OpenAI’s strategic acquisition of Global Illumination, unearthing the hidden gem ‘biomes’


OpenAI acquires Biomes πŸ‘€ an open-source MMORPG. ChatGPT plus Minecraft? πŸ”₯

OpenAI just scooped up Global Illumination, and not just for its big brain engineers. Tucked away in this deal is “biomes,” a dope web-based open-world game, kinda like if Minecraft went full browser mode. Players can do the usual – build, play, and dive into mini-games.

Imagine a Minecraft dude, but it’s a computer program powered by GPT-4. This lil’ dude doesn’t need humans to tell it what to do. If it’s by a river? It’s fishing. Runs into a zombie? It’s coding up new moves to handle it. And the kicker: as it learns, it keeps adding to its skill book. Every so often, it checks out its scene, like if it’s hungry or near a cave, and adjusts. We might soon tell an AI, “Hey, build this killer app,” and just watch it do all the magic!


Microsoft plans AI service with Databricks that could hurt OpenAI- The Information

Microsoft’s gearing up to sell a new Databricks software, which lets businesses build their own AI applications, according to insiders. This software, available on Microsoft’s Azure platform, lets companies either start AI projects from the ground up or tweak open-source alternatives.

This might be bad news for OpenAI since folks could bypass licensing their fancy AI models. Microsoft’s been on an AI spending spree lately, pumping it into various products like Azure and Microsoft 365.


Viome, a microbiome startup, raises $86.5M, inks distribution deal with CVS

Viome, a startup specializing in microbiome health, has raised $86.5 million in a Series C funding round led by Khosla Ventures and Bold Capital. The company analyzes customers’ microbiomes using RNA sequencing technology and AI, providing personalized supplements and advice. Since 2016, Viome has tested around 350,000 consumers from 106 countries, collecting over 600,000 samples to refine its algorithm.

The new funding will support Viome’s expansion and entry into new areas, including dental health and retail partnerships. A deal with CVS will see Viome’s tests available in around 200 U.S. stores, but doesn’t involve any investment from the pharmacy chain.


40% of workers will have to reskill in the next three years due to AI, says IBM study

IBM’s recent study says that the rise of AI, like ChatGPT, might cause folks to change their job skills, but it’s not all doom and gloom. IBM crunched numbers from two big surveys, and it turns out around 40% of workers worldwide may need to learn new skills within the next three years due to AI coming into the mix. That’s about 1.4 billion people!

But hold on, most bosses (87% of them) think that AI will actually help folks do their jobs better, not take them away. IBM found that businesses that embrace AI and help their workers adjust can see their revenues grow faster than others. In fact, IBM said, “AI won’t replace peopleβ€”but people who use AI will replace people who don’t.”

As for what skills folks should focus on, the tables have turned. Instead of just technical skills, like being a wiz at science and math, people should work on getting better at things like teamwork, communication, and being open to change. Those skills are now at the top of the must-have list.


AI2 drops biggest open dataset yet for training language models

AI2 is shaking things up by dropping Dolma, the biggest open dataset yet for training language models. While most companies keep their data on a tight leash, AI2 is sharing Dolma with the AI research community, so they can freely use and modify it for their projects. Dolma is part of the plan for AI2’s open language model, OLMo (short for “Data to feed OLMo’s Appetite”). AI2’s Luca Soldaini has been spilling the beans on how the team got the dataset ready for AI in a blog post. More details are coming soon in a paper.

Big players like OpenAI and Meta keep their dataset details under wraps, leading to some raised eyebrows about where the data comes from. AI2’s Dolma is a breath of fresh air, with its sources and processes open for all to see. It’s a beast of a dataset, boasting 3 billion tokens (an AI term for chunks of content), and it’s designed to be user-friendly and open about permissions.


Educators Seek to Stop AI Use for Cheating

Educators are grappling with the rise of AI-driven cheating in universities. While they recognize the potential of AI for innovative teaching, they’re concerned about students exploiting it for dishonest gains. Strategies to counter this include shifting back to paper tests, demanding evidence of drafting and editing, and rewording questions to thwart AI-generated answers.

Challenges lie in identifying AI-generated work and distinguishing legitimate usage from cheating. Some students feel unjustly accused, while others stress the importance of verifying assignments with anti-AI tools. This trend is causing shifts in teaching methods and prompting educators to reconsider assessment approaches.


6 fintech investors sound off on AI, down rounds and what’s ahead

In 2021, fintech startups were rolling in the dough. But come 2023, they’re having to hustle a bit more for that cash. Global funding for fintech had a whopping dip this year, going from a high driven by a big move from Stripe to only $7.8 billion in the second quarter. And when we peek at what these companies are now worth? Yikes. A lot of them ain’t what they used to be, value-wise.

With things being kinda rough for fintech startups now, they’ve gotta be tough, think smart, and be careful about how they grow. Investors, too, are being choosy and taking their sweet time before they part with their money. Aditi Maliwal from Upfront Ventures even said that they’re not making snap decisions like they sometimes did back in 2020.

Mark Goldberg shared some gems: AI in fintech is often behind the scenes, and while some startups are zoning in on particular groups, it can be a winning move if done right. And watch out, ’cause he thinks more companies might see their values drop in 2023. But he’s still amped about fintech, even if it’s gotten tougher. When it’s pitch time? Get to the point and show what’s unique about your gig.