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Mozilla Launches Builders Accelerator Program to Support Local AI Projects

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Mozilla has announced the launch of its Mozilla Builders Accelerator in an effort to promote independent AI developers and foster a healthy AI ecosystem.

The winners of this program will receive placement in a 12-week program that includes guided workshops, assignments, instructional sessions, and the chance to present their project through Mozilla’s channels and events. Additionally, winners will receive up to $100,000 in financing.

The idea is for the projects that are chosen to proceed through the design, construct, and test phases and produce a proof of concept for a new product or improvements to an existing product’s usefulness or sustainability by the conclusion of the 12-week period.

The initial accelerator will focus on local artificial intelligence (AI) that operates on end users’ laptops, cellphones, or edge devices. Mozilla selected this theme because it thinks local AI has many advantages: it helps users and developers save money by eliminating the need for costly cloud infrastructure; it maintains privacy because data remains on the device; and it can operate continuously even when there is no internet connection.

September 12, 2024 is when the 12-week Mozilla Builders Accelerator program will start. Applications will remain open until August 1, 2024. A Demo Day for the projects will be held on December 5, 2024, by Mozilla following the program’s conclusion.

In a blog post, Mozilla stated, “For more than 25 years, Mozilla has championed the internet as a global public resource — open and accessible to everyone.” This devotion has created a vibrant community that values creativity and teamwork. “We think open, transparent, and inclusive AI is the way of the future. We’ve made great progress in open source AI with projects like Mozilla.ai and Llamafile. Our next destination on this adventure is the Mozilla Builders Accelerator.”

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Verituity Secures $18.8 Million for Expansion of AI-Driven Verified Payout Platform

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In order to finance the expansion of its verified payout platform for businesses and consumers, Verituity has raised $18.8 million.

According to a press release from Verituity on Friday, June 21, the company plans to use the additional funds to expand into new markets like mortgage servicing and energy, enhance its growth in the banking and insurance sectors, and continue developing the machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) models that underpin the platform.

According to the press release, Ben Turner, CEO of Verituity, “orchestrates billions of dollars in verified B2B and B2C payouts by empowering businesses and banks to deliver trusted and intelligent payments on-time to known individuals and businesses.” “As we continue on our journey to ultimately do away with checks and integrate intelligent, verified payouts into the very fabric of business disbursements, I look forward to working with our investors.”

According to the statement, the company’s technology adds intelligence to each disbursement and knows and validates every payer, payee, account, and transaction.

According to the release, doing so reduces risks, maximizes payout economics, and guarantees that digital payments are made on schedule, to the correct payee and payment account, and from the correct funding account.

Sandbox Industries and Forgepoint Capital spearheaded the company’s most recent round of funding.

According to a press statement from Sandbox Industries, Chris Zock, managing partner and co-CEO, Verituity’s “unique approach to embedding verification into payouts and handling the complexity of connecting legacy treasury systems to digital payments is transformative for the industry—“

Verituity, according to Don Dixon, co-founder and managing director of Forgepoint Capital, is “well positioned to take full advantage of the rapid transformation underway in disbursements” because it combines intelligent payments, trust, and verification.

Verituity and Mastercard partnered in April to allow commercial banks and payers to make payments almost instantly.

Mastercard’s suite of local and international money transfer options, Mastercard Move, is integrated into Verituity’s white-labeled payments platform as part of that partnership. The Verituity platform will be able to provide consumers with fast payee and transaction verification as well as a shorter time to market thanks to this connection.

In a press statement announcing the collaboration, Turner stated, “We’re excited to work with Mastercard to include more banks in the safe disbursement and remittance ecosystem.”

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Anthropic, an OpenAI Rival, Revealed its Most Potent AI to Date

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Anthropic, an OpenAI rival, unveiled Claude 3.5 Sonnet, their most potent AI model to date, on Thursday.

Claude is one of the chatbots that has become quite popular in the last year, along with Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Google, Salesforce, and Amazon are among the supporters of Anthropic, which was created by former OpenAI research executives. It has closed five financing arrangements worth a combined $7.3 billion in the last year.

