Humanoid robots and an AI mobile phone without a display: what happened in IT in May


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Funding for AI startups is declining, Palm Pay supports the trend to simplify payments, and clinical trials of neurochips on humans will begin in 2024


Generative AI – Generative AI models are machine learning techniques that learn from content or objects and use them to create new data. They can be used to generate software codes, images and text, drug development, and as part of targeted marketing. Research firm Gartner estimates that generative AI will account for 10% of all data produced by 2025, up from less than 1% today .

Compliance  – (from the English compliance – “compliance with requirements”) – compliance on the part of a financial organization with special rules that allow it to remain within the framework of legal and legislative measures. This is done in order to ensure maximum legitimacy of the company’s activities.

The digest was prepared by the red_mad_robot analytical center.

Trends of the month: adaptation of humanoid robots, AI in Microsoft Build and a secret project from Humane

The growing popularity of humanoid robots. The development of human-like robots is a promising area of ​​technology development. Thus, the Figure startup, which is developing the Figure 01 robot, raised $70 million at the end of May. Tesla at the annual meeting of shareholders showed new prototypes of humanoid robots Tesla Bot. They will help people do different jobs, and in some areas they will even be able to replace them. It is planned that Tesla Bot will work on the production line of the Cybertruck electric pickup truck, will be able to generate a digital map of the area, and also interact with soft or fragile objects.

Tesla is not the first company to show a humanoid robot in 2023. OpenAI-backed startup 1X Technologies unveiled the EVE robot back in April , which is already working as a security guard at a factory. In addition, the robot can be a nurse or a bartender. EVE is equipped with cameras, security sensors and motion sensors.

Canadian startup Sanctuary AI introduced Phoenix humanoid robots. What makes this robot different is its complex and dexterous “human” hands. With them, he can lift up to 25 kg and perform a variety of tasks, including packaging, labeling and stacking goods.

Robots in catering. American fast food chain Wendy’s plans to use a chatbot based on Google’s artificial intelligence technologies to take orders. And robot carts will deliver them. At the same time, Wendy’s does not plan to replace humans with AI: employees will monitor its work and help customers as needed.

Neurochip testing . The FDA (Food and Drug Administration in the United States) has allowed the neurotechnology company Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk, to test neurochips on humans. The neurochip will be implanted into the brain and allow it to exchange information with an external device. According to Musk, testing will begin in 2023.

Paradromics’ Connexus Direct device, a Neuralink competitor, has been designated a Breakthrough Device by the FDA. This designation is given to medical devices that can improve the treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening diseases. The first human clinical trials will begin in the first half of 2024.

Funding for AI startups. According to the analytics company CB Insights, in the first quarter of 2023, investments in AI fell to $5.4 billion . This is 43% less than in the fourth quarter of 2022. In April, AI companies raised about $2.8 billion , second to the healthcare sector. Despite this, AI projects will raise mega-rounds (a fundraising round of $100 million or more): at the end of May, AI startup Anthropic (specializing in the development of language model systems) raised $450 million to create the next generation of AI assistants, and modular app creation platform raised another $250 million .

Neural network analogue of Photoshop. The DragGAN neural network allows users to edit an image by dragging its elements. The user marks two points with the mouse, moves them in different directions, and the objects in the image change. For example, the demonstration video showed how the animals changed their position or closed their eyes, and the girl updated her hairstyle. The rest of the space organically adapts to the changed elements.

Microsoft Build Embraces AI . The Copilot AI assistant will be integrated directly into the taskbar as a separate button. When you call the AI ​​assistant, a side panel will open, and you can ask Copilot, for example, what the weather is like today, where to go on the weekend, and find out the schedule of shows at the cinema. It is also known that Microsoft has already added Bing (a search engine from Microsoft) with AI integrated into it in the Windows 11 update.

Secret project . Humane, a startup from former Apple employees that produces cameras with artificial intelligence technologies integrated into them, presented a mobile device without a display, but with AI and a voice interface, at the TED conference . According to the creators, with the help of AI, the device is able to analyze the environment and, if necessary, project an image onto the desired surface.

Control is carried out using gestures and voice commands. During the speech, the Humane gadget was in the top manager’s jacket pocket and simultaneously translated his speech into French. The device can also make summaries of emails and meetings. Humane’s developments are carried out in complete secrecy. At the same time, the startup receives investments from LG, Microsoft, Volvo, Tiger Global and OpenAI.

Topic of the month: what is Palm Pay technology

Palm Pay  is a biometric payment method that works by recognizing palm prints and vein patterns.

In mid-May, the Chinese company Tencent introduced this method through its WeChat Pay service. The technology is being tested in the Beijing subway and in several retail stores in Shenzhen. The company will gradually introduce it in offices, university campuses, retail outlets and restaurants. Tencent hopes the product will simplify the consumer experience.

Who else is promoting palm payment: Amazon, JPMorgan, Fujitsu, PopID and Mastercard

Since 2020, Amazon has been developing Amazon One Checkout technology , which allows you to buy offline with your palm – to pay you need to put your palm on the Amazon One scanning device. The company said the technology will be used in more than 65 Whole Foods stores, as well as outside the Amazon ecosystem. It is already used in the chain of cafe-bakeries Panera Bread and Starbucks .

In May, the company announced that its technology detects age from the palm of your hand. This allows you to buy alcohol in stores, bars and stadiums without a passport. According to Amazon, the technology is currently only available at Coors Field in Denver.

JPMorgan is piloting biometrics technology in the US to let shoppers pay by scanning their palm or face. The bank believes that this will increase customer loyalty and lead to growth and acceleration of sales. If the pilot project is successful, then in 2024 the technology will be used in a large number of stores in the United States.

The Japanese corporation Fujitsu has been offering PalmSecure for ten years, but due to the high cost of the scanner, it has never rolled out the product en masse. This year, the company teamed up with card terminal manufacturer Ingenico, and together they developed technology that identifies a user and allows him to make payments based on his vein pattern.

Startups of the month: Worldcoin, Hadrius and Hands-In
Worldcoin – biometric identification with crypto wallet. The blockchain project of Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, focuses on creating three products:

Global digital currency Worldcoin.

Global identifier World ID . To obtain it, you need to scan your iris using a device called Orb. Users will be able to receive cryptocurrency for scanning.

World App , which allows you to pay, buy and make transfers using Worldcoin.

At the end of May, the project raised $115 million . The investors were the Blockchain Capital fund, Andreessen Horowitz and Bain Capital Crypto. The number of people registered in the Worldcoin project is approaching 2 million.

Hadrius is an AI assistant for compliance. Hadrius provides AI tools to automate the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compliance process at financial companies – such as monitoring communications, marketing materials, risk assessment, etc. The startup uses GPT-3 and claims it can save about 90% of the time spent on routine work. According to Hadrius , more than 30,000 financial institutions face multibillion-dollar costs to continually comply with SEC regulations, and as regulations become more stringent each year, those costs continue to rise.

Hands-In – Buy Now, Pay Together (BNPT). The UK startup provides software and technology infrastructure where one or more customers can pay for a product or service by splitting the cost among themselves.

The product integrates with the existing infrastructure for accepting acquiring and payments. Hands-In is designed to solve the problem of buying expensive goods – in the current economic conditions, not everyone can afford to pay for the purchase in full. In mid-May, the company raised $550 thousand . Investors include fintech companies GoCardless, Thredd, Elavon, FIS, PayU, Curve and Free Trade. Hands-In intends to use the investment to accelerate the commercialization of services.


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