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  • This AI Company Releases Deepfakes Into the Wild. Can It Control Them?

This AI Company Releases Deepfakes Into the Wild. Can It Control Them?

Also: Zoom is entangled in an AI privacy mess


Today, we're diving into the controversial world of deepfakes with Synthesia, exploring how the rise of AI technologies like ChatGPT could be a game-changer for Asian industries, and shedding light on Zoom's latest privacy controversies. We also have some noteworthy updates in the realm of AI tools, including a poetic addition to Google's Arts & Culture app and AI-powered handwriting advancements in GoodNotes 6. Finally, in our venture capital section, discover how NVIDIA is furthering its commitment to democratizing AI with a significant investment in MindsDB.


  • 🥸 This AI Company Releases Deepfakes Into the Wild. Can It Control Them?

  • 📈 How AI’s rise could be boon for manufacturing and healthcare sectors in Asia

  • 🕵🏻‍♀️ Zoom is entangled in an AI privacy mess

  • 🇨🇳 China’s internet giants order $5bn of Nvidia chips to power AI ambitions

Synthesia, a London-based generative AI company led by CEO Victor Riparbelli, has released approximately 150 digital avatars, which clients can hire to read scripted content. Originally envisioned as an innovative supplement to corporate presentations, these avatars have also been used by malicious actors for spreading disinformation and executing crypto scams. Although Synthesia has taken responsibility for some of the problematic videos produced using its avatars, the challenge underscores the broader ethical and regulatory concerns arising from commercialized synthetic media. As AI evolves and such technologies become more prevalent, companies and regulators must grapple with the balance between innovation and safeguarding against misuse.

Asia is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the AI surge, notably after the 2022 introduction of ChatGPT, driving interest in generative AI. With countries like Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan leading in chip manufacturing and cloud services, the region is poised to benefit at every AI developmental stage. Furthermore, the use of AI in sectors like healthcare is already enhancing efficiency and patient care, with companies like Ping An Healthcare and Technology exemplifying its transformative potential. Despite data privacy concerns, reports indicate a sharp rise in AI investment in Southeast Asia, signifying its potential to substantially elevate the region's GDP.

In March 2023, Zoom controversially updated its Terms of Service, allowing the company extensive rights to use user video, audio, and chat data for its AI programs. Despite an attempt to alleviate concerns by stating they wouldn't use such content for AI without consent, the distinction between "Customer Content" and "Service Generated Data" meant they could still utilize derived data without permission. This change, coupled with past privacy controversies, has caused significant alarm in the tech community and prompted many organizations to rethink their use of the platform.

China's top internet companies, including Baidu, ByteDance, Tencent, and Alibaba, have ordered $5bn worth of Nvidia's A800 chips, essential for developing generative AI systems. This move is propelled by apprehensions that the U.S. will implement further export controls, as the A800 is a scaled-down version of Nvidia's A100 GPU, made available to Chinese firms due to previous export restrictions from the U.S. The surge in AI interest has made Nvidia's GPUs highly sought after for the creation of extensive language AI models. These companies are also developing their own AI models inspired by the success of OpenAI's ChatGPT. Amid the escalating demand, the price of the A800 chip has soared by over 50%.

🛠️ AI tools updates

Google has unveiled a novel feature in its Arts & Culture app: AI-generated poem postcards. Users can select an artwork and a topic, and the AI crafts a poem matching their choices. This innovation is part of Google's extensive revamp of the Arts & Culture app, in line with the company's introduction of AI-driven functionalities in its other services, such as text generation in Docs and coding assistance in Sheets. The poem options range from sonnets and limericks to haikus, with inspirations taken from renowned artworks like The Starry Night. The poetic creations are powered by Google's PaLM 2 language model. The updated app also offers a personalized cultural feed and a unique "cultural flywheel" for deeper content exploration. Currently, this redesigned app is exclusive to Android, with an iOS version forthcoming.

GoodNotes is launching its new version, GoodNotes 6, enhancing its popular note-taking app with AI-powered handwriting recognition features, a marketplace for digital stationery, and an educational module, especially for mathematics. While the previous version supported handwriting recognition, the latest iteration brings spellcheck and an experimental word autocomplete feature. In collaboration with Apple, the app leverages the neural engine in devices for improved handwriting recognition. It now offers a library view, gesture-based actions, dynamic notebook templates, and enhanced audio recording support. Although available for free with limited access, full features can be unlocked with a subscription or one-time payment. Moreover, the app is venturing into the educational sector, offering SAT Math, English, and Chinese courses, and an AI-driven math assistant. With over 21 million monthly users, GoodNotes is considering expanding to Android and Windows platforms.

💵 Venture Capital updates

MindsDB, an AI virtual database provider, has secured investment from NVentures, NVIDIA's venture capital arm, raising its total seed funding to $46.5 million. This funding round, which includes contributions from Benchmark, Mayfield, Y Combinator, OpenOcean, and Walden Catalyst, is intended to bolster MindsDB's aim of democratizing AI for businesses. Despite nearly 30 million global software developers, only a small fraction are skilled in AI/ML, according to Jorge Torres, MindsDB's CEO. The firm's solution addresses the need for AI integration in contemporary software by allowing developers, irrespective of their AI expertise, to integrate AI models effortlessly. MindsDB has achieved significant traction in the open-source community, offers extensive database and AI integrations, and serves numerous startups and businesses. The platform's simplicity has empowered firms like Precise Finance and Domuso to leverage AI without the traditional complexities, achieving substantial business improvements. Furthermore, notable entities like Forbes and Gartner have acknowledged MindsDB's potential in the AI sector.

🫡 Meme of the day

⭐️ Generative AI image of the day