Plus AI Dominates Funding Pitches.
In a case of deepfake deception, a Hong Kong-based finance professional fell victim to a deepfake video conference scam and lost $25 million of company funds. Scammers created a deepfake video of the CFO and used AI-generated voices to trick the victim into making money transfers. The scammers utilized various communication channels, including WhatsApp and email, to add credibility to their scheme. This incident marks the first reported deepfake video conference scam in Hong Kong. Similar deepfake scams have also been reported globally, prompting legislative efforts to address the issue.
Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Meta recently reported earnings, showcasing how AI is driving revenue gains for their enterprise services. Microsoft’s Azure AI, Alphabet’s Google Workspace and Google Cloud, and Amazon’s Amazon Web Services saw growth due to AI-powered offerings. Meta emphasized their open-source approach to AI development, while Apple kept its upcoming generative AI projects under wraps. With the “Magnificent 7” expected to be the top contributor to S&P 500 earnings, their earnings reports shed light on the importance of AI in their business strategies.
Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm, reveals that more than 80% of the funding pitches they receive every month involve AI. VC veterans Mamoon Hamid and Ilya Fushman believe that not incorporating AI into business strategies would be a missed opportunity, just as not mentioning the internet in 1996 would have been. They suggest that companies focusing on AI have a greater chance of success if they define a new product category and take advantage of the need for both distribution and data to improve the product experience.
San Francisco’s commercial real estate market is booming as AI startups continue to flourish in the city. According to real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the volume of office space leased by AI companies surged by 46% in 2023, reaching 3.6 million square feet. This growth trend is expected to continue, with projections estimating the leased space to reach a staggering 12.5 million square feet by 2030. Quartz’s Laura Bratton explores this AI-driven transformation and its impact on the city’s economy.
Google is rebranding its advanced AI system, Bard, as Google Gemini. This move aims to streamline Google’s consumer-focused AI offerings and eliminate confusion. The rebranding comes with a series of updates, including integrating Gemini into various Google services such as Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. Additionally, a dedicated Gemini Android app is on the way, while iOS users can access Gemini through the existing Google app. Google also plans to introduce a paid subscription tier for Gemini, offering users access to its most advanced models and feature sets.
Researchers from King’s College London have developed an AI-based model that can predict the survival rates of adult brain cancer patients after receiving radiotherapy treatment. The AI model, trained on a dataset of over 10,000 brain cancer scans, provides an instantaneous and accurate prediction, allowing doctors to identify patients who won’t benefit from chemotherapy and explore alternative treatment options. AI in predicting short-term and long-term survivors within eight months of radiotherapy can help clinicians plan treatment and refer patients to potentially life-saving interventions more quickly.
A recent convening of scholars, election officials, and journalists aimed to evaluate the potential impact of AI on the 2024 election. The meeting assessed AI language models, also known as chatbots, and their ability to provide accurate election information. The results revealed that the current models are often unhelpful and not ready for widespread use. However, the collaboration between election officials and AI experts was promising, showcasing the potential for addressing the models’ shortcomings and combating disinformation. With continued engagement and proactive measures, experts can navigate the challenges posed by AI in elections.
President Trump expresses concerns about the potential dangers of AI and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in an interview. He highlights the power of deepfake technology, which can manipulate videos to create false endorsements or influence conflicts. Trump calls for immediate action and labels AI as the most concerning threat because there is no definitive solution. He also criticizes CBDCs, calling them a “very dangerous thing” and expresses his distrust in Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell’s motives.
AI and automation have the potential to enhance our lives by eliminating mundane tasks and allowing humans to focus on more meaningful work. A panel at the World Economic Forum discussed the positive impact of these technologies on work, emphasizing augmentation over devastation. While some express concerns about the rapid advancement of AI, the consensus is that it will ultimately create more job opportunities. Companies like Sanofi and L’Oréal are already leveraging AI to improve productivity and gain valuable insights. However, it is crucial to address cultural adjustments and ensure genuine debate about the societal implications of AI’s impact on the shape of work.
Despite the global hype around AI and the success of ChatGPT, China’s AI startups are experiencing a decline in investor enthusiasm. While generative AI appears to be thriving in China, the reality is different. Research shows a significant decrease in investments in the AI space and a decline in funding amounts compared to previous years. The decline can be attributed to various factors, including the ongoing sluggishness of global VC investments, U.S.-China decoupling, and regulatory uncertainties. As a result, smaller AI startups are struggling to secure funding, while larger tech giants play a more dominant role in AI development.
A recent IDC report predicts that by 2026, half of the medium-sized businesses in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) will utilize Generative AI (GenAI) applications to transform their marketing and sales processes. This shift not only involves adopting AI technology but also understanding its integration. Current trends show that 47% of the midmarket segment in Asia-Pacific is exploring or investing in GenAI technologies, with a focus on marketing applications. SMBs are relying on technology providers for ongoing support and updates, shaping the future of cloud providers as strategic partners. This article also highlights other important trends for SMBs in the region, including sustainability technology, data analytics, and 5G connectivity.