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Microsoft unveils first professional certificate for generative AI skills

Microsoft has launched a new professional certification for Generative AI as part of their Skills for Jobs program. The certificate, which can be earned by taking free classes on AI and passing an exam, is available via LinkedIn Learning. The course is designed to help workers understand and use AI in the growing number of products, services, and organizations incorporating this technology.

The course, the first of its kind, includes sessions on the basics of generative AI, thoughtful online searching, using Microsoft Bing Chat, ethical considerations in AI, and an introduction to artificial intelligence tools. Initially available in English, it will soon be accessible in six other languages.

Microsoft’s initiative also involves developing a toolkit for trainers who provide AI training to diverse communities. The company plans to start challenges to promote AI learning, like the Learn AI Skills challenge, and a Generative AI Skills Grant challenge aimed at supporting nonprofits and other institutions implementing AI to aid historically disadvantaged groups.


Runway, a startup building generative AI for content creators, raises $141M

Runway, an AI startup aimed at multimedia content creators, has raised an additional $141 million in its Series C funding round. Big name investors include Google, Nvidia, and Salesforce. The funds will be put towards research and hiring more staff.

Runway was created in 2018 by Cris Valenzuela, Alejandro Matamala, and Anastasis Germanidis who met at NYU. They began developing AI-powered tools for filmmakers and photographers. Since then, the company has shifted focus to generative AI, specifically for video content. The company’s top product, Gen-2, can make videos using text or an image.

The company has also recently started Runway Studios, a production partner for business clients, and launched the AI Film Festival to showcase films created in part by AI. Currently, Runway’s customers include Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies, as well as many individual creators. This latest funding brings Runway’s total to $237 million and values the company at $1.5 billion, placing it among the well-funded AI startups.


Speakeasy is using AI to automate API creation and distribution

Speakeasy, a new startup, is streamlining the process of making and sharing APIs with the aid of AI. The company recently stepped into the limelight, backed by a $7.6 million seed funding round.

The company’s objective is to alleviate the programming burden when integrating APIs, speeding up product adoption. Speakeasy’s co-founder and CEO, Sagar Batchu, believes APIs grant developers special powers, essentially allowing them to capitalize on another company’s skills.

To achieve this, Speakeasy is kicking things off with two tools. First up, Managed SDKs, helps developers make APIs. Developers submit an Open API spec, and Speakeasy uses AI to build the full API, including the necessary documents, in minutes. This software not only validates and improves the spec but also auto-publishes to package managers.

The second tool makes it easier for developers to implement the APIs by utilizing Terraform, a popular tool from HashiCorp. This tool can transform an Open API spec into a Terraform provider, easing the workload for engineers and tapping into a wider developer community.


Nvidia says US curbs on AI chip sales to China would cause ‘permanent loss of opportunities’

Nvidia, a major tech company, warns that the US’s potential new restrictions on artificial intelligence (AI) chip sales to China would lead to missed opportunities for US businesses. While these changes wouldn’t cause immediate financial damage, Nvidia’s CFO Colette Kress states it could hurt profits down the line.

The US government aims to further tighten the restrictions announced in October, which are meant to limit China’s access to AI technology that could potentially boost its military. Nvidia, which enjoyed a market boom for its AI chips and reached a market cap of $1 trillion in May, could find it more difficult to sell its advanced chips to China under these new rules.

China is a crucial market for Nvidia, making up 22% of its revenue in the previous year. Following the news, Nvidia’s stock dipped by 1.8%, and Chinese AI stocks saw heavier losses. Analysts suggest that these US restrictions would effectively hinder China’s AI advancements, which fuel its military power, more than investment limits in China’s tech sector.


Gaming industry puts generative AI to the test

Big video game names are trying out artificial intelligence to see if it can make game development cheaper and gameplay better. Companies hope AI can create game dialogue, characters, and worlds, saving them millions of dollars. For gamers, this could mean more realistic characters and interactive storylines.

Unity Software, a major source of game development tools, just released an AI tech to make creating 3D elements easier for its many users. The news bumped up Unity’s stock price by 15%. While NetEase, a giant in Asian gaming, is launching Justice Mobile, which uses AI characters. It’s the first large-scale trial of AI technology in a mainstream game. The game, based on medieval Song dynasty, already has more than 40 million interested players before its release.

The use of generative AI systems in gaming is still quite new. It’s similar to what powers chatbots like ChatGPT. But as developers face delays in releasing new games, they’re starting to consider this new tech more seriously.


Steam Is Reportedly Rejecting Games Using AI Art

Steam, a big name in PC gaming, is turning down games using art made by artificial intelligence (AI). They’re worried about copyright issues because AI art is often trained on pictures from artists who didn’t give permission. High on Life, a popular game, and Marvel’s Secret Wars have both used AI for art or sound.

A developer shared online that Steam rejected his game because it used some AI art. He tried changing the art a bit by hand, but was turned down again. This hasn’t been announced as an official rule by Steam, but it would be a big deal if it is. Some people who make games and art are happy about this. Others think it’s a losing battle to fight against AI art in games.

This decision could change, and we’re waiting to hear more from Steam. In the past, they have also banned games involving cryptocurrency when that was becoming popular. This move seems to show what they think is okay and not okay in game development.


Lawsuit says OpenAI violated US authors’ copyrights to train AI chatbot

OpenAI, known for its popular AI system, ChatGPT, is getting sued by two U.S. authors, Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad. They claim OpenAI wrongly used their books to teach ChatGPT how to talk, stepping on their copyrights. The authors’ lawyer isn’t talking, and OpenAI hasn’t given a statement yet.

The authors suggest that OpenAI used over 300,000 books to teach the AI, some from illegal sources that share copyrighted books without asking. They’ve noticed that ChatGPT can create super accurate summaries of their own books, which suggests their books are in the AI’s learning database.


I’m letting AI mop my floors now, and I’m not going back

The Eufy Clean X9 Pro CleanerBot, a 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop, offers a great deep-cleaning, hands-free experience. Thanks to 5,500pa suction power and AI navigation, this bot impressively tidies up homes.

The two most impressive features were the mopping function, with its dual rotating pads applying 2.2 lbs of downward pressure to clean tough stains (useful in homes with kids and pets), and the AI for navigation, obstacle avoidance, and mapping. Using AI See and iPath Laser Navigation, the CleanerBot avoids objects like kids’ toys and creates a map of the home. These features save you the trouble of pre-cleaning before the bot starts its job.

The Eufy Clean app offers a customization option for charging, cleaning intensity, voice, and more. It even lets you select specific rooms for cleaning based on the automatically created map. Moreover, the CleanerBot can sense different floor types and adapt accordingly, such as lifting its mop pads when it detects a carpet.