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California Intends to Employ AI to Respond to Your Tax Inquiries

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California Intends to Employ AI to Respond to Your Tax Inquiries

This time of year, the California tax office is always buzzing with activity as hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses seek tax advice. Phones ring and keyboards clack.

Call volume can reach up to 10,000 per day, quadrupling the average wait time from four minutes to twenty. Chief of the call center Thor Dunn stated, “When the bell rings at 7:30 you (already) have a wait.” He also mentioned that employees with other occupations are trained to pick up the phone during busy times. “Everyone is on deck.”

Therefore, California’s 3,696-person Department of Tax and Fee Administration intends to employ generative artificial intelligence to assist its about 375 call center agents on state tax code later this year—for the upcoming tax season. The information they provide to California business owners seeking tax advice will then be informed by the AI.

Generative artificial intelligence models, trained on vast datasets frequently stolen from the internet without authors’ permission, are capable of producing text, image, and audio material. With its debut in fall 2022, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a big language model, sparked interest in generative AI by effectively predicting the next word in a sequence of input text and then producing or generating text that represents the training data.

For you, the individual phoning the tax center, what form would that be? Although a slide in the tax department’s request for proposals requesting a vendor states that any AI solution must “be able to provide responses to incoming voice calls, live chats, and other communications,” the tax department informed CalMatters that this technology will not be used without a call center employee present to review the answer.

That call for proposals was issued last month with the goal of using AI to assist the state with taxes. This week is the deadline for initial proposals, and the process should be completed by April. 100 people attended a meeting with possible vendors last month, according to department spokesperson Tamma Adamek, who talked with CalMatters.

The tax guidance Acting head of the California Department of Technology and state chief information officer Liana Bailey-Crimmins says the AI proposal is one of five proofs of concept the state has started investigating how state agencies can employ generative AI. The state’s Health and Human Services Agency is conducting two trials to investigate whether generative AI can facilitate public benefit understanding and attainment, as well as aid in health care facility inspections. Caltrans is also working on two projects to investigate whether generative AI can lessen traffic congestion and deadly accidents.

The vendor who wins the AI tax proposal will be awarded a six-month contract; after that, state representatives will decide whether or not to award a longer one. In addition to vendors having to “monitor and report on GenAI solution responses for factual accuracy, coherence, and appropriateness,” the initiative needs to show reduced call times, wait times, and abandoned calls.

The initiative marks the beginning of an iterative, multi-year process for AI regulation and implementation, which was initiated by Governor Gavin Newsom last autumn. By July, governmental agencies must investigate the use of generative AI, according to the executive order he issued.

Contract-awarded private enterprises will train AI models in a “sandbox” situated on state servers, designed to adhere to information security and monitoring guidelines established by the technology department, in order to reduce risks. The IT department is required under Newsom’s executive order to make the sandbox available for usage by contract-awarded companies in March.

AI Risk Assessment

In November 2023, the Government Operations Agency of the state assessed the advantages and disadvantages of generative AI. The paper issues a warning, stating that generative models may yield plausible but erroneous results, provide distinct responses to the same question, and experience model collapse when predictions deviate from true outcomes. The use of generative AI also runs the risk of automation bias, which occurs when users become unduly dependent on and trusting of automated decision-making.

It’s unclear exactly how call center staff for tax agencies will identify which responses from massive language models to believe.

According to Adamek, the tax department’s spokesperson, they receive training on fundamental tax and fee programs and are able to seek assistance from more seasoned team members when they have questions about a particular topic. The technology department is slated to assist in training state personnel on identifying incorrect or fraudulent text in July, working with other state departments.

According to Adamek, the tax department does not view its intended use of generative AI as high risk because it is primarily concerned with improving state business processes and all relevant data is accessible to the general public. Later in the procedure, the tax department will evaluate risk, according to her. In the upcoming weeks, standards guidelines for state entities that enter into contracts with private enterprises are scheduled to be released.

The technology department may not agree, but the tax department does not view the use of generative AI as highly risky.

According to Newsom’s directive, all state agencies must provide the Department of Technology with a list of the high-risk generative AI applications they are utilizing in less than 60 days. CalMatters was informed by Bailey-Crimmins that none of the governor’s agencies are utilizing high risk generative AI.

A new rule mandates that by September, at the latest, the technology department must catalog all high-risk AI applications and automated decision making systems used by state entities.

