Big money chases AI, antitrust chases big tech, and the metaverse lives

Big money chases AI, antitrust chases big tech, and the metaverse lives

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Generative artificial intelligence continued to dominate the headlines this week, as Amazon Web Services swooped in with a multibillion-dollar investment in Anthropic and OpenAI looked to sell employee shares at a — ahem — $90 billion valuation.

Meanwhile, OpenAI Chief Executive Sam Altman and former Apple design chief Jony Ive are looking at building something like an iPhone for AI. And AI chips keep coming out of the woodwork.

Antitrust efforts also seem to be heating up even more around the world, with the Federal Trade Commission going after Amazon.com and French authorities raiding Nvidia’s offices.

Finally, the metaverse isn’t dead yet, as Meta Platforms finally releases goggles and glasses that may appeal to more than complete nerds and gamers.

You can hear more analysis and opinion on this and other news around the tech world in today’s installment of theCUBE Pod with John Furrier and Dave Vellante. And don’t miss Vellante’s weekly Breaking Analysis due out Saturday for a drill-down with Enterprise Technology Research data into joint Cisco Systems-Splunk customers following Cisco’s recent $28 billion deal to buy Splunk.

And here’s all the news SiliconANGLE followed this past week:

AI madne$$

It’s interesting that AWS appears to have made an exception to its tendency to avoid buying business via deals such as this. That said, though Amazon is seen (somewhat mistakenly IMO) as trailing Microsoft and Google on AI progress, its more open approach via partnerships with the likes of Hugging Face and maybe here with Anthropic, may prove more appealing to developers. At the least, it showed up Google Cloud with this move: Amazon to invest up to $4B in generative AI developer Anthropic

OpenAI reportedly exploring share sale on an up to $90B valuation Does a valuation this big, this early, ever end well?

Especially when your big partner is working on alternative models: Microsoft hedges its bets, seeking more cost-effective AI models

An AiPhone? Sam Altman and Jony Ive reportedly discussing ‘AI hardware device’ project

If you ain’t got vector, you ain’t got AI: MongoDB revs up its vector search feature to power faster and more accurate generative AI apps and Time-series database Timescale adds vector search for AI

Nothing could go wrong with this: The CIA says it’s building a ChatGPT-style generative AI chatbot to aid data analysts

And not to be left behind: US Army awards $250M contract to Palantir to research and develop AI

CEO Matthew Prince has people with “suitcases full of GPUs” fanned out across the world to plug them into its growing cloud infrastructure: Cloudflare announces full-stack platform for deploying AI at scale

OpenAI keeps pushing the AI envelope: OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot now allows users to use voice and pictures to get answers And search the web: OpenAI lets ChatGPT loose on the internet to search for up-to-date information

But so are rivals: Mistral AI releases open-source language model with 7B parameters and AI startup Cohere takes on OpenAI with new Chat API and Coral demo chatbot

SAP debuts Joule, a generative AI copilot for intelligent insights across its entire software portfolio

Workday aims to transform human capital and financial management with generative AI But it didn’t make Wall Street happy Thursday with a lower earnings forecast.

SRI International spins out Synfini, an AI-powered drug discovery platform provider

Amazon rolls out new features and public release of Bedrock to help organizations leverage generative AI

Gen AI on the mainframe, hmm: IBM updates tools to move next-gen AI development onto the mainframe

Endless AI chips: AI chip startup Kneron secures $49M investment and Chinese AI chipmaker Enflame raises $237M in late-stage funding round

More efforts to avoid gen AI hallucinations: Aporia adds protection against AI hallucinations

In the cloud

Bet it doesn’t want to sell Bing now, post OpenAI: Report: Microsoft sought to sell Bing to Apple in 2020

Dell expands APEX portfolio to extend Microsoft Azure Cloud to the edge

API connectivity king Kong announces dedicated cloud infrastructure and AI developer tooling

HPE infrastructure powers the most intelligently connected and sustainable Ryder Cup yet

Cybersecurity beat

Consolidation continues: Report: Palo Alto Networks targets Dig Security for $300M+ acquisition

And big fundings: VPN provider Nord Security raises $100M at $3B valuation

More attention coming to AI model security: Security threats of AI large language models are mounting, spurring efforts to fix them

More like OpenCesspool: Yet another hack hits NFT marketplace OpenSea

You’ve heard of red teams and blue teams, now: How ‘purple teams’ collaborate to assess cybersecurity threats

AWS reveals details of ‘MadPot’ tools used to thwart thousands of cyberattacks

Roundup

Antitrust beat

Still no slam dunk for Lina Khan by any means, not least because it’s a stretch to make the case that much of anything Amazon has done has raised or will raise prices: FTC and 17 states sue Amazon over e-commerce practices

Another stretch from across the pond, pending evidence: French antitrust regulator reportedly raids Nvidia’s local offices

Meanwhile, over in the metaverse

Eventually one of these devices might catch on… if a killer app ever emerges beyond gaming: Meta introduces mixed reality Quest 3 headset and next generation of RayBan smart glasses

That metaverse video of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and podcaster Lex Fridman is … interesting, but I find it more creepy than compelling. Uncanny valley and all that.

Some possibilities, maybe: Meta rolls out AI experiences across its apps and devices and Campfire brings enterprise holographic collaboration to Meta Quest 3 with planned AI assistant

And Zeus Kerravala checks out what Major League Baseball is trying out: MLB looks for a hit with its Virtual Ballpark metaverse experiment

And elsewhere

The endless battle: FCC reportedly seeks to reinstate 2015 net neutrality rules

Intel makes more progress: Intel begins mass-producing chips using cutting-edge EUV technology

Still tough in memoryland: Soft guidance and lackluster demand weigh on Micron’s stock

Data mesh originator Zhamak Dehghani’s company gets funding: Data mesh startup Nextdata raises $12M in funding

Digitizing handwritten notes, for better or (probably) worse: Duplicating the charm of handwritten messages – at large scale

Comings and goings

Departing Amazon exec Dave Limp will become CEO at Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture

Done deal: Andy Jassy and Dave Limp welcome Panos Panay as Amazon’s new Devices & Services leader

Top Intel AI Executive Kavitha Prasad Leaves To Lead Security Business At AWS

Dell Names Jeff Boudreau Chief AI Officer, Creates AI Business Unit

Alexis Black Bjorlin, Meta executive leading AI chip efforts, to leave position

Image: Bing Image Creator

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