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Discover the latest updates as X, formerly Twitter, reveals its groundbreaking AI plans and Elon Musk’s role in it. Plus, a tribute to AI pioneer Doug Lenat, a $1.4 billion AI startup, and the hilarious mishaps of AI-generated journalism!
However, it’s worth noting that X’s owner and former CEO, Elon Musk, clarified that private data, such as the content of direct messages, will not be utilized for training AI models. Musk had previously expressed his intention to employ Twitter data to support research and development efforts at his startup, xAI, aimed at creating new products.
X also charges other businesses a substantial fee of $42,000 for access to its data via an API. In a notable incident earlier this year, Musk threatened legal action against Microsoft, accusing them of “illegally using Twitter data” after they removed X from their advertising platforms due to increased fees.
In another development, the AI community mourns the passing of Doug Lenat, a revered figure in computer science and artificial intelligence. Lenat, who had a long and illustrious career, was dedicated to the pursuit of artificial general intelligence, which aims to create software capable of advanced reasoning abilities. His journey began with academic achievements, including degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, where he focused on software that could autonomously generate computer programs.
Lenat served as an assistant professor at both Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University, and he held the unique distinction of being part of the Scientific Advisory Boards of both Microsoft and Apple. In 1994, he founded Cycorp, an AI company specializing in machine reasoning, a venture he continued until his passing. Lenat pioneered neurosymbolic systems, combining knowledge bases with reasoning engines and natural language interfaces to power products for industries like logistics and healthcare.
In the world of AI startups, AI21 Labs has achieved a significant milestone by raising $155 million in its Series C funding round, valuing the company at $1.4 billion. This Israeli startup boasts backing from prominent venture investment firms, including Walden Catalyst, Pitango, SCB10X, b2venture, Samsung Next, Google, Nvidia, and its founder, Amnon Shashua.
AI21 Labs offers API access to its large language model, Jurassic-2, as well as task-specific systems such as summarization and question-answering. They have also developed consumer-oriented tools like Wordtune, which employs AI for text generation and editing. The company’s vision involves combining neural networks with symbolic systems to address challenges like preventing AI models from generating false information.
Co-CEOs Yoav Shoham and Ori Goshen emphasized that their technology provides the robustness, predictability, and explainability required for enterprises to place trust in AI.
In the realm of journalism, Gannett, a prominent US newspaper chain, faced a setback as it temporarily halted the publication of AI-generated articles covering high school sports events. These AI-written articles, produced by Lede AI, a startup based in Ohio, received criticism for containing errors and awkward phrases. Examples included articles with placeholders for team names and metaphors that did not make sense. Due to the negative reception, Gannett confirmed the suspension of its local AI sports coverage initiative.