Elon’s xAI Raises $6 Billion

PLUS: YouTube Music Adds Humming Search, Google AI Faces Criticism Again and more.

Today:

  • Elon’s xAI Raises $6 Billion

  • SoftBank Invests $9B in AI

  • WWDC: Apple, OpenAI Partnership Rumors

  • YouTube Music Adds Humming Search

  • Google AI Faces Criticism Again

Elon Musk’s xAI raises $6B from Valor, a16z, and Sequoia

Elon Musk's AI startup, xAI, secured $6 billion in funding from investors including Valor Equity Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and Sequoia Capital. This major investment, valuing xAI at $18 billion, aims to help the company compete with OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google. Founded last year, xAI has released the Grok chatbot and plans to use the new funds to launch more products, enhance infrastructure, and accelerate research. 

Despite Musk's earlier involvement with OpenAI, he now criticizes its alignment with Microsoft and Google's biases, focusing xAI on developing more "truthful" AI systems.

SoftBank Plans to Commit $9 Billion to AI Projects

SoftBank plans to invest $9 billion in AI projects, doubling its previous year's commitments. CEO Masayoshi Son aims to boost AI investments to prepare for future opportunities. The move is in response to competition from tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, which have also made substantial AI investments globally. 

These investments focus on building AI infrastructure and data centers to meet rising demand for AI technology and ensure secure, efficient data processing. SoftBank's investment strategy aligns with its vision of AI surpassing human intelligence by the end of the decade.

Apple’s WWDC may include AI-generated emoji and an OpenAI partnership

Apple’s upcoming WWDC 2024 will highlight its AI advancements, focusing on practical features rather than flashy demos. Rumored announcements include AI-generated emojis, voice memo transcriptions, and a smart recap feature summarizing missed texts and notifications. Apple is also expected to enhance Spotlight search, Safari internet searches, and writing suggestions for emails and texts using AI. 

Potential partnerships with OpenAI and possibly Google could deepen chatbot integration into Apple's systems. Siri may see improvements, including a more natural-sounding voice and better functionality on the Apple Watch. Most new AI features will be available on devices released within the last year.

YouTube Music will let you search by humming into your Android phone

The YouTube Music app for Android now includes a feature allowing users to identify songs by humming, whistling, singing, or playing a recording. Accessed via a new waveform icon, this feature quickly recognizes songs, making it a strong alternative to Shazam. 

While it accurately identified most songs tested, there were some amusing errors. This functionality is faster than Google Assistant's similar feature and may soon be available on iOS. Overall, it promises a useful tool for quickly identifying music from user-generated sounds.

Google’s AI Overview Appears To Produce Misleading Answers

Google's new AI-generated summaries, launched at the Google I/O developer conference, are facing criticism for providing misleading and sometimes dangerous information. Examples shared on social media show the AI summary citing unreliable sources, such as joke posts from Reddit and satirical articles from the Onion. Some errors include spreading conspiracy theories and confusing basic facts. 

Google acknowledged these mistakes occur with uncommon queries and are not typical of most user experiences. Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitted that solving these problems remains a work in progress.

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