise, up from 150,000 in January of this year. A surge, by any standards, it has sent OpenAI doubling down on the B2B approach as a way to turn artificial intelligence into a profitable business — something it is under some pressure to do in order to satisfy its obligations to investors. The company is also amping up its Custom Model training program, aimed at helping enterprise clients develop individually tailored generative AI technology for specific use cases and applications. Continue reading OpenAI Hopes ChatGPT Enterprise Will Help Drive B2B Profit

U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium Debuts with 200 Members

The U.S. has established the AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC), uniting artificial intelligence researchers, creators, academics and other users across government, industry and civil society organizations to support the development and deployment of safe and trustworthy AI. The group launches with more than 200 member entities ranging from tech giants Google, Microsoft and Amazon to AI-first firms OpenAI, Cohere and Anthropic. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the move the day after naming Elizabeth Kelly director of the new U.S. AI Safety Institute, housed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Continue reading U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium Debuts with 200 Members

Microsoft Brings Meta’s Llama 2 to Azure Models as a Service

Microsoft has expanded its Models as a Service (MaaS) catalog for Azure AI Studio, building beyond the 40 models announced at the Microsoft Ignite event last month with the addition of the Llama 2 code generation model from Meta Platforms in public preview. In addition, GPT-4 Turbo with Vision has been added to accelerate generative AI and multimodal application development. Similar to things like Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), MaaS lets customers use AI models on-demand over the web with easy setup and technical support. Continue reading Microsoft Brings Meta’s Llama 2 to Azure Models as a Service

Amazon Previews Titan Image Generator for Bedrock Clients

Amazon is debuting its Titan Image Generator in preview for AWS Bedrock customers. The new Titan generative AI model can create new images from a text prompt or existing image, and automatically adds watermarking to protect intellectual property. The move into generative imaging puts Amazon in competition with a growing field that includes large firms like Adobe and Google. Unlike those companies and others, the e-retail giant is at present focusing exclusively on enterprise customers. Amazon Bedrock is a managed service giving developers access to a range of foundation models from companies including Meta Platforms, Anthropic, and Amazon itself. Continue reading Amazon Previews Titan Image Generator for Bedrock Clients

Major Tech Firms Help Boost Valuation of AI21 to $1.4 Billion

AI21 Labs, a pioneer in large language model artificial intelligence, has closed a $155 million Series-C funding that brings the Tel Aviv-based firm’s total raise to $283 million for a valuation of $1.4 billion. Investors include Google, Nvidia, Samsung Next, Walden Catalyst, Pitango, SCB 10X, b2venture, and AI21 co-founder Amnon Shashua. The company is best known for its flagship AI21 Studio product, a developer platform that lets customers pay as they go to build custom text-based business apps using AI21’s proprietary models, notably Jurassic-2. The firm’s portfolio also includes the multilingual reading and writing assistant Wordtune. Continue reading Major Tech Firms Help Boost Valuation of AI21 to $1.4 Billion

Big Tech Firms Propel Hugging Face to $4.5 Billion Valuation

Hugging Face has collected $235 million in an investment round that includes contributions from Amazon, IBM, Google, Nvidia, Salesforce, AMD, Intel and Qualcomm. The New York-based startup creates and distributes open-source tools for artificial intelligence development, carving an AI-centric niche similar to the more general programming approach taken by the Microsoft-owned GitHub. The incoming cash infusion — earmarked for talent recruitment — gives Hugging Face a lofty $4.5 billion valuation that experts say indicates momentum for open source in what has to date been a highly competitive AI sector. Continue reading Big Tech Firms Propel Hugging Face to $4.5 Billion Valuation

Salesforce Debuts ‘AI Cloud’ Turnkey Generative Tools Suite

Salesforce has launched AI Cloud, adding generative AI across all its sales, service, marketing, commerce and IT tools. The AI Cloud suite for enterprise is built around Einstein, which Salesforce says is the first AI for CRM, and its new Einstein GPT Trust Layer, designed to deter large-language models from retaining sensitive customer data. “This separation of sensitive data from the LLM will help customers maintain data governance controls while still leveraging the immense potential of generative AI,” Salesforce says. The AI Cloud platform integrates Salesforce tools including Data Cloud, Flow, MuleSoft and Tableau and works with third party apps. Continue reading Salesforce Debuts ‘AI Cloud’ Turnkey Generative Tools Suite

OpenAI CTO Calls for Regulation as AI Tech Rapidly Expands

Less than a week after UBS proclaimed ChatGPT a record-setter for the app with the fastest-growing user base, the popular AI chatbot has racked up accomplishments that include passing “a U.S. medical-licensing exam, a Wharton Business School MBA exam, and four major university law-school exams,” according to TIME, which couches it in the context of “a brilliant child.” Amidst the fusillade of publicity, OpenAI CTO Mira Murati, who led the teams behind both DALL-E and ChatGPT, says it’s “time to move toward regulating AI,” which “can be misused, or used by bad actors,” raising questions about global governance. Continue reading OpenAI CTO Calls for Regulation as AI Tech Rapidly Expands