Nvidia’s Q2 Results Crown It King of AI
While AI startups are raking in investment dollars, Nvidia is leading the way with its chips being used by every company in the industry. CEO Jensen Huang’s bet on AI in 2018 has paid off tremendously, as the company reported a Q2 revenue of $13.51 billion, nearly double the previous year. The data center business was the primary source of income, bringing in $10.32 billion and overshadowing gaming revenue for the first time.
AI Startups and Investments
Hugging Face, an AI startup, is raising a $200 million round led by Salesforce Ventures, valuing the company at $4 billion. This New York-based startup hosts hundreds of thousands of open-source AI models, driving its exponential growth.
Irreverent Labs, an AI company focused on photorealistic Generative AI, has taken in Samsung Next as a strategic investor. The exact amount of investment was not disclosed, but with its previous funding rounds, Irreverent Labs has raised over $45 million. The company is set to release its video foundation model later this year, providing an unprecedented level of fidelity and control.
Wand.app, an AI creative tool, secured $4.2 million in funding. Founded in 2021, Wand.app allows artists to customize and visualize their ideas by teaching a personal AI their specific style. The round of funding was led by O’Shaughnessy Ventures.
The Rise of Sandbox LBVR
Sandbox LBVR (location-based virtual reality) is experiencing rapid growth, driven by hit titles and high demand. In just 30 locations, the game Deadwood Valley has generated $23 million in ticket sales since its launch last summer. Sandbox is also known for its licensed IP from Star Trek and Squid Game, as well as its celebrity investors.
BCI Breakthrough – Paralyzed Woman Speaks
Researchers from UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley, along with Speech Graphics, have developed a groundbreaking communications system using a brain-computer interface. This system allows a woman paralyzed by stroke to freely speak through a digital avatar, providing a new level of independence and communication.
Deep Media and Deep Fake Detection
Deep Media, a startup, has been awarded a $1.25 million contract from the USAF Research Lab to integrate its tools for deepfake detection into Department of Defense applications. This is critical to counter Russian and Chinese information warfare as the 2024 election approaches.
Gartner Hype Cycle and Generative AI
Gartner’s Hype Cycle places generative AI on the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations.’ While the current hype may be excessive, the long-term impact of AI should not be underestimated. Disruptive technologies often face initial skepticism, but ultimately reshape industries.
A Book of Graphic Styles
Eric Jacob, an AI artist, has compiled a book of prompts to produce specific graphic styles using the Midjourney GenAI platform. The book offers a palette of 200 unique styles, ranging from Aboriginal Dot Painting to Zentangle. It is available for free via the provided link.
This Week in XR Podcast
This Week in XR is a podcast hosted by Ted Schilowitz, Futurist at Paramount Global, and Rony Abovitz, founder of Magic Leap. This week’s guest is Anurupa Ganguly, founder and CEO of Prisms, a spatial learning platform enhancing student engagement in Math using VR. The podcast can be found on Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.