💸 Say it, Pay it

PLUS: AI art can’t be protected

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Happy Monday, fellow humans. 👋

I hope you had a relaxing weekend. Today, we have a pretty geography-agnostic issue for you.

So without further ado, let’s dive straight into it…

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🧵 In today's edition:

  • 💸 Say it, Pay it

  • 🛰️ China launches AI-powered satellite

  • 🖼️ AI art can’t be protected

  • 🤑 AI Fundraising News

🤖 Top AI News

💸 Say it, Pay it

The Universal Payment Interface (UPI) has played a big part in revamping India’s digital economy. It has taken off since its launch in 2016, with ~300 million people and ~500 million merchants using it for instant transfers and payments.

But there are two big issues with the payment system:

  • Sparse rural internet limits useability.

  • The lack of literacy in these rural regions makes it harder for them to use the platform.

To address this, the Reserve Bank of India is planning to introduce:

  • "Conversational" payments. UPI users can make voice-activated transfers using AI speech recognition, starting in English and Hindi.

  • Offline "near field communication.” UPI users can now make payments without the Internet, "enabling retail digital payments where connectivity is weak," said the RBI.

According to Dilip Asbe of the National Payments Corporation of India, these new functionalities will expand UPI's reach beyond major cities, continuing to promote cashless payments that will help formalize the economy.

Overall: UPI has also played a key role in attracting foreign investment from the likes of Google and Walmart, with countries like Singapore and the UAE implementing similar payment infrastructure with their own.

It feels like more countries are starting to utilize AI to assist with national projects - this could be a theme we see for the next few years. (see next story 👀)

Read more: Financial Times

🛰️ China launches AI-powered satellite

A Chinese company has launched an AI-powered satellite called WonderJourney-1A, a self-controlled spaceship.

The satellite has a "String Edge AI Platform" on board that serves as its ‘brain,’ allowing it to observe and process data in real-time without sending it back to Earth first.

WonderJourney-1A is currently testing its systems and validating AI applications, allowing its cameras and sensors to recognize forests and oceans through image analysis.

The big benefit: The satellite can survey 10,000 sq km in hours vs months for traditional satellites.

Use cases for the tech include:

  • Help emergency response by instantly alerting disasters,

  • Monitor crops, water, and logging.

Its processing speed is 80 trillion ops/sec - less than a Tesla chip. But the company hopes to exceed 100 trillion ops/sec this year.

Overall: The goal is for "String" to become an "AI assistant in space" that users can talk to, like ChatGPT.

Imagine getting your space queries answered… from space 🌌 

Read more: SCMP

🖼️ AI art can’t be protected

The AI image Stephen Thaler tried to copyright

We may be starting to get some answers re: copyright laws and how they will be implemented in the US, beginning with this:

AI-generated artwork cannot be copyrighted.

The ruling was passed after a lawsuit was filed against the US Copyright Office for refusing a request by Stephen Thaler.

Stephen Thaler tried multiple times to copyright an image created by an AI system he developed called Creativity Machine. He wanted to list himself as the artwork's owner, but the Copyright Office repeatedly denied his application.

Thaler sued after the final rejection last year, but Judge Howell sided with the Office, stating that copyright requires "human authorship." She cited past cases like the monkey selfie as examples of works ineligible for copyright due to lack of human involvement.

The judge acknowledged we're approaching "new frontiers in copyright" where artists use AI tools but also noted AI models are often trained on existing works.

Overall: This ruling sheds some light on how similar legal cases might be tried, but the legal landscape for AI-generated art remains largely unsettled.

Read more: The Verge

🤑 AI Fundraising News

HPC-AI Tech, the pioneering company specializing in efficient large AI model training, raises $22M in Series A Funding to propel expansion and revolutionize the AI landscape

Elemental Cognition raises $60 million in funding to offer tailored chatbot solutions for finance, travel planning, and scientific research automation, integrating LLMs with AI-driven reasoning for advanced precision and controlled responses.

🗞️ AI Quick-Bytes

What else is going on?

  1. Companies struggle to deploy AI due to high costs and confusion

  2. A recipe for disaster? I tried Botatouille, BuzzFeed’s AI kitchen helper

  3. How Slack Is Integrating Generative AI After Its Redesign

  4. Installer: An AI search engine and the coolest speakers ever

  5. Microsoft retracts AI-written article advising tourists to visit a food bank on an empty stomach

  6. Big companies use AI-generated ads because they’re cheap

  7. A giant online book collection Meta used to train its AI is gone over copyright issues

🐦️ Tweet of the day

ilumine.ai are making big things happen 😤 but no joke, this looks pretty damn cool.

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And that does it for today's issue.

As always, thanks for reading. Have a great day, and see you next time! ✌️

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

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