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In a significant boost to France’s plans of positioning itself as a major global tech hub, Mistral AI, a French technology French AI Startup Raises €105 Million in a Month ($113.4 million) after its establishment. This remarkable fund-raising achievement not only highlights the rapid growth of the artificial intelligence (AI) sector but also demonstrates Europe’s determination to create formidable rivals to Silicon Valley giants like Microsoft-backed OpenAI and Google’s DeepMind.
Mistral AI, a cutting-edge French technology and artificial intelligence company, has emerged as a dynamic player in the rapidly evolving AI landscape. Its recent funding success serves as a testament to the company’s vision, innovation, and potential for disrupting the industry.
The successful fundraising by Mistral AI underscores the exponential growth of the artificial intelligence sector. Europe, in particular, has been keen to establish itself as a formidable contender to Silicon Valley giants such as Microsoft-backed OpenAI and Google’s DeepMind. The infusion of capital into Mistral AI serves as a testament to Europe’s determination to foster innovation and cultivate homegrown AI companies that can compete at a global level.
Mistral AI’s success echoes Europe’s ambition to compete with the dominant tech giants of Silicon Valley. By raising significant funds, the company not only reinforces the potential of the AI sector but also inspires other European startups and entrepreneurs to push boundaries and pursue ambitious goals.
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The impressive fundraising effort of Mistral AI was led by international venture capital fund Lightspeed Venture Partners. Their recognition of Mistral AI’s potential and their investment signify the confidence in the company’s vision and capabilities. Lightspeed Venture Partners’ involvement further solidifies Mistral AI’s position as a prominent player in the AI landscape.
Businessmen Xavier Niel and Rodolphe Saade, along with JCDecaux Holding, Italy’s Exor Ventures, and Belgian firm Sofina, played a crucial role in supporting Mistral AI’s fundraising. Notably, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt also holds a stake in the company. The backing of these influential individuals and organizations further validates Mistral AI’s potential and underscores the significance of its mission in the AI space.
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While traditionally lagging behind tech powerhouses like New York, California, and London, Paris is determined to transform itself into a thriving technology hub. The successful fundraising by Mistral AI has garnered praise from French government minister Jean-Noel Barrot, who sees it as a stepping stone for Paris to enhance its global reputation as a technological center. Mistral AI’s achievement contributes to the ongoing efforts to position Paris as a formidable contender in the tech industry.
“Bravo to the start-up Mistral AI which has raised 105 million euros just a month after its creation: a record!” wrote Barrot on Twitter. This accolade from a government minister highlights the significance of Mistral AI’s achievement and its positive impact on Paris’s aspirations. The city’s ambitions to become a global tech center receive a considerable boost through the success of Mistral AI, solidifying its reputation as an innovative and progressive destination for technology companies.
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Mistral AI’s recent fund-raising milestone holds immense significance for the AI sector and underscores its rapid growth and potential.
As Mistral AI continues to thrive and expand its operations, it will contribute significantly to the growth of the AI sector, fostering economic development and job creation. The influx of capital into Mistral AI and similar companies bolsters the overall ecosystem, attracting talent and investments while bolstering Europe’s position in the global tech landscape.
A: Mistral AI’s ability to secure €105 million in funding within a month can be attributed to its innovative AI solutions, strong leadership, and the attractiveness of the French tech ecosystem. The company’s vision, coupled with the growing demand for AI technologies, has garnered significant investor interest and support.
A: Mistral AI’s successful fund-raising sends a positive signal to the global tech community, positioning France as a major player in the AI landscape. It boosts France’s credibility as a tech hub, attracting more investments, fostering innovation, and paving the way for future growth and collaboration.
A: Mistral AI’s impressive fund-raising achievement reflects the burgeoning AI sector in Europe. It demonstrates the continent’s ambition to compete with Silicon Valley giants and establishes Europe as a fertile ground for AI innovation, attracting investors, entrepreneurs, and talent from around the world.
A: Mistral AI’s AI solutions have vast applications across multiple sectors. They can revolutionize healthcare by enabling more accurate diagnoses and personalized treatments. In finance, Mistral AI’s technologies can enhance fraud detection and streamline financial operations. Additionally, the manufacturing and transportation sectors can benefit from improved efficiency and optimized processes.
