Likewise: Startup Backed by Bill Gates Launches Pix Chatbot

Likewise, a startup discovery platform backed by Bill Gates, is launching its own free chatbot named Pix. Billed as “the world’s first personal entertainment companion,” Pix helps users find TV shows, movies, books and podcasts, drawing from 600 million consumer data points. Trained on OpenAI models, Pix uses natural-language processing to answer user questions submitted by text, email or on the web at Likewise.com. Responses are promised “within seconds,” and Pix will learn users’ preferences over time. Likewise claims to have more than six million registered users. Continue reading Likewise: Startup Backed by Bill Gates Launches Pix Chatbot

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

Wix AI Site Generator Builds Websites Using Only AI Prompts

Global SaaS and website creation platform Wix Ltd. will release an AI Site Generator that allows people to create websites using only natural language artificial intelligence prompts. The generator will include a suite of AI-powered capabilities, many of which Wix is already offering as part of its template-based site-building framework. The package “significantly streamlines the entire website-building, design and management process,” offering automated tools that provide the opportunity for Wix users to “operationalize and grow their businesses with never-before-seen ease,” the company co-founder and CEO Avishai Abrahami said. Continue reading Wix AI Site Generator Builds Websites Using Only AI Prompts

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

Google Cloud Partners with Replit to Develop AI Coding Tools

Google has teamed with San Francisco startup Replit in a bid to challenge Microsoft’s GitHub and the Github Copilot code generator launched in conjunction with OpenAI. Under the new partnership, Replit developers will get access to Google Cloud infrastructure, services, and foundation models via Replit’s software development AI, called Ghostwriter, while Google Cloud and Workspace developers will get access to Replit’s collaborative code editing platform. Replit, which says 20 million developers use its platform, launched Ghostwriter in the fall and in January added a conversational AI interface for generating code and debugging. Continue reading Google Cloud Partners with Replit to Develop AI Coding Tools

Filmustage Software Uses AI to Automate Script Breakdowns

Filmustage, a digital platform that streamlines pre-production for film, has raised $550,000 in a funding round backed by Flyer One Ventures, Geek Ventures, Imaguru and Vesna Capital. The money will be used to translate the product into languages including Spanish, French and German as part of an international expansion commencing this summer. Next year the company plans to add Hindi and Chinese. Founded in 2020, Filmustage software automates script breakdowns, categorizing scenes and tagging elements like costumes, props, characters and locations. Company co-founder and CEO Egor Dubrovsky said more than 30 features have been added since launch. Continue reading Filmustage Software Uses AI to Automate Script Breakdowns

Microsoft Unveils AI Model That Comprehends Image Content

Microsoft researchers have unveiled Kosmos-1, a new AI model the company says analyzes images for content, performs visual text recognition, solves visual puzzles and passes visual IQ tests. It also understands natural language instructions. The new model is what’s known as multimodal AI, which means it uses different instruction sets, from text to audio and video. Mixing media is a key step in building artificial general intelligence (AGI) that can perform tasks in a manner approximating human performance. Examples from a Kosmos-1 research paper show it can effectively analyze images, answering questions about them. Continue reading Microsoft Unveils AI Model That Comprehends Image Content

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