The AI Foundation, which ambitiously hopes to develop “ethical” AI brokers that may be skilled to finish duties, at the moment closed a $17 million funding spherical. A spokesperson mentioned the funds will probably be used to scale the corporate’s platform, which permits folks to create a digital persona that mirrors their very own.
As the pandemic makes digital meetups a daily incidence, the idea of private AI — tailor-made to your life or replicating your character — is gaining steam. Startups creating digital beings, or synthetic folks powered by AI, have raised greater than $320 million in enterprise capital to this point. As my colleague Dean Takahashi factors out, these beings are a sort of precursor to the Metaverse — a universe of digital worlds which can be all interconnected, as in novels corresponding to Snow Crash and Ready Player One. Like Soul Machines, Brud, Wave, Samsung-backed STAR Labs, and others, the AI Foundation intends to will the Metaverse into existence by pursuing new and present machine studying methods.
Established in 2017, the AI Foundation, which was based by Rob Meadows and former EA vp Lars Buttler, is a twin industrial and nonprofit enterprise with the acknowledged mission of bringing “the power and protection of AI to everyone in the world so they can participate fully in the future.” At the middle of this mission is the corporate’s proprietary “human-AI collaboration” platform, which brings collectively improvements from third-party analysis companions.
The AI Foundation’s steering committee — the Global AI Council — has a mandate to anticipate the unfavourable results of AI and determine tips on how to counteract them. One proposal that reached manufacturing is Reality Defender, a free software that scans photos, movies, and different media for identified deepfakes and helps the reporting of suspected fakes. Underlining the deepfake risk, Amsterdam-based cybersecurity startup Deeptrace discovered 14,698 deepfake movies on the web in June and July, up from 7,964 in December 2019.
Reality Defender runs content material by means of AI-driven evaluation methods to detect indicators of alteration or manipulation, whereas the software’s neighborhood of customers flags false positives to retrain the underlying fashions. It additionally attracts on the AI Foundation’s partnerships with content material creators to ascertain an “honest AI” watermark that clearly identifies AI-generated deepfakes.
Reality Defender is the primary of what the AI Foundation calls Guardian AI, a duty platform constructed round the concept everybody ought to have private AI brokers engaged on their behalf. The purpose is to plot protections in opposition to the dangers AI at the moment poses and to construct worth for folks as AI alters the character of society.
To additional its analysis, the AI Foundation just lately partnered with a staff on the Technical University of Munich’s (TUM) Visual Computing Lab to discover new media forgery detection and flagging methods, resulting in the publication of a number of papers and the discharge of a public information set that different researchers can construct upon. Twitter cofounder Biz Stone joined the AI Foundation final May as director of its nonprofit 503(c) arm dedicated to releasing instruments, tech, coverage, and tips for shielding in opposition to — and mitigating — danger.
Late final 12 months, the AI Foundation hinted at its broader ambitions with Digital Deepak, an AI assistant meant to assist customers obtain wellness and mindfulness milestones. Built and skilled with the AI Foundation’s platform, Digital Deepak, which debuted on the Tonight Show, sounds kind of like Indian-American writer and various drugs advocate Deepak Chopra. Digital Deepak presents personalised recommendation and solutions questions on “every aspect of well-being,” in keeping with the AI Foundation. “The platform enables everyone to create their own AIs; extensions of the owners that look, sound, and think like them without replacing their humanity … Individuals can fully realize their potential by using their AI to travel to billions of places at once, connect with millions of people, undertake continuous self-improvement, enjoy immersive entertainment, and craft their legacy in the world.”
The AI Foundation’s collection B was raised in partnership with Mousse Partners, You & Mr. Jones, Founders Fund, Alpha Edison, and Stone. It brings the San Francisco-based firm’s whole raised to round $28 million, following a $10.5 million collection A in September 2018.