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Artificial Intelligence: CICERO, An AI That Plays The Diplomacy Game “At A Human Level”

November 23, 2022

Meta (formerly Facebook) (NASDAQ: META) announced on Wednesday the launch of CICERO, the first artificial intelligence (AI) agent to achieve human-level performance in the popular strategy game Diplomacy. So far, Diplomacy was a huge challenge to AI given that the game needs human like capabilities such as persuasive conversation, complex planning, strategies and their adjustment and an understanding of other players’ perspectives and motivations.


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Venture Capital: Astera Labs Lands $150M At $3.15B Valuation

November 22, 2022

Astera Labs announced a $150 million Series D funding round led by Fidelity Management and Research that valued the company at $3.15 billion. Other existing investors, including Atreides Management, Intel Capital, and Sutter Hill Ventures also participated in the round. Astera also said it had expanded both its board of directors as well as its product lineup.

FinTech: Expedia And Afterpay Tie Up To Offer BNPL For Travel

November 22, 2022

Indeed, according to a CNN article, travellers should get prepared for the most expensive holiday travel season ever. Average air fare is up about 40% from 2021, and rates for hotel rooms and rental cars have jumped 12% and 46% respectively from where they were in 2019. But travel demand, which was pent up during the pandemic, is still on the up and up and inching towards pre-pandemic levels. Fortunately, travellers reeling from the holiday sticker shock now have a BNPL option from Expedia and Afterpay.

Digital Assets: Crypto Contagion Spreads To Miners – Iris Energy Unplugs Mining Hardware Amidst Default

November 22, 2022

Iris Energy (NASDAQ: IREN), the Australia-based bitcoin mining firm, said in a filing that it had taken down a large chunk of its mining capacity that had been used as collateral for a loan of $107.8 million. Iris defaulted on the said loan because the operation did not produce cash flow enough to service the loan obligations. The development is symptomatic of the financial stress prevalent in the digital assets market after a severe bear market led to the insolvencies of many key players including FTX, Voyager Digital, and Celsius.

Venture Capital: At Home Healthcare Provider DispatchHealth Lands $330M Funding

November 22, 2022

DispatchHealth, the Denver-based in-home care provider has raised $330 million as it addresses the rapidly growing demand for at home care and works on a proprietary platform called the Last Mile Health Care Technology Platform. The platform aims to help with care delivery via logistics, clinical support and coordination with other parties in its ecosystem.

Artificial Intelligence: Thanks To AI, Insurers Now Have SuperNormal Powers, Says Sompo Chief

November 22, 2022

These prophetic forewarnings range from the weather, natural calamities, and even senile dementia, according to Mikio Okumura, chief of Japanese insurer Sompo Holdings (TYO: 8630). The forward-looking company invested $500mn investment two years ago in Palantir (NYSE: PLTR), the US specialist in big data analysis. It also has bought a stake in Abeja, a Japanese AI start-up.

Venture Capital: Schneider’s SE Ventures Launches EUR 500M Fund II

November 21, 2022

Menlo Park, California-based SE Ventures, which is the VC arm of Schneider Electric (EPA: SU), announced today a 500-million-euro fund-II to accelerate climate and industrial technology start-ups within the firm’s overall target sectors of electrification, digitization, and decarbonisation.

Artificial Intelligence: 3M Launches AI-Powered Speech Recognition For Clinicians

November 21, 2022

3M (NYSE: MMM) unveiled the 3M M*Modal Fluency Direct, its latest speech and AI-powered technology, at the 2022 HIMSS Middle East Health Conference & Exhibition in Riyadh from November 19 to 21, 2022. The technology will enable clinicians to accurately and quickly feed the interaction with the patient into the medical records system, freeing them up for patient care.

Alternative Investments/ESG: Investment Advisory Wahed Launches Shariah And US Equity ETP

November 21, 2022

A new ETP (Exchange Traded Product) launched by Wahed, a registered investment advisor focused on Halal investments, will invest in US stocks that have passed through a screening process to determine their Shariah status. The ETP, named the Wahed FTSE USA Shariah ETF, has listed on the LSE.

Alternative Investments/ESG: Vanguard Unveils ESG Corporate Bond ETFs In Europe

November 21, 2022

Vanguard, the fund manager with assets of over $8 trillion under management, has launched two ESG-tilted, corporate bond ETFs denominated in EUR and USD respectively, for European investors. The funds are listed on the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Boerse, Borsa Italiana, SIX Swiss and Euronext Amsterdam bourses.

Alternative Investments/ESG: BlackRock Debuts An Environmentally Focused REIT ETF

November 21, 2022

iShares, the ETF unit of BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), launched last week the iShares Environmentally Aware Real Estate ETF (NASDAQ: ERET). The ETF will invest in REIT and real estate holding and development companies that have a sustainability focus and are environment-friendly – specifically, companies with an increased exposure to green certification and energy efficiency. According to the Fund, buildings are the source of 37% of global carbon emissions.

Digital Assets: Binance Agrees To Buy (Non-US) FTX After Bankman-Fried Reveals Liquidity Crunch

November 8, 2022

Binance, the world’s largest crypto firm, has agreed to buy rival crypto exchange FTX, which is owned by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, for an undisclosed amount. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed in a tweet that FTX asked for Binance’s help in tackling a significant liquidity crunch, and therefore it “signed a non-binding LOI, intending to fully acquire and help cover the liquidity crunch.”

