CES: Generative AI Is Having Its ‘War of the Worlds’ Moment

ChatGPT came too late (end of November) to make a significant impact on CES this year, but the cacophony of opinions about the generative AI model definitely made its way to Vegas. The timing was perfect. Just as the crypto crash left the hype industry paralyzed, OpenAI launched ChatGPT in what now feels like a nerdy and frustrating tech version of the Rolling Stones’ Altamont concert in ’69 (with computer scientists as the Hells Angels). Make no mistake: this is a landmark achievement in machine learning — perhaps the single greatest since the 2006 paper by Hinton, Salakhutdinov, Osindero and Teh on backpropagation in deep neural networks. However, it’s critical that industries, including M&E, distinguish between hype and reality. Continue reading CES: Generative AI Is Having Its ‘War of the Worlds’ Moment

Deepmind’s AlphaCode AI Can Program Like Human Coders

DeepMind researchers have trained an AI to solve computer coding challenges as well as the average person. In a paper published last week in the journal Science, the group from Google’s AI division described how AlphaCode performed when pitted against human programmers, ranking in the top 54.3 percent in simulated tests, commensurate with “approximately human-level performance.” “This performance in competitions approximately corresponds to a novice programmer with a few months to a year of training,” according to Science, which says about half the humans who compete in coding contests could outperform the AI. Continue reading Deepmind’s AlphaCode AI Can Program Like Human Coders

Google Debuts AI Test Kitchen, LaMDA Language Generator

Google has launched an AI Test Kitchen and is inviting users to sign up to test experimental AI-powered systems and provide feedback before the applications are deployed for commercial use. First up is the Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), which has shown promising early results. The AI Test Kitchen has begun a gradual rollout to small groups of U.S. on Android with plans to include iOS in the coming weeks. According to Google, “as we move ahead with development, we feel a great responsibility to get this right.”  Continue reading Google Debuts AI Test Kitchen, LaMDA Language Generator

Businesses Experiment with DALL-E 2, Report Mixed Results

OpenAI’s powerful text-to-image generator DALL-E 2 is still in beta, but businesses are already testing it for commercial use. Apparel firm Stitch Fix has been using it to visualize fabric and color personalization, while Heinz tapped the AI system for a marketing campaign. Cosmopolitan used it to design a magazine cover. Others have leveraged the image engine to generate logos and thumbnails. These early adopters are identifying technical issues that OpenAI says it is addressing as it readies DALL-E 2 for enterprise. Foremost among the complaints is the lack of a dedicated API for public use. Continue reading Businesses Experiment with DALL-E 2, Report Mixed Results

Humanloop Raises $2.6 Million as Interest in NLP Tech Grows

Interest in natural language processing (NLP) as an AI training tool is exploding, with analysts predicting a bumper crop of new startups. One such startup, Humanloop, is already gaining attention, having just pulled in $2.6 million in seed funding led by Index Ventures with participation by Y Combinator, LocalGlobe and AlbionVC. Founded in 2020 by computer scientists from the University of Cambridge with alumni from Google and Amazon, the company says its technology makes it “significantly” easier for companies to leverage NLP that helps humans “teach” AI algorithms. Continue reading Humanloop Raises $2.6 Million as Interest in NLP Tech Grows

Nvidia Turbo Charges NeMo Megatron Large Training Model

Nvidia has issued a software update for its formidable NeMo Megatron giant language training model, increasing efficiency and speed. Barely a year since Nvidia unveiled Megatron, this latest improvement further leverages the transformer engine architecture that has become synonymous with deep learning since Google introduced the concept in 2017. New features result in what Nvidia says is a 5x reduction in memory requirements and up to a 30 percent gain in speed for models as large as 1 trillion parameters, making NeMo Megatron better at handling transformer tasks across the entire stack. Continue reading Nvidia Turbo Charges NeMo Megatron Large Training Model

No-Code AI and Prediction Tools Bring Coding to the People

A new AI revolution is underway, turning people who know little about coding into developers. Called “no code,” startups are emerging to productize this new category, which essentially lets people use familiar, clickable web interfaces and even natural language to automate tasks or create simple applications, while machine learning takes over the rest. Proponents predict it will be a game-changer, powering a brigade of “citizen developers” to leverage artificial intelligence without knowing how to write code. Startups entering the space include Juji, which makes creating AI chatbots as easy as programming PowerPoint. Continue reading No-Code AI and Prediction Tools Bring Coding to the People

