Synthetaic, a Delafield based synthetic data company, has now secured $4.5 million in a funding round. Synthetaic is founded by Corey Jaskolski. It combines high fidelity 3D modeling and novel, generative AI to grow large and high-quality datasets sufficient for machine learning. In doing so, the company is able to extent AI into the different verticals where data constraints have prevented previous applications of the technology. The technology is already being deployed in conservation security and medical imaging.
Lil Miquela's 1.5 million followers watch her eat sherbet on the beach, visit her favorite art galleries, and hang out with other robot models. Lil Miquela is a digital influencer created using motion graphics -- something companies have long been capable of making. But even though she isn't truly an AI creation, her success has inspired venture capitalists like Betaworks to invest heavily in virtual creators and work with startups to progress the technology forward. The future of influencers, according to the general director of Betaworks' startup bootcamp, Danika Laszuk, is digital beings who actually are powered by AI. Betaworks' next startup camp will focus on what Laszuk calls "synthetic media" -- a combination of computer-generated imagery and AI capabilities.
Rage Frameworks published a report called "Can Artificial Intelligence Deliver for Today's Enterprise?" based on a survey of business executives. The primary reason given is to improve "Reasoning and Traceability". This includes having the ability to comprehend the logic behind why the AI solution reached its conclusion, which is now regarded as essential for widespread adoption in many enterprise-level applications. This will be problematic as most AI is based on computational statistics, which is essentially a "black box," and therefore the rationality is not traceable. Some of these firms do claim that the rationality is traceable, but often these are at such a high level of abstraction they fall short in terms of decision science.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Instapaper, founded in 2008, is one of many apps that let people save webpages to be read later. The startup, which has three employees including Chief Executive Brian Donohue, was acquired by New York-based startup incubator Betaworks in 2013. Pinterest said Instapaper would continue operating as a separate app, a departure from the fate of its other acquisitions, which are usually shut down after the purchase is completed. "How to read online is changing as social platforms like Pinterest play a larger role in the discovery, sharing and reading experiences," said John Borthwick, founder and CEO of Betaworks.
Advances in artificial intelligence algorithms have put chatbots and voice assistants in the spotlight, with investor interest in the space increasing in recent months. Just this month, as of 7/28/2016, 7 bot-focused startups -- including stealth startup Begin and recruitment bot Wade & Wendy -- raised their first VC funding. General Catalyst Partners backed 3 bot startups this year: Begin and Butter.ai, Previously, General Catalyst had funded Digit -- a bot that tracks your spending -- and Angel.ai Slack partnered with Accel, Index Ventures, KPCB, Social Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and Spark Capital to fund several startups developing bot products for Slack customers.