LinkedIn’s AI-assisted Ad Creation and New Video Ad Formats Designed to Increase Engagement and Boost Your Brand Visibility


LinkedIn Ads rolling out generative AI, new ad formats

LinkedIn is trying on some new fancy pants with generative AI and fresh ad formats. They’re testing a smarty-pants AI feature they’ve named “AI Copy Suggestions”. This thing helps cook up ad headlines and texts based on your LinkedIn Page, pretty neat. You’ve got five flavors to choose from, tweak to taste, and slap on your ad campaign. Only a lucky few in North America get to play with this toy right now, but LinkedIn has bigger plans to roll it out across the globe in different languages.

Joining the bandwagon with the likes of Google Ads, Meta, and Amazon, LinkedIn is also stepping up its game with video ads. It’s planning to add in-stream ads that play before and in the middle of longer videos. These ads will pop up on mobile or desktop apps and sites within LinkedIn’s circle of trusted publishers.

The platform’s also dusting off Conversation Ads and Thought Leader Ads, which aren’t fresh off the press, but are set to be widely available come July. Conversation Ads allow you to set up multiple action prompts (like buttons for content or offers) and collect leads.

In the spirit of good ol’ American straight talk, LinkedIn is gunning for more bang for advertisers’ buck, aiming to rope in the right audience more efficiently. Their end game? Better returns and fatter revenue.


AI startup Cohere, now valued at over $2.1B, raises $270M

Cohere, an AI startup building a brainy model ecosystem for businesses, recently filled its piggy bank with another $270 million in a Series C funding round. This news got tongues wagging, not only for the hefty sum but also because folks were expecting a higher valuation of $6 billion from earlier reports. But looks like someone’s math was a bit off, as insiders hint that the value is closer to $2.1-2.2 billion.

Cohere plans to use this new dough to keep improving their AI platform and to hire more brainiacs. These efforts are aimed at helping businesses build nifty products while ensuring their data remains under lock and key.

This enterprise-focused AI firm was cooked up by Aidan Gomez, Ivan Zhang, and Nick Frosst back in 2019. These guys aren’t fresh off the boat. Before starting Cohere, Gomez wrote a noteworthy paper that introduced the Transformer, the backbone of popular language models like GPT-4.

Cohere sets itself apart in the AI world by targeting business use and by being cloud-agnostic. This means it can work with different cloud providers, giving businesses the flexibility to use their preferred provider.

The company is tight-lipped about its client list but has dropped hints about working with Jasper, HyperWrite, LivePerson, news outlets, and Salesforce Ventures. This AI trailblazer is also a big shot in the funding department, raising $445 million so far, trailing only OpenAI and Anthropic.

However, money isn’t everything in the AI world. AI models gulp up capital faster than a teen with a bag of chips, and Cohere aims to use its funding wisely to meet its customers’ needs. This includes staying independent and offering cloud-agnostic and data-secure solutions.

Cohere also has its sights set on ‘search and retrieval,’ so their chatbots can scour the web for relevant information, citing sources for users to check facts. The company’s longer-term plans include building models that can take action on behalf of customers, such as scheduling meetings or booking flights.

In this high-stakes game of AI, Cohere, being an independent, cloud-agnostic AI platform for enterprises, is betting on its unique strengths. They’re looking to enable customers to create their own language model capabilities using their data, hopefully giving them the upper hand in the market.

Funding for this round was led by Inovia Capital and included participation from some heavyweight companies such as Nvidia, Oracle, Salesforce Ventures, and others.


Announcing Microsoft’s AI Customer Commitments

Microsoft is all jazzed up about artificial intelligence (AI), seeing it as a gold mine for businesses big and small. Yet they’re not turning a blind eye to the fact that this powerful tech could wreak havoc if used poorly. With governments scratching their heads over how to regulate AI, Microsoft’s stepping up to help companies navigate the stormy AI seas.

To do this, they’re revealing their three-pronged strategy.

Firstly, they’re going all Oprah and sharing everything they’ve learned about responsible AI use since 2017. From the guidelines they’ve created to the training they give their staff, they’re putting it all on the table for others to learn from. They’re even setting up dedicated teams around the globe to answer any queries on responsible AI use.

Secondly, Microsoft’s rolling out an “AI Assurance Program” to make sure companies using their platforms are playing by the rules. They’re offering help with regulators, using a “KY3C” approach (a fancy way of saying “know your cloud, customers, and content”). Plus, they’ll be sharing their experience with AI risk management and forming customer councils to get feedback.

