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Untether AI names Intel veteran Chris Walker as its new CEO 

Toronto-based artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor startup Untether AI has made some leadership changes, bringing on a new CEO and board director in Chris Walker and Amir Salek, respectively.

Untether AI announced both of these moves on January 4, sharing little detail regarding the rationale for the CEO change beyond noting that it comes as Untether AI “enters a new phase of growth.” 


Inovia charts a course for VC in the generative AI age

Inovia Capital is publishing its generative AI thesis, as the Montreal-based investor looks to back more startups in the red-hot space after leading Cohere’s US$270-million Series C this summer. 

Partner Steve Woods and his team see opportunities to make deals in models, tooling and applications, while portfolio firms are adapting to the competitive challenge it brings.


Inverted AI closes $5.3 million CAD in seed funding for vehicle safety simulation tech

Vancouver-based Inverted AI has closed over $5.3 million CAD ($4 million USD) in seed funding as it looks to develop AI technology for realistically simulating human drivers on roadways.

The startup hopes its simulation technology will be used to ensure driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles are safe and effective when deployed in the real world.


Jeff Bezos Bets on a Google Challenger Using AI to Try to Upend Internet Search

Perplexity, a startup going after Google’s dominant position in web search, has won backing from Jeff Bezos and venture capitalists betting that artificial intelligence will upend the way people find information online.

The company’s product, which it calls an answer engine, is used by about 10 million people monthly.


Xanadu’s Christian Weedbrook among Quantum Industry Canada’s three new board appointments

Quantum Industry Canada (QIC), an advocacy group for Canada’s quantum technology sector, has added three new industry leaders to its board of directors to play a “vital role” in steering QIC’s strategic direction over the course of its three-year mandate.

Among the appointments are the founder and CEO of Xanadu Christian Weedbrook, Anyon Systems VP of intellectual property Alexandra Daoud, and Quantacet managing partner Martin Laforest.


AI cannot be patent ‘inventor’, UK Supreme Court rules in landmark case

A U.S. computer scientist on December 20 lost his bid to register patents over inventions created by his artificial intelligence system in a landmark case in Britain about whether AI can own patent rights.

His attempt to register the patents was refused by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office on the grounds that the inventor must be a human or a company, rather than a machine. The UK Supreme Court unanimously rejected his subsequent appeal as UK patent law states “an inventor must be a natural person.”


How to move the “big rock” of inclusion in tech

Canadian tech is facing a deep tech talent shortage and government leaders tend to want to fill this gap with foreign talent. But plans to draw from the international worker pool ignore the talent in our own backyard, including underrepresented communities across Canada.

Pablo Listingart, Executive Director of digital skills school ComIT, shared with BetaKit what he’s learned is necessary to continue pushing inclusion forward. 


Federal government punts NRC IRAP’s merger into the Canada Innovation Corporation to 2026-2027

The federal government has announced it will delay plans to fully implement the Canada Innovation Corporation (CIC) until after the next scheduled federal election.

The delay to 2026 at the earliest was revealed in a statement released by the Department of Finance, which also announced the government will begin its review of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program in January 2024, as well as plans to implement recommended improvements to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) following a recent legislative review.


The Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft Over A.I. Use of Copyrighted Work

On December 27, The New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement on Wednesday, opening a new front in the increasingly intense legal battle over the unauthorized use of published work to train artificial intelligence technologies.

This past week, The Information reported that OpenAI was offering media firms between $1 million and $5 million annually to license their news articles for use in training its large language models. 

Amongst the lawsuit drama, The Information also reported that OpenAI is planning to launch its “GPT store,” which would allow customers of the AI model developer to share and sell OpenAI-powered chatbots customized for different purposes, next week.

The store’s launch was delayed in November following Sam Altman’s sudden ousting. 


Assent CEO talks ESG’s growing impact on stakeholder, customer, and investor relationships

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) accounting used to be a nice to have; now, it’s become a strategic necessity. 

In a recent #CIBCInnovationBanking podcast episode, Andrew Waitman, CEO of Assent, explained how startup leaders can begin to craft an ESG strategy that drives business growth.


Cory Doctorow: What Kind of Bubble is AI?

Tech bubbles come in two varieties: The ones that leave something behind, and the ones that leave nothing behind, writes Cory Doctorow.

Sometimes, it can be hard to guess what kind of bubble you’re living through until it pops and you find out the hard way.

What kind of bubble is AI?


Founder resolutions: Six Canadian tech leaders share their goals for 2024 

To help you kickstart a new year with renewed enthusiasm, find out what the founders of these Canadian tech businesses, including Wealthsimple’s Michael Katchen, have to say about their New Year’s resolutions, and what they predict will be the technology winner of 2024.


The post A|I: The AI Times – Jeff Bezos bets on an AI-based Google Search challenger first appeared on BetaKit.

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