A: Mistral AI’s success in raising €105 million facilitates job creation and economic growth in several ways. The company’s expansion requires a skilled workforce, leading to employment opportunities in AI-related fields. Moreover, as Mistral AI and similar companies flourish, they contribute to the overall growth of the tech sector, attracting investments and fostering economic development.
A: Mistral AI’s fund-raising success serves as a significant milestone for the future of AI. It demonstrates the growing recognition of AI’s transformative potential and highlights the importance of continued investment in cutting-edge technologies. Mistral AI’s achievements inspire other AI startups, spurring innovation and driving the evolution of the AI sector.
Mistral AI’s impressive fund-raising accomplishment of €105 million just a month after its inception showcases the company’s potential and contributes to France’s ambition of establishing itself as a prominent global tech hub. This achievement not only signifies the rapid growth of the AI sector but also demonstrates Europe’s determination to compete with Silicon Valley giants. As Mistral AI continues to innovate and evolve, it is poised to revolutionize industries, drive economic growth, and shape the future of artificial intelligence.
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Yesterday, Americana Technologies announced that they raised $6.9 million in seed funding with help from Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s venture firm Seven Seven Six and, in addition, worked with OpenSea and rapper Future to release a series of 10,000 NFTs titled “Something Token” that offer exclusive access and discounts on Americana’s marketplace of minted items. This followed a long video teaser called Probably Nothing, which Americana Founder & CEO Jake Frey minted and in large part gave away. Owning one guarantees access to Americana’s marketplace.
Americana Technologies claims to be the “the first marketplace to buy and sell physical things as NFTs.”
Americana’s home page.
Their core product, the NFTA Universal Chip, can link a physical object to the blockchain by affixing the chip to that item–whether it’s a Tesla Model X, quilted Chanel shoulder bag, Pablo Picasso painting, or first edition holographic Charizard.
A little LinkedIn sleuthing says Jake Frey has operated Frey Labs since 2014, offering design and development to clients like Apple, Twitter, and Kanye West.
Frey and Ohanian are in the business of building interesting things. Yesterday Ohanian wrote in one tweet, “Americana is building the next step for Web3. Global provenance of things that exist in the physical world is huge and before @AmericanaNFT, there was no way to do it. For the first time ever, brands big and small can have their authenticated products on-chain.”
This technology can empower artists working in non-digital media to earn more money by neatly calculating and collecting royalties every time their creations change hands. Imagine being a painter in the 1960s and selling all your work early in your career to keep the lights on at an emerging artist rate of $1000, just to watch your rich friends sell it to each other at more than 10 times that price when you get famous decades later. Americana, in theory, solves this problem.
Something Token on Open Sea.
TechCrunch says Ohanian is a fit for Americana “because of his track record in building, nurturing and monetizing online communities.” Community interactions are a critical angle in Americana’s endeavor. TechCrunch quotes Frey further: “There are different use cases for transacting [through Americana], and then sort of collecting or flaunting, I guess — like bragging. The average U.S. household actually has about several thousands of dollars in assets, and, for the first time ever, you can put all these things on-chain and you can just sort of brag about all the cool things that you have in real life that already have enormous value, and already have enormous communities built around them.”
Echoes of money’s power over progress exist in statements like this, the desire to make more, to shine more, to feel seen at any cost and fill the hole this empty chase paradoxically breeds. However, there’s also real potential to this project, which could patch together an object’s history and say something truly profound about its journey via the people who held it.
Only time can show how Americana’s identity will shake out. That’s the nature of this system that gives rise to “seed capital” in the first place–demand tells creators what to make. Those with a voice are usually those with currency to play the game. The Metaverse is being built in real time every day–in the absence of direct, equitable conversations about what we want to achieve by it, figures of funds and fans are the indirect evidence to illustrate where it’s all going. Armed with necessary proof of concept, Americana is poised to enact precedent–maybe even history.
