Nvidia’s Q2 Results Crown It King of AI. While AI startups are raking in investment dollars, we see where a good portion of that money is going: Nvidia. Everyone is using their chips, earning them a piece of profitable business from every company in the industry. When CEO Jensen Huang took the stage at Siggraph last month, he said in 2018 he bet the company on AI. This week, the company revealed just how good a bet that was. Nvidia reported a revenue of $13.51B in Q2, nearly double the previous year. The primary source of income came from the data center business ($10.32B), which overshadowed gaming revenue for the first time.
AI startup Hugging Face is raising a $200 million round led by Salesforce Ventures at a whopping $4 billion valuation, doubling its May, 2022 valuation. The New York-based startup hosts hundreds of thousands of open-source AI models
Irreverent Labs, the AI company working on photorealistic Generative AI, has taken in Samsung Next as a strategic investor, in between rounds. The amount was not disclosed. Founded in 2021 Rahul Sood and David Raskino, former executive co-founders of Microsoft Ventures, Irreverent Labs has already raised over $45MM in two rounds. The company’s upcoming video foundation model, which will be released later this year, translates prompts into photorealistic 3D videos which provide, accordingly to a company statement, “an unprecedented level of fidelity and control.”
$4.2 M for Wand.app AI creative tool. Founded in 2021, Wand.app gives artists the ability to manually customize and visualize their ideas. Wand allows artists to teach a personal AI their own style in order to receive results consistent with the specific aesthetic they want. The round was led by O’Shaughnessy Ventures.
Sandbox LBVR (location-based virtual reality) is growing at an unprecedented pace, driven by hit titles and pent up demand. In a statement the company says that Deadwood Valley alone has generated $23M in ticket sales in its 30 locations since its launch last summer (22). The company says it’s projected lifetime revenue is $100M. Sandbox is best known for its licensed IP from Star Trek and Squid Game and its celebrity investors.
BCI Breakthrough – Paralyzed Woman Speaks. The Brown U system uses Brain Implant to speak as an avatar. In a pioneering effort, researchers from UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley, in partnership with Edinburgh-based Speech Graphics, have devised a groundbreaking communications system that allows a woman, paralyzed by stroke, to speak freely through a digital avatar she controls with a brain-computer interface.
Deep Media, Pentagon, Deep Fake Detection, Critical to 2024 Election. The startup got a $1.25M contract from the USAF Research Lab to integrate its tools for “rapid and accurate deepfake detection to counter Russian and Chinese information warfare” into Department of Defense applications.
Gartner Hype Cycle places generative AI on the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’ Whelp. It’s official. What goes up must come down. AI is overhyped. We overestimate the near term, and underestimate the long term. We say it’s going to be different this time, but people always say that when first confronted with disruptive technologies like the PC and the Internet. How low will it go? Could it possibly reach the nadir of The Metaverse?
Midjourney Styles Compilation. Author Eric Jacob, an AI artist working as @themousecrypto (at x.com), created a book of prompts to produce specific graphic styles for the Midjourney GenAI platform. Jacob offers a palette of 200 unique styles you can reference in your prompts, from Aboriginal Dot Painting to Zentangle. Available for free via this link.
This Week in XR is also a podcast hosted by the author of this column, Ted Schilowitz, Futurist, Paramount Global, and Rony Abovitz, founder of Magic Leap. This week our guest is Anurupa Ganguly, founder and CEO of Prisms, a spatial learning platform that rapidly improves student engagement and performance in Math using VR. We can be found on Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.
What We’re Reading
Virtual reality brings new vision to workplace training (Andrea Murad/BBC)
Linkedin Spikes as X Stumbles (Sarah Frier/Bloomberg)