However, some people outside of government are concerned about some of California’s AI initiatives. Among them is Justin Klozcko, a Los Angeles-based author of the Consumer Watchdog report Hallucinating Risk, which explores the possible risks associated with AI patents held by banks and used in financial services. He points out that OpenAI, the San Francisco-based company that created ChatGPT, has issued warnings in its documentation that using AI to provide financial advice or offer basic services carries a significant risk.

“There’s still a lot we don’t know about generative AI and what we do know is that it makes mistakes and acts in ways that people who study it don’t even fully understand,” Klozcko said. He also questioned the ease of determining whether that information is accurate in the hands of the call center employee who may not be qualified to determine whether text output by a large language model — made to sound convincing — is in fact inaccurate or false.

“I worry that workers in charge of this won’t understand the complexity of this AI,” he said. “They won’t know when they’re led astray.”

“We take those risks seriously,” according to Bailey-Crimmins, who also stated that possible drawbacks will be taken into account when deciding what to do after the six-month trial project.

“We want to be excited about benefits, but we also need to make sure that what we’re doing is safeguarding… the public puts a lot of trust in us and we need to make sure that the decisions we’re making (are) not putting that trust in question.”

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AI’s Revolutionary Effects on Startups’ Patent Analysis

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AI's Revolutionary Effects on Startups' Patent Analysis

Every startup is eager to introduce the world to its next big idea. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to file for a patent in order to protect their concept from being copied or corrupted. Since patents are by definition unique, entrepreneurs must be absolutely convinced that their concept is unique before applying for one. This can be achieved by performing an exhaustive patent search beforehand. Since speed and accuracy are critical, AI has a strong case to accelerate the patent search process for startups.

The Value of Searching for and Analyzing Patents

  • One useful method for learning about market trends is to study the patent applications that are currently pending. If a single product category has several patents, it may be a competitive market meeting different consumer requirements in that industry. Finding potential technological gaps and uncharted territory is another benefit of conducting a search and analysis of patents. For example, the firm may discover that while their initial concept has been investigated, there is a chance to safeguard and market a complementary product that would appeal to the same customer base.
  • Startups can save time and money by performing a preliminary patent search to make sure that (a) their idea is not already patented or a commercial product, or (b) it does not fall under a class of products that is not eligible for patent protection. They will save the expenses and future legal headaches of having to deal with patent infringement because of this.

Recognizing The Difficulties in Doing A Patent Search

  • In every industry, searching for patents is an extremely intricate and time-consuming procedure. It is necessary to create intricate Boolean searches, sift through all of the available patent data, and identify the key elements—such as highlighting murky areas that should be sent to a lawyer for advice. In terms of taking advantage of current market opportunities, this can be counterproductive because it can take a long time.
  • It is impossible to overestimate the importance of precision in patent searches and the analysis that follows. Any inaccuracy could result in the rejection of the patent, lawsuits alleging patent infringement, and a substantial loss of time and money. assessing whether the proposed invention is simply a copy of an existing filing made by someone else, or a version with discernible variations, becomes more challenging when assessing the criteria for patent duplication.

Artificial Intelligence in Patent Analysis and Search

  • Artificial intelligence is considerably faster than humans at finding and analyzing any type of data. Previous natural language search engines were unable to decipher the meaning and intention contained in the user-provided innovation description. However, AI-driven patent search has matured and can now produce significantly improved search relevance and extremely accurate results thanks to pre-trained Large Language Models. As a result, it is the perfect solution for tasks that require a lot of time, including patent search and analysis. Startups are already moving more quickly and closer to their eventual patent registration with the help of a number of AI search and result analysis tools.
  • Search efficiency: The efficiency that AI offers to the search process is its most evident benefit. The user may “rely” on the AI search system to provide extremely accurate results in a matter of seconds, saving them the trouble of manually crafting complex search terms to comb through patent data.
  • Semantic assessments of patents can be performed by AI trained in natural language processing (NLP). This helps them to appropriately read any sections with ambiguous wording and make sense of regional variations in language. This is especially helpful when examining patent claims for various iterations of the same invention.
  • Classification algorithms: Not all patent-related information is probably arranged according to how the startup in question views the technology. The end user can be presented with a rated and classed result by training machine learning algorithms to sort the data based on relevance.
  • Visualization tools: AI can classify and highlight important information in an understandable visual report by organizing and summarizing the data. Making educated decisions and presenting findings to pertinent parties would be made simpler as a result.