Soul Machines Provides Brands AI with an Empathetic Touch

Soul Machines, which creates autonomously animated digital characters that use AI and natural language processing to interact with humans in real time, has completed a Series B1 financing round of $70 million led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The 6-year-old New Zealand-based firm has thus far raised $135 million to fund its effort to create AI-powered “digital people” for digital environments involving entertainment, the metaverse, customer service and education. Soul Machines says it plans to use the new investment to fund continued growth in enterprise markets and ongoing deep tech research for its Digital Brain project. Continue reading Soul Machines Provides Brands AI with an Empathetic Touch

Insight Partners Leads $20M Series A Funding for Deepdub AI

Deepdub, the Tel Aviv-based tech firm specializing in automated language localization using AI, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by New York-based global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners. The two-year-old Israeli company will use the funds to expand its global sales and delivery reach, bolster R&D and other platform enhancements. The investment follows a year of explosive growth for Deepdub, which in December announced a multi-series partnership with First Look Entertainment’s streaming service Topic to dub into English its catalog of international documentary and TV series. Continue reading Insight Partners Leads $20M Series A Funding for Deepdub AI

Microsoft and Nvidia Debut World’s Largest Language Model

Microsoft and Nvidia have trained what they describe as the most powerful AI-driven language model to date, the Megatron-Turing Natural Language Generation model (MT-NLG), which has “set the new standard for large-scale language models in both model scale and quality,” the firms say. As the successor to the companies’ Turing NLG 17B and Megatron-LM, the new MT-NLG has 530 billion parameters, or “3x the number of parameters compared to the existing largest model of this type” and demonstrates unmatched accuracy in a broad set of natural language tasks. Continue reading Microsoft and Nvidia Debut World’s Largest Language Model

ETC Launches First of Two Metaverse Experience Challenges

University of Southern California students were invited to participate in the first of two scheduled Metaverse Experience Challenges, hosted by ETC@USC. Making use of current and emerging tools, students were tasked with developing original ideas for compelling metaverse experiences. Six teams of randomly-grouped students started work at 1:00 pm on Friday, October 1 and presented their ideas to judges from Epic Games, Universal Pictures and Disney Research at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 2. Each member of the winning teams — Meetaverse and Virtual Vinyl — received a Nintendo Switch “Fortnite” Edition, courtesy of Epic Games. Continue reading ETC Launches First of Two Metaverse Experience Challenges

Strider Shield Technology Aims to Protect Intellectual Property

Strider Technologies has debuted its Strider Shield platform that helps businesses better understand potential threats to intellectual property — including nation-state directed IP theft and supply chain threats — by combining online tracking tools often used by advertising agencies with data ingestion tools, natural language processing and various algorithms. Strider co-founder and chief strategy officer Eric Levesque said that Strider Shield allows an enterprise to collect thousands of data points such as email addresses, domain names and keywords to correlate against systems where the IP resides, in order to surface potential risks. Continue reading Strider Shield Technology Aims to Protect Intellectual Property

Google AI-Enabled MUM Aims to Reinvent, Empower Search

Google revealed its work on a new AI-enabled Internet search tool dubbed MUM (Multitask Unified Model), which can “read” the nuances globally of human language. The company says that users will be able to find information more readily and be able to ask abstract questions. MUM is not yet publicly available but Google independently used it for a COVID-19 related project. Vice president of search Pandu Nayak and a colleague designed an “experience” that gave in-depth information on vaccines when users searched for them. Continue reading Google AI-Enabled MUM Aims to Reinvent, Empower Search

OpenAI and Microsoft Introduce $100 Million AI Startup Fund

OpenAI unveiled a $100 million OpenAI Startup Fund to fund early-stage companies pursuing ways that AI can have a “transformative” impact on healthcare, education, climate change and other fields. OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman said the Fund will make “big, early bets” on no more than 10 such companies. OpenAI, with funding from Microsoft and others, will manage the Fund. Selected projects will get “early access” to future OpenAI systems, support from OpenAI’s team and credits for Microsoft Azure. Continue reading OpenAI and Microsoft Introduce $100 Million AI Startup Fund

IBM Project CodeNet Employs AI Tools to Program Software

IBM’s AI research unit debuted Project CodeNet, a dataset to develop machine learning models for software programming. The name is a take-off on ImageNet, the influential dataset of photos that pushed the development of computer vision and deep learning. Creating “AI for code” systems has been challenging since software developers are constantly discovering new problems and exploring different solutions. IBM researchers have taken that into consideration in developing a multi-purpose dataset for Project CodeNet. Continue reading IBM Project CodeNet Employs AI Tools to Program Software