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2024 kicks off strong with record revenues from OpenAI and Anthropic

Camera giants unite to combat deepfakes with digital signatures

Happy new year! As we welcome 2024, we thought it would be fun to do a quick review of what happened in the whirlwind world of AI in 2023. In a nutshell: regulation 🧑‍⚖️, funding 📈, and launch, launch, more launches. 🚀

We are a few days into the new year, and already kicking off strong with strong annual revenue forecasts from Open AI ($1.6B) and Anthropic ($850M)— showing strong signs that AI is more than mere hype. We also might see more AI devices this year, with Humane finally launching its AI pin, and Meta and Rayban’s smart glasses making waves on Tiktok. 

Enjoy the update and here’s to 2024!


A Lookback at 2023:

Jan: Microsoft and Open AI ink $10B deal.

Feb: A slew of regulatory pushback against AI; with artists filing a class action lawsuit against Stability AI and Midjourney; and SF lawmakers advocating the city "pumps" the brakes on robotaxis.

Mar: OpenAI releases GPT-4. Adobe announces Firefly, a suite of AI creative tools.

Apr: Record label Universal Music Group takes action against AI-generated covers of their artists' songs, like Drake.

May: Global leaders rally in call to regulate AI; Musician Grimes embraces AI and generates her own model for use.

Jun: Apple unveils new Augmented Reality headset, Vision Pro.

Jul: 7 AI companies agree to The White House's asks on measures to develop AI responsibly.

Aug: OpenAI announces finetuning for GPT 4 and 3.5, allowing developers to build better custom and purpose-fit models for specific applications.

Sep: Humane launches AI pin at Paris fashion week. Microsoft rolls out AI assistant, Copilot, that works across its products. X will use public data to train its models.

Oct: Biden releases executive order on AI, putting regulatory constraints on large foundation models, stirring an outcry from the Open Source community.

Nov: Open AI announces GPT-Turbo and GPT-Vision on its first ever, wildly successful Dev Day on Nov 6. Just two weeks later, the Open AI board ousts founder Sam Altman in a surprising move, shocking its major investors and sending a red alert through Silicon Valley. 

Dec: Open AI tops $1.6B in annualized revenue, despite leadership drama last month. 

🔥 Latest news

  • NY Times sues OpenAI and Microsoft over ChatGPT copyright infringement: The New York Times has become the first major media organization to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft. The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, claims that OpenAI language models trained with content from the Times are now competing with the outlet as a source of online information. The suit doesn't list specific monetary damages, but it notes OpenAI should be liable for "billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages."

  • OpenAI’s annualized revenue tops $1.6B: OpenAI recently topped $1.6 billion in annualized revenue on strong growth from its ChatGPT product, up from $1.3 billion as of mid-October, according to two people with knowledge of the figure. The 20% growth over two months suggests OpenAI was able to hold onto its business momentum despite a leadership crisis in November.

  • Ray-Ban and Meta introduce AI-powered smart glasses: In a groundbreaking development in wearable technology, Ray-Ban, in partnership with Meta, has unveiled a new line of smart glasses equipped with advanced AI capabilities. The new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses incorporate built-in cameras and microphones, utilizing AI to analyze and interpret visual and auditory data.

  • Anthropic forecasts more than $850M in annualized revenue rate by 2024-end: AI startup Anthropic has projected it will generate more than $850 million in annualized revenue by the end of 2024, the Information, citing two people with knowledge of the company's financial picture. Three months ago the company told some investors it was generating revenue at a $100 million annualized rate and expected that figure would reach $500 million by the end of 2024, according to the report.

  • Camera giants Nikon, Sony, and Canon unite to combat deepfakes with cutting-edge digital signatures: In the ongoing battle against the rise of convincing and widespread fake images, camera industry leaders Nikon, Sony Group, and Canon are collaboratively developing digital signatures embedded in their cameras, serving as secure proof of an image's origin. The trio of camera industry leaders has reached a consensus on a universal standard for digital signatures, ensuring compatibility with the web-based tool Verify. http://tinyurl.com/yeywmpm4 

  • OpenAI takes aim at $100B as AI’s transformative power takes hold: OpenAI is exploring a new round of funding that could value the company at over $100 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. If successful, it would cement OpenAI as the second-most valuable US startup behind only SpaceX.  The company is in early discussions about raising $8 billion to $10 billion in fresh funding from investors including, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential plans.

🔧 Cool Tools and Experiments

  • Meta GenAI unveils ControlRoom3D: AI technique for crafting immersive 3D room environments based on textual descriptions http://tinyurl.com/mry87ms4 

  • MyShell releases OpenVoice voice cloning AI model that uses just seconds of audio to clone a voice and allows granular control over tone, emotion, accent, rhythm, and more http://tinyurl.com/43tdcd78 

  • Meta GenAI unveils Fairy: A video-to-video synthesis framework for instruction-guided video editing http://tinyurl.com/ytjjuxz6 

  • Alibaba releases AnyText: A diffusion-based multilingual visual text generation and editing model, that focuses on rendering accurate and coherent text in the image http://tinyurl.com/2p8yjmxy 

  • Google announces VideoPoet: A large language model for zero-shot video generation http://tinyurl.com/5f43u5at 

  • Runway introduces feature to animate titles with text descriptions http://tinyurl.com/mvv9yvh2 

  • Disney researchers unveils a new human-like robot that resembles Wall-E and interacts naturally http://tinyurl.com/3ze54a38 

💰 Latest Startup Fundings

  • AI-powered legal innovator Robin AI secures $26M in Series B financing from Temasek, QuantumLight, Plural, and AFG Partners http://tinyurl.com/4683bsfy 

  • Substack adds new video tools to compete with Patreon and Youtube, includes a direct upload option, customizable paywalls for content creators, and an AI tool that generates transcripts from video https://tinyurl.com/yfeu9nhe 

  • Microsoft launches CoCreator, the DALL-E-powered text-to-image generator button available to use inside the latest Microsoft Paint for Windows 11 PC users https://tinyurl.com/2bxvmkht