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This past Friday, DCFemTech announced the launch of “Tour de Code”, a month-long series of events and workshops throughout October that will be aimed at supporting women in the DC region who have an interest in going into, or who are new to, the tech community. From events like “Intro to Collaborating with GIT” and “Drinks & Doodles Workshop”, the initiative is focused on further supporting the roles of women in DC’s tech and design communities.
“Tour de Code provides an opportunity to increase awareness of DCFemTech in the community, so that women in tech and women who want to get into tech can navigate the space better,” says DCFemTech co-organizer Stephanie Nguyen. “We want women to know about all these great organizations that are providing these great opportunities – to share the message that tech isn’t scary, and that there’s support out there.”
Created in May of this year, DCFemTech is a collective made up of more than 25 organizations throughout the DC region that aim to support women in tech. Organizations in the group include Women Who Code DC, the National Center for Women in Tech, Code for Progress, and many others. Nguyen – who’s also the cofounder of DC-based startup Silica Labs – was inspired to organize the group after discovering (in her own search to find support for broadening her technical skills) that all these different organizations were already collaborative in nature. DCFemTech allows these groups to come together and find new ways to help lower the barrier for women in tech and to provide the necessary resources to help them reach their career goals.
“It’s pretty powerful to see all these organizations working together on one agenda,” says Nguyen. “When you have all these women in a room together, you hear all the things that women in the community actually want or need, and you see organizations that can actually work towards bringing those things. [Through DCFemTech] there’s a sharing of resources, knowledge, space, and partnerships – all to help other women and to help increase collaboration in the tech community.”
Tour de Code is DCFemTech’s first major initiative since the collective was born. According to Nguyen, the series is focused on really encouraging other women to come out and to see what it’s like to work in tech. Many of the events throughout the month are geared towards those with no prior experience in tech or design, or for those who are just new and starting off a new career in these fields. Especially in an industry that’s notoriously dominated by men, Nguyen notes that even merely surrounding yourself with other women can provide a greater sense of empowerment and motivation:
“It’s different when you have a room of women – it’s just a special thing. It provides this special kind of environment that gets them willing to take the plunge. It also motivates them to find more women to go to these events with and to hold them accountable to their goals.”
DCFemTech’s Tour de Code starts October 2nd and will kick off with a meet and mingle event with leaders of the DCFemTech organizations. You can RSVP to the Tour de Code Meet & Mingle event here.
Check out the full Tour de Code calendar here, and follow @DCFemTech on Twitter for updates.
Stephanie Nguyen is a Tech Cocktail contributing writer.
In researcher Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly, she takes a chapter to explain how shame is holding us back. She tells the story of a woman whose boss made two lists on the wall: “Winners” and “Losers.” After years on the winners’ list, she lost a big client and found herself with a big L on her forehead.
You’re probably thinking: our company isn’t that bad! Probably not. But according to Brown, a shame culture isn’t always obvious.
“Shame works like termites in a house. It’s hidden in the dark behind the walls and constantly eating away at our infrastructure, until one day the stairs suddenly crumble,” she writes. “Only then do we realize that it’s only a matter of time before the walls come tumbling down.”
Shame is the fear of being unworthy and disconnected from others. It’s the feeling that we are bad, and not [fill in the blank] enough. And if your team feels shame, that will trickle down to customers and partners and anyone else they interact with.
“Shame can only rise so far in any system before people disengage to protect themselves. When we’re disengaged, we don’t show up, we don’t contribute, and we stop caring,” Brown writes.
Here are 5 of Brown’s signs that you have a shame culture at your startup.
Fear of speaking up
By now, most startups know that embracing failure is the route to success. But even if you say you’re pro-failure, are you really putting that into practice? That means encouraging people to speak up, share their crazy ideas, and not get laughed at, ignored, or put down.
CEO Kevin Surace told Brown that the biggest barrier to innovation was “the fear of introducing an idea and being ridiculed, laughed at, and belittled. If you’re willing to subject yourself to that experience, and if you survive it, then it becomes the fear of failure and the fear of being wrong. People believe they’re only as good as their ideas and that their ideas can’t seem too ‘out there’ and they can’t ‘not know’ everything.”
