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🤖 Anthropic, OpenAI rival, raising $300M

PLUS: China launching ChatGPT clone 🇨🇳

Greetings, fellow humans. 👋

This is Not A Bot - the newsletter about AI that was definitely not written by AI. I’m Haroon, founder of AI For Anyone, and I share the latest news, tools, and resources from the AI space.

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In today's edition:

  • 🤑 Anthropic, OpenAI rival, raising $300M

  • 🤖 China launching ChatGPT clone

  • 👩‍💻 Zoom launches an AI-powered chatbot

🎉 We're giving away 10 Google AIY Kits! Each kit gives you all the tools you need to build an AI-powered camera or an AI-powered speaker.

You can find more details on how to enter at the end of this email. Winners announced on March 31st on my Twitter.

🤑 Anthropic, OpenAI rival, raising $300M

OpenAI rival Anthropic is close to raising $300 million in new funding, which could value the company at $5 billion (that’s billion with a B 🤯).

The tl;dr about Anthropic

Anthropic was founded by the couple Dario and Daniela Amodei. Daniela was a former VP of Research at OpenAI. The company aims to create large-scale AI systems that are steerable, interpretable, and robust.

They’re a public benefit corporation focused on researching how to make large models more tractable and interpretable. Their company’s name is derived from the Anthropic Principle — the idea that intelligent life is possible in the universe because we are here.

What’s SBF have to do with this?

There’s been an investing frenzy over generative AI startups over the past few months, with Microsoft’s recent $10 billion investment in OpenAI dominating headlines this past month, so it makes logical sense for Anthropic to raise now.

But there’s another (strange) reason why Anthropic is desperate for the cash.

Most of its prior funding came from Sam Bankman-Fried, the notorious cryptopreneur of FTX fame. Since SBF’s gone bankrupt, most of Anthropic’s funding to date could be seized bankruptcy court soon. 😬

Read more: NYTimes / TechCrunch

🤖 China launching ChatGPT clone

Chinese tech company Baidu Inc is planning to launch an AI chatbot service similar to OpenAI's ChatGPT in March. It'll be based on the company's LLM, named Ernie.

No, not that Ernie.

Baidu plans to launch the chatbot service as a standalone application initially. However, similar to Microsoft’s plans to incorporate elements of OpenAI into its Bing search engine, Baidu plans to incorporate chatbot-generated results in its search engine.

Chinese users have dominated interest in ChatGPT, and it looks like they may finally get what they’ve been looking for (or at least a version of it).

Read more: Reuters

👩‍💻 Zoom launches an AI-powered chatbot

Zoom’s getting into the AI action.

They just launched Zoom Virtual Agent, a chatbot solution that resolves customer issues.

Some of its features include:

  • Integrations with various CRM, chat, and contact center platforms

  • Natural language responses to customer queries

  • Ability to crawl and learn from an enterprise's knowledge bases and FAQs

  • Built-in analytics provide insight into where knowledge bases may be lacking.

Not sure how aligned this is with Zoom’s core video communications business, but it’s interesting to see Zoom enter this space nonetheless.

🗞️ Byte size: AI article summaries

Disclaimer: AI is (partially) used to summarize these articles.

What Happens When AI Has Read Everything? [The Atlantic] - According to research, AI programs have enough data to last until 2027, but new data sources, such as self-driving cars, may be needed to keep AI development going. Additionally, AI might be able to create its own data, such as synthetic novels, though it is unclear whether this data would be useful. Ultimately, AI may still be limited by the data available, and humans may remain the most advanced form of intelligence.

OpenAI has hired an army of contractors to make basic coding obsolete [Semafor] - OpenAI has hired roughly 1,000 remote contractors over the past six months from regions such as Latin America and Eastern Europe, with 60% of them doing data labeling and 40% doing computer programming. These contractors are creating data for OpenAI's models to learn software engineering tasks, such as translating natural language into code, and are asked to explain their thought processes and approaches to coding problems. OpenAI is working toward automating basic coding, replacing some coding jobs with AI-driven technology. At the same time, they have also hired a firm in Kenya to moderate the content ChatGPT produces.

Text-to-4D model from Meta [Twitter] - Text-to-video is coming soon. Meta released a peak into MAV3D (Make-A-Video3D), a method for generating three-dimensional dynamic scenes from text descriptions. In the researcher’s words: “MAV3D uses a 4D dynamic Neural Radiance Field (NeRF), which is optimized for scene appearance, density, and motion consistency by querying a Text-to-Video (T2V) diffusion-based model. The dynamic video output generated from the provided text can be viewed from any camera location and angle and can be composited into any 3D environment. MAV3D does not require any 3D or 4D data, and the T2V model is trained only on Text-Image pairs and unlabeled videos.”

BioGPT: generative pre-trained transformer for biomedical text generation and mining [Microsoft] - BioGPT, a domain-specific generative model pre-trained on large-scale biomedical literature, has achieved human parity, outperformed other general and scientific LLMs and could empower biologists in various scenarios of scientific discovery.

🔥 Trending tools & resources

  • Adrenaline (link) - A debugger powered by GPT-3 that not only fixes your code but teaches you along the way.

  • Prototype of AI in Raycast (link) - Raycast is my favorite laucher for macOS. This prototype looks awesome, and I hope we can try it out soon.

  • Multi-on (link) - Your AI Web Co-Pilot powered by ChatGPT that can order you dinner.

  • Mirage (link) - AI Powered 3D Search

  • Fuzzy.js (link) - An experimental approach to using GPT-3 as a back-end communicated via HTML attributes.

Have cool tools to share? Tweet me at @haroonchoudery if you'd like me to include it in a future issue of Not A Bot.

🐦️ Tweet of the day

Totally agree with this take.

And that does it for today's issue.

As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time. ✌️

— Haroon: (definitely) Not A Robot and @haroonchoudery on Twitter

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