The AI Game that made $100M in 4 days.

Big tech is all in on race to AGI. Sam Altman chase chips.

Happy Friday. A mind-boggling 160+ AI models were released just this week alone. X user @Barsee does a great breakdown of the top 9 AI releases. We’re off to the races!

The talk of the town centered around the staggering success of Palworld, an indie game that made $100M in just 4 days after its release, made partly with AI on a measly budget of just $7M (small by game developer standards). The controversy: some of the Palworld characters bear a resemblance to a well-known game and animation series — and just yesterday, The Pokemon Company said it would launch an “investigation” into Palworld.

Will we see more breakout hits made on a budget this year? I’d put money on it.

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🔥 Latest news

  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is still chasing billions to build AI chips: A new report from Bloomberg says that once-again CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman’s efforts to raise billions for an AI chip venture are aimed at using that cash to develop a “network of factories” for fabrication that would stretch around the globe and involve working with unnamed “top chip manufacturers.” SoftBank Group and Abu Dhabi-based AI holding company G42 have reportedly been in talks about raising money for Altman’s project. 

  • Meta is going all in on artificial general intelligence, says Zuckerberg: Meta has kept up in the AI race, releasing new generative AI models, features, and research constantly. However, the company is now positioning itself to dive into artificial general intelligence (AGI). Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to Threads to post an almost two-minute video updating the public on the company's AI efforts, which included a glimpse into its long-term goals for building AGI. "Today I'm bringing Meta's two AI research efforts [FAIR and GenAI] closer together to support our long-term goals of building general intelligence, open-sourcing it responsibly, and making it available and useful to everyone in all of our daily lives," said Zuckerberg in the opening of the video. As a result, Meta is building a massive amount of infrastructure. By the end of the year, the company will have 350,000 Nvidia H100s, or around 600,000 H100s equivalents of compute if you include other GPUs.

  • DeepMind scientists considering $220M round for AI startup: A pair of scientists at Google DeepMind, Laurent Sifre and Karl Tuyls, are reportedly in discussions with potential investors to establish their own AI startup in Paris. The potential startup, currently known as Holistic, aims to develop a new AI model, Bloomberg reported. The significant financing round being considered for Holistic, which may exceed €200 million (about $220 million), underscores the strong investor interest in AI technology, according to the report. Sifre co-authored groundbreaking 2016 DeepMind research on the capabilities of AI systems in the game of Go. Tuyls has researched game theory and multi-agent reinforcement learning.

  • Leaked internal document from Google unveiled the tech giant's key goal for 2024: Google's main goal for 2024 is to "deliver the world’s most advanced, safe, and responsible AI." That's according to an internal document leaked to The Verge's Alex Heath. Other goals include: enhancing knowledge, learning, creativity and productivity; creating useful personal computing platforms and devices; empowering businesses and developers to innovate in the Google Cloud; delivering the world's most trusted products and platforms; and building an "extraordinary" Google for employees and the world. The last goal on the list - "⁠improve company velocity, efficiency, and productivity, and deliver durable cost savings" - points to more layoffs. 

🔧 Cool Tools and Experiments

  • Google introduces ‘Circle to Search’, a new feature that allows users to search from anywhere on their Android phones using gestures like circling, highlighting, scribbling or tapping

  • Runway updates Gen-2 with a new tool, Muti Motion Brush, which allows creators to add multiple directions and types of motion to their AI video creations

  • Google presents LUMIERE: A space-time diffusion model for video generation

  • ElevenLabs introduces Dubbing Studio that gives users precise control over transcript, translation, timing when translating videos for global audiences

  • StabilityAI releases Stable LM 2 1.6B, a state-of-the-art 1.6 billion parameter small language model trained on multilingual data that reduces hardware limitations, allowing all to easily access

  • Meta AI releases Mosaic-SDF: A new 3D format for efficiently training generative AI models to create novel shapes

  • A new tool for artists that promises fast, easily accessible built-in defenses from AI whenever they upload one or more of their images to its servers

  • InstantID releases on HuggingFace: An AI model that can generate customized images with various poses or styles from a single reference image without any training

  • TikTok releases Depth Anything: An image-based depth estimation method trained on 1.5M labeled images and 62M+ unlabeled images

💰 Latest Startup Fundings

  • AI-generated speech startup ElevenLabs raises $80M led by Andreessen Horowitz, bringing the company’s total outside funding to more than $100M

  • Ex-NVIDIA exec raises $4.7M for RagaAI, a testing tool that can fix flaws in AI systems 

  • Artisse AI raises $6.7M for its ‘more realistic’ AI photography app

  • Playdemic co-founders raise $10M for ForthStar, a new mobile free-to-play game studio 

  • Talofa Games raises $6.3M in seed funding to build fitness games for good