The announcement comes after OpenAI’s GPT-4o in May and Anthropic’s Claude 3 family of models, which debuted in March. Claude 3.5 Sonnet, the first model in Anthropic’s new Claude 3.5 family, is faster than the business’s previous top model, Claude 3 Opus, according to the company.

The company’s Claude.ai website and the Claude iPhone app offer Claude 3.5 Sonnet for free. Higher rate limit models are available to subscribers of Claude Pro and Team.

In addition to creating excellent content in a conversational, natural tone, the system “shows marked improvement in grasping nuance, humor, and complex instructions,” according to a blog post from the business. Code can be written, edited, and run by it as well.

Anthropic also unveiled “Artifacts,” a feature that enables users to instruct its chatbot, Claude, to execute tasks like creating code or text documents, and then view the outcome in a separate window. Code development, business report authoring, and other tasks are anticipated to benefit from Artifacts, according to the company. “This creates a dynamic workspace where they can see, edit, and build upon Claude’s creations in real-time,” the statement continued.

As generative AI startups like Anthropic and OpenAI gain traction, they are competing with tech behemoths like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta in an arms race to incorporate AI technology and stay ahead of a market that is expected to generate $1 trillion in revenue over the course of the next ten years.

Anthropic debuted its first-ever enterprise product in May, and news of its new model followed.

Anthropic co-founder Daniela Amodei told CNBC last month that the plan for businesses, called Team, had been in development for the past few quarters and involved beta-testing with between 30 and 50 customers in industries like technology, financial services, legal services, and health care. According to Amodei, many of those same customers requested a specific corporate solution, which served as inspiration for the service’s concept.

At the time, Amodei remarked, “So much of what we were hearing from enterprise businesses was that people are kind of using Claude at the office already.”

Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram, joined Anthropic as chief product officer last month, not long after the business unveiled its new product. According to a release, Krieger, the former chief technological officer of Meta-owned Instagram, expanded the platform’s user base to 1 billion and boosted the number of engineers on staff to over 450. Jan Leike, a previous leader in safety at OpenAI, also joined the business in May.

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Materia Unveils GenAI Platform for Public Accounting Firms After Exiting Stealth

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With more than $6.3 million in funding, Materia has emerged from stealth to introduce a generative artificial intelligence (AI) platform designed especially for public accounting companies.

According to a press release released by the company on Thursday, June 20, the platform’s goal is to give these businesses intelligent technology that will free up time they now spend on numerous low-value, tiresome, daily tasks.

The CEO and co-founder of Materia, Kevin Merlini, stated in the press release that the company was formed to meet this pressing demand for time-saving solutions that would also assist in handling the laborious and heavy lifting associated with daily workflows while maintaining a high standard of accuracy and security.

The press announcement states that the company’s technology compiles internal knowledge from businesses into a safe Knowledge Hub. Thus, it establishes a silo-bridging, structured corporate search layer.

According to the announcement, this hub is then used by the Materia AI Assistant and Document Analysis Workspace, which use the data to give trustworthy data based on proprietary knowledge and recognized accounting standards.

According to the announcement, the platform is made to be adopted in a matter of days, provides responsible AI that is supported by meticulous accuracy testing conducted by CPA subject matter experts, and provides a approach for organizations that require specific customisation or interfaces.

Natalie Sandman, a general partner at Spark Capital, which led the funding, stated in the statement that the company already works with prestigious national firms and that the feedback from these clients has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

According to Sandman, “We think Materia’s AI solution will revolutionize the accounting industry by expediting routine tasks for accounting professionals and enabling them to deliver higher-quality services to their clients more effectively.”

According to PYMNTS Intelligence, chief financial officers (CFOs) are using AI to increase a variety of organizational efficiencies. The requirement for lower-skill personnel has decreased, according to 63% of CFOs, and they now require more individuals with analytical skills, according to 58% of them.

This past March, AI company Fieldguide reported raising $30 million for their accounting sector product, marking another recent fundraising event in this space. CPAs can have more time to work on high-value tasks by using Fieldguide’s AI solution, which can automate workflows and streamline operations.

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