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Hard Numbers: xAI's Musk money, Investing in Replicate, Undressing AI, AFL-CIO-Google?, NVIDIA’s big gamble

Elon Musk is seen displayed on a mobile device with the Twitter and X logos in the illustration.

Elon Musk is seen displayed on a mobile device with the Twitter and X logos in the illustration.

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto
$1 billion: In a bid to compete with the likes of OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft, Elon Musk is trying to raise $1 billion in equity investment – he’s already raised $135 million from investors – for his AI company, xAI. While the world’s richest man has tweeted that the company “is not raising money right now,” a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission says otherwise.

$40 million: AI startup Replicate raised $40 million last week from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz. The company maintains an extensive library of 25,000 open-source models on its platform, all of which are available for developers to tinker with, including Meta’s large language model LLaMA and Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion 2.0. These open models serve as a counter to proprietary — or closed-source — models like OpenAI’s GPT-4.

24 million: AI has been a major tool for computer-generated nonconsensual pornography — a problem that disproportionately affects women. In September alone, 24 million people visited websites that gave them the ability to “undress” — or “nudify” — people in photographs using machine-learning technology.

12.5 million: Google just announced a partnership with the AFL-CIO, one of the most influential US labor unions representing 12.5 million workers. The goal of the partnership is to start an “open dialogue” about how AI might impact the workforce. Microsoft also committed to providing AI training for AFL-CIO members and agreed to include AI-related language in a union contract covering hundreds of workers at ZeniMax, a video game studio it owns. The language dictates that Microsoft is meant to use AI only to “treat all people fairly.”

35: NVIDIA invested in 35 firms this year as the race for AI dominance heated up, making it the most active large-scale investor in the space. That coincided with a year of staggering growth for the US chipmaker, which saw its stock rise 225% and its market capitalization exceed $1 trillion.

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