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Visier acquires assets of skills intelligence startup Boostrs (BETAKIT)

The deal marks Visier’s second acquisition to date after it bought the assets of California-based employee experience platform earlier this year to expand its workforce analytics platform.

OpenAI Leads Financing of Andrew Mason’s Descript at $500 Million–Plus Valuation (THE INFORMATION)

OpenAI, whose software for generating original text and images is galvanizing interest in artificial intelligence, has agreed to lead an investment of tens of millions of dollars in Descript, an audio and video editing app, at a valuation of around $550 million, according to two people with direct knowledge of the investment. Groupon co-founder Andrew Mason founded Descript, which uses AI for some features, five years ago.

CIFAR appoints 8 new AI chairs as Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy enters phase two (BETAKIT)

The chairs are meant to support Canadian understanding and research in the strategy’s priority areas, which include health, energy, the environment, fundamental science, and the responsible use of AI.

Ford, VW-backed Argo AI is shutting down (TECHCRUNCH)

During an all-hands meeting Wednesday, Argo AI employees were told that some people would receive offers from the two automakers, according to multiple sources who asked to not be named. It was unclear how many would be hired into Ford or VW and which companies will get Argo’s technology.

University of Toronto one of nine schools chosen for Eric Schmidt’s new $148 million AI research initiative (BETAKIT)

Founded by Eric Schmidt, the former CEO and executive chairman of Google and Alphabet, and his spouse, Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiatitive focused on helping talented people “solve hard problems in science and society.” In total, Schmidt Futures has committed $400 million towards various AI initiatives.

Google acquires Twitter-backed AI avatar startup Alter for $100 million (TECHCRUNCH)

The acquisition was completed about two months ago, the source said, but neither of the companies disclosed it to the public. Some of Alter’s top executives have updated their LinkedIn profiles to share that they have joined Google without acknowledging the acquisition. The source requested anonymity because they are sharing nonpublic information.

Check out these Q3 Canadian tech venture funding reports:

Alberta’s tech winter arrived late but in earnest in Q3 2022
2022 has still already surpassed the previous three years in Alberta venture funding.
Waterloo Region venture deal volume continued to slump in Q3 2022
Early-stage deals were nowhere to be found. So what comes next?
Toronto venture funding plunged to a two-year low in third quarter of 2022
Amid uncertain climate, investors favour tending existing crops over sowing new seeds.
Québec venture funding faced a perfect storm in Q3 2022
A flurry of headwinds pummeled Québec’s tech sector into its lowest investment quarter in three years.

VCCI fund managers chosen for latest, $350 million injection of federal capital (BETAKIT)

HarbourVest Partners, Teralys Capital, Kensington Capital Partners, and Northleaf Capital have been chosen to dole out the $350 million that was committed in the federal Budget 2021. Each of the four firms also managed the previous round of VCCI capital.

At internal AI conference, Amazon executives discuss using machine learning to revolutionize drug discovery, genomics, clinical trials, and more (INSIDER)

Last week, a group of Amazon scientists and engineers gathered to dream big. The event was all about machine learning, a powerful type of artificial intelligence that has already transformed Amazon’s business and those of other tech giants.

What was different about this AI conclave was its focus on audacious possibilities in the medical field, such as using ML to revolutionize drug discovery, clinical trials, genomics and related areas

Meet Grace, the humanoid robot offering companionship in a Montreal nursing home (CBC)

Lovely, intelligent and well-dressed.

That’s how 82-year-old Frances Greenberg describes Grace, the newest member at her long-term care home in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-De-Grâce neighbourhood.

Grace is a rosy-cheeked, young-looking woman with a layered bob haircut. Oh, and she’s also a robot.

Shutterstock will start selling AI-generated stock imagery with help from OpenAI (THE VERGE)

The stock image company is also promising to reimburse creators whose work is used to train AI art models with a new Contributors Fund.

Why Potloc founder Rodolphe Barrere tries to fire himself every six months (BETAKIT)

Not all startup founders go on to become growth CEOs, and Barrere said he’s had multiple opportunities to exit Potloc, either selling the company entirely or bringing on a professional CEO. However, he always decided against it.

Graphite Ventures appoints Omi Velasco as principal to lead Western Canada deals (BETAKIT)

Velasco has been an active member of Alberta’s tech ecosystem for about five years, both as an entrepreneur and investor. Early in her career, she co-founded Sandpearl Spa, which was later sold in 2016.

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The post A|I: The AI Times – U of T gets an AI nod from Eric Schmidt first appeared on BetaKit.

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