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SUQIAN, CHINA - MARCH 4, 2024 - Illustration Mistral AI, March 4, 2024, Suqian, Jiangsu Province, China.

CFOTO/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Mistral gets money, Amazon’s investments, Disco time!, Wary of AI news

6 billion: Europe has just one major player in the generative AI space: Mistral. The French startup raised a new $640 million funding round last week that boosts its overall value to $6 billion. While OpenAI, Anthropic, and other startups have largely proprietary or closed-source models, Mistral has focused on open-source models, marking a more open approach that might suit regulators in Brussels better.

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The G42 logo.

Taidgh Barron/ZUMA Press Wire via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Microsoft’s big Gulf investment, Amazon’s ambitions, Mammogram-plus, Adobe pays up, Educating Don Beyer

1.5 billion: Microsoft has announced a deal to invest $1.5 billion in G42, an artificial intelligence firm based in the United Arab Emirates that recently cut ties with Chinese suppliers that had raised US security concerns. Washington and Abu Dhabi relations have been strained over the UAE’s ties to Chinese tech companies. But this deal – which grants Microsoft a minority stake in the company – could signal a new era of relations with the US.

33: Amazon is talking about artificial intelligence – like, a lot. In his recently published annual letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy mentioned AI 33 times. The company invested $4 billion in Anthropic, which makes the Claude chatbot, and will host Anthropic on Amazon Web Services. Jassy said the company wants to build AI models more so than applications (think GPT-4 instead of ChatGPT) and sell directly to enterprise clients.

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Google's Gemini home page displayed on a smartphone in a photo illustration.

Jonathan Raa/Sipa USA via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Pay for Google?, Indonesian investment, Amazon walks out on AI, Scraping YouTube

175 billion: Google said it made $175 billion in revenue from its search engine and related advertising last year, but is it ready to risk the golden goose? The company is reportedly considering charging for premium features on its search engine, including AI-assisted search (its traditional search engine would remain free). We’ve previously tested Perplexity, one of the companies trying to uproot Google’s search dominance with artificial intelligence, and you can read our review here.

200 million: The chipmaker Nvidia is teaming up with Indonesian telecom company Indosat to build a $200 million data center for artificial intelligence in the city of Surakarta, according to Indonesia’s communications minister. This news comes weeks after AI played a central role in the country’s presidential election, and it represents a major investment from one of the world’s richest tech companies in a key emerging market as Indonesia seeks to modernize its economy.

1,000: Amazon’s Just Walk Out in-store AI system for cashier-less grocery store checkout relied heavily on more than 1,000 contractors in India manually checking that the checkout transactions were accurate. Now, Amazon has announced it’s ditching the technology, which was being used in 60 Amazon-branded grocery stores and two Whole Foods stores.

1 million: One OpenAI team reportedly transcribed more than 1 million hours of YouTube videos to train its GPT-4 large language model. The company built a speech recognition tool called Whisper to handle the massive load, a move that may have violated YouTube's terms of use. YouTube parent company Google is a major rival to OpenAI in developing generative AI. Google hasn’t filed suit yet, but legal action could eventually come.

Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland.

REUTERS/Blair Gable

Will Trudeau’s digital services tax lead to trade dispute?

The Liberals announced plans this week to introduce a 3% digital services tax on big tech companies, setting Ottawa up for a likely showdown with Washington.
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Alsu Kurmasheva, an editor with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's (RFE/RL) Tatar-Bashkir Service, poses in this undated handout photo.

(RFE/RL)/Handout via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Russia arrests another American journalist, Turkish company cuts Guinea Bissau’s power, Amazon drought is getting desperate, sex workers fight to preserve Amsterdam's red light district

5: Russia has arrested another US journalist, Alsu Kurmasheva of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague for failing to register as a foreign agent. Kurmasheva, who has dual US-Russian citizenship, faces up to five years in jail and joins Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal as the second US journalist arrested in Russia this year.

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The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, November 15, 2022.

REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

The FTC takes on Amazon, Canadian investigation ongoing

The Federal Trade Commission, joined by 17 states, has launched a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging it is a “monopolist” that engages in anticompetitive behavior.
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Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attends a 2024 presidential election campaign event at Sportsman Boats in Summerville, South Carolina, U.S. September 25, 2023.


Hard Numbers: Trump liable for fraud, Kenya signs a big defense pact, Thailand jails king’s critic, Mexican exports get stranded, Nigeria rescues students

2.2 billion: Donald Trump was found liable for fraud Tuesday by a New York judge for lying about his wealth on financial statements to banks and insurers, inflating his net worth by approximately $2.2 billion dollars. Justice Arthur Engoron stripped the former president of control over some of his properties and sanctioned his lawyers for their behavior. Despite extensive legal troubles, Trump remains the frontrunner – and by a wide margin – for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination.

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What is a technopolar world?
Technopolar world | GZERO Media

What is a technopolar world?

Who runs the world? In a series of videos about artificial intelligence, Ian Bremmer, founder and president of GZERO Media and Eurasia Group introduces the concept of a technopolar world––one where technology companies wield unprecedented influence on the global stage, where sovereignty and influence is determined not by physical territory or military might, but control over data, servers, and, crucially, algorithms.

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