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  • Now, a portrait can sing. Latest research from Alibaba brings still images to life.

Now, a portrait can sing. Latest research from Alibaba brings still images to life.

Microsoft hunts its second big-AI game with an investment into Mistral.

Avatars are getting good – really fast. These examples from the EMO paper published by researchers from Alibaba were given only a single reference image — and it could generate videos of vocal avatars with accompanying facial expressions.

Watch this space: we will be seeing massive leaps in AI video in 2024.

🔥 Latest news

  • Microsoft partners with Mistral in second AI deal beyond OpenAI: Microsoft has announced a new multiyear partnership with Mistral, a French AI startup that’s valued at €2 billion (about $2.1 billion). The Financial Times reports that the partnership will include Microsoft taking a minor stake in the 10-month-old AI company, just a little over a year after Microsoft invested more than $10 billion into its OpenAI partnership. The deal will see Mistral’s open and commercial language models available on Microsoft’s Azure AI platform, the second company to offer a commercial language model on Azure after OpenAI.

  • StabilityAI previews Stable Diffusion 3 text-to-image model: Stability AI has announced an early preview of its new text-to-image model, Stable Diffusion 3. The advanced generative AI model aims to create high-quality images from text prompts with improved performance across several key areas. According to Stability AI, Stable Diffusion 3 has significantly better abilities for handling multi-subject image generation compared to previous versions. This allows users to include more detailed prompts with multiple elements and achieve better results.  

  • Humane reveals first international market for the Ai Pin, partnering with South Korea’s SK Telecom: Hyped AI startup Humane has announced plans for its first international market, inking a deal with South Korean carrier SK Telecom. The announcement comes shortly after the San Francisco-based company revealed it was pushing back the shipping date of its Ai Pin device from March to mid-April in its domestic US market. The partnership also extends beyond a simple MVNO tie-up — Humane says it’s part of a “strategic investment opportunity” that will see SK Telecom license Humane’s CosmOS, the proprietary AI-enabled operating system that powers the Ai Pin

🔧 Cool Tools and Experiments

  • Particle, an AI-powered news reader built by former Twitter engineers

  • RunwayML introduces a new Motion Brush Region Detection feature that lets users automatically select areas in the image without manually brushing over them

  • Pika adds Lip Sync powered by ElevenLabs. The feature allows users to add spoken dialog to their videos with voices from AI audio startup ElevenLabs, while also adding matching animation to ensure the speaking characters’ mouths move in time with the dialog.

  • GoogleDeepMind introduces ‘Genie', an AI that can generate interactive video games

💰 Latest Startup Fundings

  • Jasper acquires Clipdrop, an AI image creation and editing platform, from Stability AI

  • Photoroom, the AI image editor, raised $43M at a $500M valuation

  • FlowGPT, a startup with a consumer-focused platform for sharing AI apps raises $10M in pre-Series A round

  • NLX raises $12M in a Series A funding round to grow its conversational AI platform 

  • Inkitt, the self-publishing platform using AI to develop bestsellers, secures $37M in a Series C round led by Khosla Ventures

  • FigureAI secures $675M at a $2B valuation from Amazon’ founder Jeff Bezos and NVIDIA for AI-powered humanoid robotics

  • PlayMakers raises $1.5M in pre-seed funding for user-generated content for games

  • Lapse, an app that turns a phone into an old-school camera, secures $30M from Greylock, LinkedIn and DST Global Partners

  • Scuti raises $10M to boost its AI-driven media and retail marketplace focused on games