• Posts
  • Big names in Big Tech to attend AI forum of US Senate's Schumer

Big names in Big Tech to attend AI forum of US Senate's Schumer

Also: U.S. Bans Sales of Nvidia's H100, A100 GPUs to Middle East


Welcome to today's edition AI KATANA. We bring you the most pertinent updates in the industry, curated for professionals like you who need to stay ahead of the curve. In our lead story, the U.S. Senate sets the stage for a momentous AI forum featuring the who's who of Big Tech—addressing pivotal questions around the ethical and societal dimensions of AI. Meanwhile, Walmart ventures into AI-driven productivity tools, the U.S. government clamps down on Nvidia's exports, and a16z shows financial support for the open-source AI community. Whether you're an executive, researcher, or enthusiast, today's issue is packed with news you won't want to miss. Let's dive in.


  • 🏛️ Big names in Big Tech to attend AI forum of US Senate's Schumer

  • 🧑🏽‍💻 Walmart will give 50,000 office workers a generative AI app

  • 🛑 U.S. Bans Sales of Nvidia's H100, A100 GPUs to Middle East

  • 💰 a16z Grant Program Supporting the Open Source AI Community

On September 13, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will host a high-profile AI forum featuring key figures from the tech industry. Confirmed attendees include Sam Altman of OpenAI, Mark Zuckerberg of Meta Platforms, Elon Musk of Tesla and his AI startup xAI, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Jensen Huang of Nvidia, and Arvind Krishna of IBM. These leaders will discuss the burgeoning field of AI, which is becoming increasingly pivotal in various industries from social media to autonomous vehicles and enterprise software. The forum comes at a time when governments worldwide are grappling with the ethical and societal implications of AI technology. Other notable guests include Bill Gates, Charles Rivkin, Eric Schmidt, Tristan Harris, Deborah Raji, and Alex Karp.

Walmart plans to provide around 50,000 of its non-store employees with access to a generative AI app as part of its broader "Me@Campus" app. The feature, dubbed "My Assistant," aims to assist employees with various tasks such as summarizing documents and generating new content, thereby enhancing productivity and freeing workers from repetitive tasks. Created in partnership with unnamed third-party AI technology, Walmart sees the initiative as a crucial step in leveraging both human and technological capabilities to fulfill its mission. The move signals Walmart's continued commitment to adopting technology to improve its operations and comes amid broader discussions in the corporate world about the advantages and limitations of generative AI.

The U.S. government has imposed export restrictions on Nvidia's high-performance A100 and H100 GPUs to certain countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, according to a company regulatory filing. The move is aimed at thwarting China's AI development by preventing the GPUs from being resold to China and follows existing restrictions on sales to China and Russia. Despite these limitations, which come amid rising AI capabilities in countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE who have also been deepening collaborations with China, Nvidia says the impact on its revenue is not significant and it is working with the U.S. government to address the issue.

The a16z Open Source AI Grant program is launched to address the resource constraints faced by small teams and individual developers contributing to open source AI projects. Acknowledging the burgeoning potential of open-source AI models that can compete with proprietary versions, the program aims to sustain efforts like instruction-tuning of language models, censorship removal, low-resource optimization, and security research. Unlike traditional investments, the grants are a financial aid to allow innovators to focus on their projects without the burden of generating immediate financial returns. The initiative has announced its first batch of grant recipients, who are working on a diverse set of projects from fine-tuning language models to building synthetic data pipelines, thus encouraging an open, collaborative landscape for AI development.

🛠️ AI tools updates

Substack has announced the launch of new AI-powered tools aimed at enhancing the podcasting experience on its platform. The tools allow users to swiftly generate transcripts and audiograms from their audio content. Users can edit the AI-generated transcript, publish it alongside their podcast episode, and even create an audiogram—a static video with overlaid text and audio—for social media sharing. Accessible via the user dashboard, these tools are part of Substack's broader philosophy to empower writers and creators rather than replace them with AI. The company emphasizes that these features are in their early stages and will continue to evolve.

💵 Venture Capital updates

AI21 Labs, a Tel Aviv-based AI startup, recently secured $155 million in Series C funding, elevating its valuation to $1.4 billion. The funding was led by a consortium of investors, including Google and Nvidia. Founded in 2017, the company specializes in text-generating AI tools and boasts a flagship product, AI21 Studio, which is a developer platform for building custom text-based applications. Despite competing in a crowded market against tech giants and well-funded startups like OpenAI, AI21 Labs asserts its edge in providing more refined and up-to-date AI models. The new funding is slated for accelerating R&D efforts, expanding the workforce, and forming new partnerships, as the company aims to build next-level AI with multi-domain reasoning capabilities.

🫡 Meme of the day

⭐️ Generative AI image of the day