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  • XQ-58A 'Valkyrie' drone successfully flown by AI pilot

XQ-58A 'Valkyrie' drone successfully flown by AI pilot

Also: Every start-up is an AI company now. Bubble fears are growing.


The XQ-58A "Valkyrie" drone was flown entirely under AI control for approximately three hours by the Air Force Research Laboratory, marking an important milestone in unmanned combat aerial vehicle technology. However, while AI technology sees new success, concerns about a potential tech bubble are growing, as start-ups focusing on chatbots have seen billions in tech investments. This comes despite uncertainties about the high costs of AI and questions around their profitability.

Scientists have developed an AI system named the early warning anomaly detection (EWAD) that can potentially predict dangerous variants in future pandemics, enhancing our ability to respond to global health threats. AI is also playing a promising role in augmenting jobs rather than displacing them. Industries like hospitality, real estate, marketing, and design can greatly benefit from the technology.

In terms of AI tools, AdventureGenie, an AI-powered travel planning tool, is set to revolutionize the way roadtrippers plan their journeys, tailoring itineraries based on user preferences. Meanwhile, in the world of venture capital, Inworld AI has raised an additional $50 million for their open-source version of an AI Character Engine, set to transform the gaming industry.


  • 🧑🏽‍✈️ XQ-58A 'Valkyrie' drone successfully flown by AI pilot

  • 🫧 Every start-up is an AI company now. Bubble fears are growing.

  • 😷 AI May Be Able to Warn Us Before The Next Pandemic Strikes

  • 👷🏽 Jobs that will thrive with AI

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) successfully flew an XQ-58A "Valkyrie" drone, entirely under AI control, for approximately three hours. This milestone, conducted at the Eglin Test and Training Complex in Florida, was achieved after two years of research and development in collaboration with Skyborg Vanguard and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. The Valkyrie, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) currently under test for the USAF's Low-Cost Attritable Strike Demonstrator (LCASD) program, is intended to function as a 'loyal wingman' to human-piloted F-22 and F-35 aircraft. The Autonomous Air Combat Operations (AACO) team developed the algorithms guiding the flight, honing them through extensive simulations, experimental sorties, and ground tests. The Department of Defense (DoD) reiterated its dedication to the responsible use of AI-enabled autonomy, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between AI developers, users, and acquisition specialists.

AI technology, particularly chatbots, has become the new focus for start-ups, resulting in billions in tech investments and raising concerns about a potential bubble. This frenzy was largely stimulated by a report boasting about ChatGPT's rapid user growth, although the 100 million users claim was based on website visits rather than monthly active users. Companies like Google, Microsoft, and others have been racing to launch their own chatbots, despite the high costs of building and maintaining AI technology and uncertainties around their profitability. The tech industry's history of hype cycles, such as the dot-com bubble, and the expensive nature of AI compared to earlier tech innovations like social media and e-commerce, has led to caution and concerns about the sustainability of this AI fever. While AI has boosted the valuations of Big Tech companies, there is little detail on how it will become a multibillion-dollar financial success, with companies often not disclosing their user numbers for these AI tools.

Scientists from Scripps Research and Northwestern University have developed an AI system named the early warning anomaly detection (EWAD) that can potentially predict dangerous variants in future pandemics. Leveraging a machine learning method called Gaussian process-based spatial covariance, EWAD identifies patterns in genetic sequences of virus variants, their frequency, and global mortality rates. It was proven effective at predicting the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) and the resulting evolution of the virus due to measures like vaccination and mask-wearing. This technology could aid in the early detection and handling of future pandemics, while also enhancing understanding of virus biology.

The evolution of AI technologies, like OpenAI's ChatGPT, is dramatically transforming the workplace, sparking concerns over job displacement due to automation. However, a more long-term perspective reveals that AI can instead augment roles, improving job quality and customer experience by eliminating tedious tasks and allowing for more human interaction. Hospitality and travel industries can benefit from AI by providing a human touch augmented by seamless AI, creating enriched customer experiences. High-value sales, such as real estate, can leverage AI to improve transactions and deepen relationships. In marketing, AI tools can help in creating personalized, human-to-human interactions, while high-level writing and thought leadership can be enriched with AI-assisted analysis and creativity. AI technologies also open new horizons in design, aiding in the creation of rich, ethical, and sustainable user experiences. Overall, AI's real power lies in the collaboration between humans and machines, which opens up rewarding opportunities across various sectors.

🛠️ AI tools updates

AdventureGenie is an innovative AI-powered travel planning tool for RVers, campers, and roadtrippers that aims to simplify the planning process. Created by former Microsoft executive Scott Lengel and CEO/investor David Greenberg, AdventureGenie offers an integrated suite of planning tools that address key travel questions like what to do, how to get there, and where to stay. Its proprietary AI-based algorithms and extensive database of over 25,000 campgrounds help generate tailored journeys and suggest campgrounds based on user preferences. The platform features unique tools like GenieSummaries, GenieScores, and GenieMatch, which provide detailed descriptions, ratings, and compatibility scores for each campground. Additionally, the GenieWishes feature allows users to outline their travel preferences, and the AI engine crafts a personalized itinerary in response. The founders envisage AdventureGenie as a one-stop solution for planning the perfect road trip.

💵 Venture Capital updates

Inworld AI, the leading character engine for games and interactive experiences, has raised an additional $50 million in a funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, lifting its total valuation to over half a billion dollars. The funding, which includes contributions from Samsung Next, Stanford University, Microsoft's M12 Fund, LG Technology Ventures, and First Spark Ventures, will be utilized for research, development, infrastructure investment, and talent acquisition. The company aims to launch an open-source version of its Character Engine, allowing developers to create AI-driven non-playable characters (NPCs) with realistic responses and actions. Committed to collaboration, Inworld AI believes working with the open-source community will foster innovation and elevate the gaming industry. Inworld AI has secured over $100 million in total funding and is now the best-funded startup in the AI and gaming intersection. The company invites developers to collaborate on its open-source AI NPC projects.

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