AI’s Future Directions for Searching and Analyzing Patents

Artificial intelligence has many uses in the analysis and search of patents. In order to establish a single, transparent chain of information, the integration of AI with blockchain and IoT is now being investigated. Even while some of these AI apps can be pricey, new choices are being created daily, so in the end, costs will be reduced for startups with tight budgets. AI algorithms are just getting started, but they have the potential to speed up the patent registration process enormously, so firms who use them now will be the first to see their innovative ideas come to fruition.

PatSeer is an AI-based patent search engine that leads the way in innovation by allowing users to navigate the IP landscape with never-before-seen ease thanks to its rich Boolean and AI search functionalities. With the platform’s easy-to-use interface, startups can do thorough patent searches to make sure their ideas are original and eligible for patent protection.

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An Innovative Text-to-Video AI Startup Hopes to Revolutionize New York Filmmaking

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An Innovative Text-to-Video AI Startup Hopes to Revolutionize New York Filmmaking

With its innovative text-to-video generator, a New York-based firm is creating waves and has the potential to completely change the entertainment and filmmaking industries in an era where creativity and technology are interacting more than ever. Though it is still in the early phases of development, this cutting-edge tool has the potential to usher in a new era of content production by enabling users to turn textual storylines into full-length movies. In addition to its potential to democratize filmmaking, the startup’s ambitious project, which makes use of cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), is gaining attention for its ramifications for the entertainment industry as a whole.

A Peering Into the Future of Cinema

An AI-powered platform that translates textual input to produce related visual information is at the center of this innovative project. By transforming photos into dynamic worlds, Google’s Genie is one AI model that has already started to revolutionize interactive storytelling. This technology builds on the foundation that these models have created. By making it possible to create intricate, narratively rich video content from straightforward written descriptions, the text-to-video generator seeks to go beyond this and may pave the way for a new generation of filmmakers and content producers.

Innovations in Technology and Creative Liberty

The startup’s technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to study and comprehend character development, narrative structures, and visual storytelling methods. By doing this, it can create videos that effectively visually convey a story in addition to telling it. In order to comprehend the nuances of human creativity, complex AI algorithms and machine learning approaches have been devised and polished. Wide-ranging ramifications result from this technology, which gives people who might not have the means or technical know-how normally needed for film production previously unheard-of creative freedoms.

Difficulties and Ethical Issues

Despite the enthusiasm surrounding this technological innovation, there are many obstacles in the way of bringing the idea to fruition. Discussions are centered on ethical issues, including copyright concerns, the veracity of AI-generated content, and the effect on conventional filmmaking roles. Furthermore, it will be crucial to address these issues in a way that respects the rights of all parties involved as well as the creative process as this technology develops. The firm is dedicated to overcoming these obstacles in order to provide a framework that guarantees the ethical and responsible application of AI in the creative industries.

Unquestionably, the New York startup’s text-to-video converter has the potential to revolutionize entertainment and democratize film production as it continues to evolve. This invention has the potential to upend storytelling conventions and empower budding filmmakers alike. Such technology has an impact on marketing, virtual reality experiences, and instructional content in addition to the entertainment sector. The nexus between artificial intelligence (AI) and human creativity promises to open up new vistas and redefine storytelling as we approach this revolutionary period.

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Vietnam’s Skills In AI Help Precision Medicine Companies

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Vietnam's Skills In AI Help Precision Medicine Companies

Investments in health technology, particularly in precision medicine, are benefiting from Vietnam’s quick advances in artificial intelligence and technology.

According to DealStreetAsia’s Data Vantage’s “SE Asia Deal Review: Q4 2023” report, health tech investments in Southeast Asia remained up despite the general pessimism surrounding fundraising in 2023. The sector’s startups raised $580 million from 60 agreements. Vietnam was in third place in the area with 3.9% of the investments, while firms in far larger economies like Singapore and Indonesia took home the majority of the funding for health tech.

According to analysts, there has been a surge in interest in Vietnam’s health tech sector in recent times, as there is optimism that the utilization of artificial intelligence can accelerate advancements like precision medicine.

“Vietnam has numerous promising companies in this sector, the market is still at an early stage,” said Vy Le, co-founder and general partner of the venture capital firm Do Ventures.

