Apple debuts intelligence, Mistral raises $600 million, new AI text-to-video

“Siri is getting an AI brain transplant,” wrote Brian X. Chen of the NY Times. With the Apple Intelligence upgrade this fall, Siri will understand us better and “learn” our preferences. It will also be able to “see” the smartphone screen for context. Apple added Playground, where users can generate images from text prompts and create animated Genmojis. For more complex requests, Siri will call ChatGPT. Other Gen-AI tools, such as Google Gemini, may be similarly connected in the future. There were some nice improvements in the Apple ecosystem. A new feature allows smartphone screens to be recorded on other devices. AI features will only be available on iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max and iPad or Mac with M1 chips or later, and only when their language is set to English. The features will begin rolling out this fall in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia.

Vision Pro added some necessary updates. It will now be available worldwide. Among the new features, users can now enhance 2D photos to 3D photos. Guest mode also received some much-needed attention.

Paris-based artificial intelligence startup Mistral raises $600 million Founded last year by former Google Deepmind engineers, the company is working on foundational models to rival today’s best-performing models such as OpenAI’s GPT-4o, Anthropic’s Claude 3, and Meta’s Llama 3. Investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Nvidia, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation and Salesforce Ventures. The investment values ​​the new company at the bottom six billion dollars.

Ethereum game ‘The Sandbox’ valued at $1 billion with new funding. Fueled by partnerships with over 400 celebrities and brands, including Snoop Dogg, Gucci and Paris Hilton, The Sandbox is one of the most notable blockchain games. However, the price of its NFT land parcels has dropped from 3.9 ETH ($11,700) in 2022 to 0.08 ETH ($300) today. The money will fund improvements to creator tools, new social and gameplay features, and a mobile version, expected next year.

VR Chat lays off 30% of its staff. The Metaverse gives and the Metaverse takes. The popular social platform VR cited slow growth, overemployment during the pandemic and the slow adoption of a “more conventional corporate structure.” Founded in 2014, VR Chat secured $80 million in Series D funding in 2022, led by Anthos Capital, bringing its total outside investment to $95.2 million and valuing the company at over $1 billion. Their plan to implement a Roblox-like virtual economy has yet to come to fruition.

Spiideo raises $20 million to automate sports streaming. The Swedish startup says it will revolutionize sports broadcasting with its AI-driven camera system with technology that mimics professional camera operators. It has been trained to fully automate streaming for 15 different sports. Spiideo reports that more than 6,000 countries and 4,000 teams (including major soccer clubs and NBA franchises) are already using its advanced video analytics and live game data products.

Luma Labs Launches impressive text-to-video AI to challenge Sora and everyone. And it’s open to the public now, with a generous free trial. “AI can take a long time, but by the time I grab a coffee and come back, Luma’s Dream Machine turns hours of work into quick, game-changing brilliance,” said Ellenor Argyropoulos, AI Director and creator of the Mermaid Toast course in cinematic AI. “Dream Machine’s speed and realism are changing the game for the rapid creation of pitch materials. Simply stunning!”

Kling, China’s Answer to OpenAI’s Sora. In addition to Luma Labs, another Chinese competitor to Sora, Kling, released samples of its text-to-video-generating AI, and it’s surprising. Entries are limited to Chinese email addresses. Earlier this year, Vidu AI made headlines as the country’s inaugural rendition of Sora, capable of producing 16-second videos in pristine 1080p resolution.

Award-winning ‘Body of Mine’ gender identity VR experience launches at Quest Store For Pride Month. The winner of the 2023 SXSW Special Jury Prize is now available.

This column, formerly called “This Week on XR,” is also a podcast hosted by author Charlie Fink, Ted Schilowitz, former studio executive and co-founder of Red Camera, and Rony Abovitz, founder of Magic Leap. This week our guest is Jeri Ellsworth, founder and CEO of Tilt5. We can be found on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.

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Playing chess MR (Upload)

Can Apple save the Vision Pro? (NY Times)

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