Artificial Intelligence: AI Claims Aussie Pensioner Is A British Lord Wanted For Brutal 1974 Murder

November 8, 2022

Facial recognition analysis carried out be renowned expert Professor Hassan Ugail of the University of Bradford has established that an elderly pensioner living in Australia is a definite match for runaway murderer Lord Lucan. The researcher ran his AI algorithm, perfected over two decades, over 4,000 cross-checks of seven photos comprising four of Lucan and three of the unnamed Australian pensioner.

Artificial Intelligence: AI Powers Mylo, A Virtual Lifeguard That Watches For Pool Drownings

November 8, 2022

Coral Smart Pool, an Israeli startup, has developed Mylo, a virtual lifeguard that uses computer vision and AI to detect potential drowning accidents in the swimming pool. It also sounds an alarm in case it detects a pool entry.

Artificial Intelligence: UK Startup Carbon Re Uses AI To Decarbonize The Biggest GHG Emitters

November 7, 2022

London-based Carbon Re uses AI to cut emissions at the most energy-intensive industries, for example, glass, cement, and steel. Its technology can develop a ‘digital twin’ of an individual plant by analysing the sensor data gathered on a minute-by-minute basis by Distributed Control Systems. In a cement plant, this creates a high-resolution digital model that captures the properties of a given kiln (the thermodynamics, and the physical processes of clinker production). AI agents can therefore learn these processes in a simulation, so to speak, and then act in real time to maximize the plant efficiency.

Artificial Intelligence: Mass Firings At Twitter Include Its Ethical AI Team

November 4, 2022

Elon Musk-owned Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) is executing a massive firing plan globally. Twitter has closed its offices and suspended the badges of all employees until a decision is made as to whether an employee is fired or retained.

Venture Capital: V.C. Arm Of Agricultural Cooperatives Invests In Agtech Startup Sabanto

November 4, 2022

“The labor shortage in ag retail is a very real problem,” said GROWMARK Director of Innovation Heather Thompson. “Autonomy presents an exciting solution but adopting autonomous equipment creates a new set of challenges for traditional operations. By partnering with Sabanto, GROWMARK and our FS cooperatives have the advanced opportunity to test and learn the impacts of this cutting-edge technology.”

Alternative Investments/AI: Arta Finance Nabs $90M For Opening Up An AI-Powered Family Office To All Comers

November 4, 2022

Arta, a Mountain View, Calif., based startup that calls itself a Digital Family Office, has come out of stealth and announced a raise of over $90 million from Sequoia Capital India, Ribbit Capital, Coatue Management and more than 140 angel investors.

Digital Assets: Coinbase Reports A Net Loss Of $545M In The Third Quarter As Trading Volumes Decline

November 4, 2022

Crypto exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) has reported disappointing numbers for the September quarter, with its perfomance impacted by the bearish conditions prevailing in the digital assets market, and the consequential impact on transaction revenues.

Digital Assets: Digital Platform Bakkt Acquires Apex Crypto For $200M

November 4, 2022

Digital asset platform Bakkt Holdings (NYSE: BKKT) has acquired Apex Crypto, a turnkey platform for crypto trading, for a maximum purchase price of $200 million. Of this, Bakkt will initially pay $55 million in cash upon the closing, and another $45 million in its stock subject to the achievement of certain financial targets by Apex in the fourth quarter of 2022. Depending upon the achievement of another set of financial targets by 2025, Bakkt may pay an additional $100 million in its stock and seller notes.

Digital Assets: Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Crypto Exchange Is Now Live In The U.A.E.

November 4, 2022

FTX has announced that it has gone live in the UAE, though its services are initially available only to qualified retail investors, accredited investors and institutions. It will function in the UAE as FTX MENA FZE.

Artificial Intelligence: AI-Based Robotic Waste Recycler AMP Raises $91M

November 4, 2022

AMP Robotics Corp has announced a $91 million Series C round led by Congruent Ventures and Wellington Management as well as new and existing investors including Blue Earth Capital, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), Tao Capital Partners, XN, Sequoia Capital, GV, Range Ventures, and Valor Equity Partners. The funds will be used for AMP’s international expansion as well as to scale up its operations. The company intends to enhance manufacturing capacity to support a fleet of approximately 275 robots around the world and advance its ongoing development of AI-enabled automation applications for recycling.

FinTech: Cannabis Cloud Commerce Platform Treez Acquires Payments Processor Swifter

November 4, 2022

Treez, an enterprise cloud commerce platform that streamlines retail and supply chain operations within the cannabis market, has acquired Swifter, a YC startup from India that builds ACH APIs for cannabis merchants in the US. Swifter calls itself the “Stripe for Cannabis.” Treez said in a statement that Swifter was an attractive investment given its multi-location operating retail cannabis clients and Y Combinator background.

Digital Assets: Three Crypto ETFs Fold Up In Australia Amidst Downturn

November 3, 2022

Investors cold-shouldered the Cosmos ETFs in the so-called “crypto winter.” The Cosmos Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF, Cosmos Purpose Ethereum Access ETF, and Cosmos Global Digital Miners Access ETF, all of which were trading on the Cboe exchange in Australia, have applied for delisting, less than a year after their much-publicised launch. (COIN TELEGRAPH) Cosmos Asset…

FinTech: Revolut Integrates Encrypted Chat Feature In Its Global Financial Superapp

November 3, 2022

Customers in the UK and EEA can now chat as well as share gifs and stickers whilst sending and requesting funds to and from other customers. Revolut has incorporated a messaging facility into its superapp, following a recent UK and European survey of 8,000 people that said two thirds of people (67.5%) find it difficult…