Precision medicine, also referred to as “personalized medicine,” creates individualized treatments for conditions like cancer, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s by using a patient’s genetic profile. Put another way, a personalized strategy based on the patient’s DNA replaces the typical one-size-fits-all approach to diagnosis and therapy. The promise of AI in this area is that people will be able to affordably sequence their genomes.

Gene Solutions is one of the precision medicine firms in Vietnam that has drawn venture capital. In its Series B funding round, the business brought in $21 million last year. According to the Data Vantage analysis, the transaction, which was led by Mekong Capital, ranked as the seventh-largest health tech deal in Southeast Asia in 2023. Mekong Capital made a $15 million investment in Gene Solutions in 2021.

DealStreetAsia revealed in September 2023 that Gene Solutions is aiming to raise $50 million in a Series C investment.

Established in 2017, Gene Solutions focuses on using DNA markers to identify the existence of specific diseases. It has aided in the detection of chromosomal abnormalities in expectant mothers, averting genetic issues, and assisting with in-vitro fertilization. It seeks to lower the cost of genetic testing and increase accessibility.

One of Gene Solutions’ competitive advantages, according to Chris Freund, founder and partner of Mekong Capital, is “how fast-moving” company. For instance, when we first invested, it was just an idea to grow outside of Vietnam. However, in the last two years, they have successfully partnered with top hospital groups and cancer institutes in [the] Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore, with partial support from a Singaporean lab.

Gene Solutions has completed more than 350,000 genetic tests in the previous five years.

GeneStory is another company in the field; Vingroup founded it in 2022 with a charter capital of 102.3 billion dong ($4.4 million). GeneStory seeks to offer “fast and comprehensive genetic testing services based on a large Vietnamese dataset, exclusively for Vietnamese people.” But in 2022, the conglomerate itself sold a confidential interest in GeneStory. In order to develop individualized health care programs, the startup provides assessments of people’s medical, physical, and dietary risks as well as hereditary characteristics.

Vietnamese venture-backed precision medicine businesses also include Genetica Company, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to decipher DNA. The 2018-founded company received $2.5 million from Silicon Valley investors in a pre-Series A investment round in 2021.

Genetica has introduced a gene-decoding device that employs artificial intelligence (AI) to determine a person’s genetic susceptibility to respiratory virus infection.

Southeast Asia is seeing a boom in genomic research and development at the same time as interest in precision medicine. The “Harnessing Genomic Medicine and Gene NFT in Southeast Asia” report by DealStreetAsia and Genetica, published in August 2023, states that the region’s unique and diverse genetic makeup is being highlighted through the development of genomic datasets driven by both private-sector initiatives and government-supported programs.

AI has been used in healthcare for a longer period of time than in many other industries, according to Yinglan Tan, CEO and founding managing partner of Insignia Ventures Partners. Applications of AI in healthcare include risk assessment, predictive analytics, and medical imaging. He emphasized that the Asia-Pacific area, particularly Southeast Asia, presents substantial growth potential, holding a 13% share of the worldwide AI health care market.

The increasing need for individualized health care solutions is one of the main factors driving funding for precision medicine firms. Customers are looking for specialized medical solutions as they grow more health-conscious.

“As the tests become even more precise over the coming years, it will enable Gene Solutions to detect diseases with increasingly smaller DNA segments. The cost of those tests will also come down. Eventually, such tests will be affordable for the mass market in Vietnam and Southeast Asia,” said Freund of Mekong Capital.

Through a number of programs and incentives, the Vietnamese government has also been instrumental in supporting the development of precision medicine firms. With the help of the government, a favorable atmosphere for entrepreneurs has been established, drawing both domestic and foreign investors to the emerging health technology market.

Investors are conscious of the constraints, too, such as the fact that the regulatory environment for health IT businesses is still developing. “Investing in biotech companies is typically challenging for VC funds in Vietnam. This industry demands specialized funds with experts in the field,”, according to Vy Le of Do Ventures.

In addition, venture capital funds usually have an investment horizon of four to five years, but the biotech sector needs more time to succeed. This implies that additional government funding is needed. Le gave the example of South Korea, where the government runs a fund specifically intended to invest in biotech investments at different phases of development.

However, new trends in fundraising give the industry hope.

The “The State of Healthtech in SE Asia 2023” DealStreetAsia Data Vantage report discovered that from January 2020 to September 2023, 46% of the region’s health tech startups’ total deal volume and 72% of their equity funding came from investments in deep tech fields related to health care, such as genomics, molecular biology, artificial intelligence, and biometric sensing.

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