Finally, they’re offering a hand to companies wanting to implement their own responsible AI systems. They’re setting up a team of AI legal and regulatory experts to provide support and teaming up with companies like PwC and EY to help customers create their own responsible AI systems.

In the end, they admit this is just a start. As AI and the rules around it evolve, they’ll need to adapt. But for now, they’re ready to hold hands with their customers and take a responsible leap into the AI future.


Meta’s first generative AI feature will be AI stickers in Messenger

Looks like Meta’s got a wild hare and decided to put their AI to work with these new “stickers” for Messenger. Big cheese Ahmad Al-Dahle says it’s all about letting you show off your style, represent your culture, or even ride the wave of the latest trend. Sounds like a neat trick, but remember, this is just the appetizer, the ‘tip of the iceberg.’

Wanna know the main course? They’re cooking up AI that can change your images any way you please. Say you want your photo to look different or your pooch’s pic to look like a fancy painting, well, they’re saying they can do that too.

Not only this, they’re trying to get all AI-fancy across their social media universe – Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, you name it. They’re aiming to serve AI fun to everyone on the planet. Ambitious? You betcha.

Plus, they’re knee-deep into developing something they call the LLaMA language model and an open-source AI model. This fancy schmancy new tech is supposed to juggle text, sound, images, movements, temperature, and even depth. Sounds like they’re planning to throw the kitchen sink at this AI business. Let’s see how that pans out.


Adobe pushes Firefly AI into big business, with financial cover

Adobe is rolling out Firefly, an AI tool that conjures up images from a few words of text. It’s kind of like a digital genie, but instead of a magic carpet, you get copyright-safe visuals. The cool part? They’re giving their big business buddies a chance to play with it, and even better, they’re offering financial cover for any copyright brouhaha that might crop up.

You see, this move comes when companies like Stability AI and Midjourney are neck-deep in legal quagmires over images used in their AI services. Adobe, on the other hand, swears its Firefly was born from “legally safe image data”. So, they’re kind of like a sheriff in the Wild West of AI image generation.

Firefly will be part of Adobe Express, a toolkit for folks who aren’t Picasso with a mouse but need to create some eye-candy for their business. And for extra confidence, Adobe is essentially saying, “If Firefly messes up, we’ve got your back.” The exact details of how this deal will work, well, that’s currently as clear as mud.

Now, Adobe is also adding a cherry on top by letting companies train Firefly to use their logos and products, keeping it all on brand. Imagine, employees making content that doesn’t break the brand guidelines – now that’s as rare as a cat that enjoys swimming.

Meanwhile, Adobe’s been flexing their AI muscles elsewhere too, adding AI features to their digital marketing tools. Any user can now generate reports just by asking the system a question, like “How were online sales last month compared to in-store?” It’s like having a personal data butler at your fingertips. Now, that’s what I call democratizing data.

So, there you have it. Adobe’s basically stepping up its AI game and pushing Firefly into the corporate playground with a promise to take the fall if things go pear-shaped. Let’s just hope this AI genie doesn’t grant any copyright infringement wishes.


Google lays out its vision for securing AI

Google’s cooked up a new recipe to keep the hackers at bay, especially for artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Why’s that important? Well, AI’s becoming as common as cornbread at a county fair, and Google’s worried about security being left in the dust.

Remember the days of the wild west of social media? Folks were too excited to share their cat pictures to worry about where their data was going. Google’s fretting we might do the same with AI.

“We’re telling folks to not forget the basics,” says Phil Venables, the sheriff of Google Cloud security town.

Google’s new plan? It’s a six-step do-si-do:

Check what existing safety nets you can throw over new AI systems. Think of it like a fence for your virtual livestock.

  1. Keep an eagle eye on specific threats gunning for your AI systems.
  2. Use automation, or automatic protective systems, for faster, trustier AI protection.
  3. Make sure to regularly take a gander at your AI security.
  4. Test your defenses like a rodeo cowboy on a bucking bronco, and patch up any holes you find.
  5. Build a team that understands AI like a cattle driver knows his herd, helping you integrate AI safety into your overall business plan.

Venables says these steps are just like common sense in other parts of the business world.

In a move as sweet as pecan pie, Google’s encouraging this new plan by expanding its bug bounty program, offering rewards for finding security flaws in AI. They’ll also be asking for feedback from folks in the industry to keep improving. As Venables puts it, “we think we’re pretty advanced, but we’re not so arrogant to assume that people can’t give us suggestions.” Wise words indeed, partner.


