Sunday Signal #21
Google Breaks The Internet, Optimising Your Sleep With AI & Rewind Publicly Raising $350M
Hey friends 👋,
Happy Sunday once again. It's been a huge week in AI, especially for big tech companies like Google... Luckily, you’re reading Sunday Signal where I filter > 500 pieces of AI-related content and deliver them straight to your inbox. I’ve just completed a morning Bikram Yoga class (I almost passed out), so let’s keep things moving with this week’s AI news:
P.S I also sat down for an exclusive conversation with Aspiring for Intelligence. If you’re curious about my story, motivations, or goals then click here.
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⛏ 5 News Nuggets
🔗 Link: Google has announced PaLM 2, a next-generation language model that it claims outperforms other leading systems on some tasks. Like OpenAI's GPT, PaLM 2 is a general-purpose AI model that can be used to power chatbots, translate between languages, write computer code, or analyse and respond to images. PaLM 2 will be built into 25 new products and features and will be used in Google's chatbot Bard, which is opening up to the general public for the first time. Google said the new AI model will offer users new opportunities to do things that were previously thought impossible.
🔗 Link: The European Parliament's Internal Market and Civil Liberties Committees have approved the first-ever rules for artificial intelligence systems known as the AI Act. The rules are designed to ensure AI systems are safe, transparent, traceable, and non-discriminatory. MEPs also added exemptions to these rules for research activities and AI components provided under open-source licenses and expanded the classification of high-risk areas to include harm to people’s health, safety, fundamental rights, or the environment. As I’ve been saying, we’re still in the golden age!
🔗 Link: The Godfather of AI—Dr Geoffrey Hinton—warns of the dangers of AI days after resigning from Google. He cited the power of AI-powered weapons systems as a serious threat to the future of humanity. This comes at a time when other tech leaders, including Elon Musk, are warning about the dangers of unrestrained AI development. Hinton won the Turing Award in 2018 for his work on neural nets, which is where the term “Godfather” was derived from.
🔗 Link: IBM introduces WatsonX, an AI and data platform aimed at helping enterprises implement advanced AI using trusted data. The platform offers an AI development studio, a data store, and a governance toolkit, enabling businesses to train, fine-tune, and deploy AI models across their organisations.
🔗 Link: Wendy's and Google Cloud have announced an expanded partnership to pilot an AI solution called Wendy's FreshAI, aimed at enhancing the drive-thru food ordering experience by automating and improving order accuracy. Maybe they’ll remember extra pickles this time….
😎 4 Cool Creations
🔗 Link: Centenarian is an AI-powered personal sleep coach that’s informed by science and driven by data. It’s trained by sleep experts, has a 24/7 chatbot, and can be integrated with biometrics from your smartwatch to optimise your sleep. It can also learn from your environment and schedule alarms and lights with smart home systems.
🔗 Link: Google launches MusicLM, an experimental AI tool that creates music based on text descriptions. You can sign up to try it out on the web, Android or iOS by typing in a prompt such as “soulful jazz for a dinner party”. Google says MusicLM can help empower the creative process, whether for professionals or beginners.
🔗 Link: Struggling to come up with quiz questions for your next dinner party? Need to produce some educational content for work? MeiroAI is an AI-powered quiz, test, and game builder—meaning you can create incredible, engaging content in minutes.
🔗 Link: Tesla demo FSD (Full Self-Driving) mode with a new Twitter video. Musk commented that a free month trial will be available for customers in North America with other countries receiving the tech upon regulator approval.
🔦 3 Startup Spotlights
🔗 Link: RewindAI raises $350M in Series A funding through an unconventional funding approach. CEO Dan Siroker published the funding round publicly rather than privately, and from 1010 preliminary offers, they received 170 committed investors. Furthermore, Dan highlights how he took multiple weeks to do background checks and personal interviews with all the investors to get to know them at a deeper level. RewindAI is marketed as the perfect memory tool—helping you recall any voice note, image, document, email, or resource, and plans to use the money to further R&D.
🔗 Link: Everseen—A computer vision firm—has raised $70M in Series A funding led by previous investor Crosspoint Capital Partners. The Irish firm will use the funds to help scale its business and for a "targeted" roadmap. Everseen uses ceiling-mounted cameras and computer vision software to reduce shrinkage, detect objects of interest, analyse them, and recognise actions of interest by sales associates and shoppers.
🔗 Link: The Allen Institute raised $30M to boost more startups via their incubator program. The latest fund is backed by venture capital heavyweights including Madrona Venture Group, Sequoia Capital, and Two Sigma Ventures. The incubator is uniquely positioned to take advantage of AI tailwinds as it is connected to the AI2, which employs more than 200 AI researchers, engineers, professors, and staff
🐥 2 Top Tweets
🔗 Link: Meta release ImageBind. It’s the first AI capable of condensing 5 senses at once—Depth, Text, Heat, Audio & IMU (Inertial Measurement Units). This marks a breakthrough in specialist multimodal AI as units are now able to generate images based on audio, calculate depth based on 2D images, and calculate movement based on audio and depth. How long before we start seeing iRobot characters in everyday life?
🔗 Link: A series of AI-generated holographs has been unveiled by AIDreamEngine, showcasing potential future applications of holographic technology in the design of prototypes. The thread features a range of subjects, including cars, smart cities, and space. Among the examples, the space holographs stand out as particularly impressive, bringing us one step closer to a possible real-life Star Wars-like scenario.
😮 1 Media Marvel
🔗 Link: I called it. If you were amazed by last week’s AI-generated Wes Anderson x Star Wars cross over then you might be even more impressed by Curious Refuge’s latest creation. Yes, it is a Wes Anderson-esque trailer for Lord of the Rings. It stars Bill Murray as Gandalf, Jeff Goldblum as Elrond, and Owen Wilson as Sauron. I’m absolutely blown away, perhaps we’ll see a full remake in the coming years? (I’m still hoping for a Guy Ritchie adaptation).
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