Australia’s Canva expands A.I.-powered design business to Europe

Down Under design powerhouse Canva is making tracks for Europe, looking to give tech titans Adobe and Microsoft a run for their money. With a shiny new HQ in London, they’re ready to rumble even as tech’s economic outlook grows bleaker.

But Canva’s CEO Melanie Perkins isn’t breaking a sweat. Her company’s got a solid six-year winning streak under its belt and a hefty $700 million piggy bank to boot. Revenues for the past year hit $1.5 billion, so Canva isn’t exactly scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Turns out, a good chunk of Canva’s 135 million users hail from Europe. And while it’s not all cash and roses (looking at you, Silicon Valley Bank debacle and AI scrutiny), Canva’s betting its ‘magic’ AI tools will be a crowd-pleaser.

Perkins puts it this way: “We’ve made our paid products extremely affordable…people are moving to Canva rather than away.” And the proof’s in the pudding. Their AI tools, affectionately dubbed ‘magic’, brought in a whopping 10 million new users in just one month.

Despite the potential pitfalls of AI (think job loss, security risks, and all that jazz), Perkins and team are charging ahead, but not without a safety harness. “We’re erring on the side of caution because this industry is so in its infancy,” she said.

Perkins is no stranger to shaking things up in her field, and she sees these tech advancements as an opportunity rather than a threat. “Every industry goes through radical transformations…the whole industry has to adapt and everyone has to learn new skills. I think that’s just happened time and time again.”

Her goal for the next decade? To reel in 1 billion users and become one of the world’s most valuable companies. As for going public, Perkins is playing it coy. “There’s nothing to speak of at this point,” she said. Only time will tell if Canva can keep up the magic.


Struggling Meta showcases new AI tools at company meeting

Meta, aka Facebook’s parent company, is in a tough spot after dropping $80 billion in value and losing a heap of workers. The business formerly known as Facebook is now trying to reinvent itself with shiny new artificial intelligence toys, announced during an internal meeting. These include some pretty nifty AI chatbots that can adopt different personalities, and a couple of Instagram tools that’ll let you tweak photos with text and make emoji stickers.

Even with Meta’s fancy new tools, they’re still trailing behind tech titans like Google and Microsoft who’ve been raking in investors’ attention with their own AI wizardry. Meta is yet to unleash any AI products for the public, although it’s been dabbling with AI to jazz up ad campaigns.

Meta’s struggle has been likened to a schoolyard footrace, where the company’s frantically trying to catch up to the fast kids. To make things worse, some folks are worried that Meta’s decision to build its tools around open-source models might be an open invitation for internet trolls to wreak havoc. Despite all this, Mark Zuckerberg remains hopeful. In his words, he sees the value in “democratizing access” to AI, hinting at a future where we’re not all tied to a few tech giants.

Zuckerberg also put out a reminder that Meta isn’t giving up on its dream of building the metaverse, their ambitious virtual reality project. They’re in for a penny, in for a pound, both on AI and this virtual world. As the rest of us are just hoping they don’t trip over their own shoelaces in the process.


This AI-based gig will be ‘the biggest new side hustle,’ says expert—and it can pay $100 per hour

Hate to break it to ya, but your “side hustle” game might need a tech glow up. According to UBS, ChatGPT (an AI bot that writes more than bad jokes) has snagged over 100 million users since its release back in November 2022. Companies are turning to this handy bot to whip up content from emails to Instagram posts.

Margaret Lilani, bigwig at Upwork, says there’s a hefty demand for this new role she’s calling “AI Content Assistant”. Long story short, companies need a ton of content and they don’t have all day to create it. That’s where our AI hero steps in.

Let’s say you’re a company hotshot who gave a bang-up speech at a conference. The AI content assistant would transcribe the talk, toss the transcript to ChatGPT and say, “Make this into a knockout blog post.” Quick and painless. The only hitch is, you need to eyeball the results to make sure they’re not pure hogwash.

Angelique Rewers, founder of BoldHaus, reckons this could be the next big side hustle. Learning the ropes takes about a week, according to her. And if you get the hang of it, you could earn anywhere from $20 to $100 an hour.

So, if you’re a word whiz who can juggle tech, start adding “AI Content Assistant” to your job hunt bingo. AI isn’t going anywhere, and who knows, it might be your ticket to that much-needed vacation fund.