Fear of asking for help
Do your teammates regularly come to you and each other with questions? People who feel shame are afraid to admit that they don’t know something or don’t have a certain skill. People who feel worthy can own their ignorance and reach out for support, which ends up helping them grow.
In addition to asking for help, a healthy culture includes giving and receiving feedback openly and positively. If you feel shame, all your self-worth is on the line when you hear a piece of constructive criticism from a colleague or boss, and your instinct is to defend and explain yourself. If you don’t feel shame, you’re able to iterate and improve and not take it personally.
Also, the simple lack of feedback can start to foster a shame culture. Think about it from the team’s perspective: if they get no feedback, they start to worry about their performance. Am I doing badly? They may start to think you don’t care as much about them, and begin the process of disconnecting.
One of Brown’s pointed insights is that people who blame others feel shame. If you feel the need to point the finger at someone else, you’re probably feeling bad and defensive about yourself. This is particularly true when the blame takes a public form. I know a woman whose boss blatantly called out everyone’s weaknesses in a meeting, saying, “You hate technology” and “You don’t work fast enough.”
People should be held accountable, but the right attitude is: we’re on the same time, we all contributed to this, how can we fix it together?
Gossip, name-calling, and favoritism
Lots of gossip is a shame-based activity, putting someone down for something they did or said. And if a team member realizes they’re being talked about – and they will – they start being afraid of speaking out. Name-calling and favoritism separate people into categories of good and bad, and it’s not even a healthy experience for the favorites – they’ll stake their worth on being a favorite, and start to be afraid someone else could take their place.
Shame culture can be insidious, and Brown has a few strategies for combating it. One is to identify the ways that shame is already present in your company and own up to them. Then, we need to teach people how to give and receive feedback, and set the expectation that it’s not always easy – nor is putting your ideas out there. In the end, it will depend on supportive leaders who are willing to have tough and honest conversations about shame.
It is often said that data is the most valuable asset a business can have; the oil of a digital era. But data itself, while interesting, often leaves out a variety of important details – creating a need for analytics. And how we complete these analytics has evolved – and will continue to do so; particularly with the rapid proliferation of AI tools and technologies.
What is analytics? [Separate article]What are the benefits of analytics?
Data analytics allows companies to institute data-driven decision making which allows companies to minimize bias and gut feel while making both important corporate decisions and making fast operational decisions. For example; with Data Analytics, a business can classify customers according to patterns found in data to understand their customers’ perspective.
Additionaly, a successful analytics program can lead to:
Increased productivity via instant access to the right data through better classification processes
Improved speed, accuracy, and efficiency throughout analytics and data management practices
Facilitating clear compliance with legal and similar requirements
Cost saving by finding the best ways to achieve a wide range of tasks
To better understand data, analytics, AI, and how they all go together, we will answer the following questions:Why is analytics important now?
The belief that data can serve as a guide is growing stronger in both business and government. Organizations want to act on the growing data sets they are gathering, which lead them to place analytics at the center of the decision-making process.
Source: ArcadiaDataHow did analytics evolve?
Source: IIAAnalytics 0.1 Analytics 1.0 Analytics 2.0
In the early 2000s, the volume of data generated from individuals exploded as the internet became a mainstream product. This is called the era of Big Data because of the amount of data provided from phones and social media platforms. Big Data technologies and tools enlarged the set of capabilities that data analytics can do. Some of these capabilities are processing data and leveraging with code in open-source software like Hadoop.Analytics 3.0
With further increase in data generated and increased expectation to make real-time decisions, decision making needs to be pushed to edge devices. Analytics 3.0 combines the information generated at the edge with internal data of the organization using the latest machine learning approaches to predict potential outcomes.
Shankar Meganatha, Oracle Enterprise Cloud Architect, has a simple explanation for Analytics 3.0:
Every device, shipment, and consumer leaves a trail referred to as data exhaust. It’s just not feasible to keep moving very large amounts of raw data to centralized data stores – it is too big, changing too fast, and hyper distributed. Analytics 3.0 is essentially a combination of traditional business intelligence, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) distributed throughout the network.What are the trends shaping analytics today?
Gartner’s hype cycle shared at the top of the article and our interviews highlighted these trends:AI
AI is helping analytics get automated, more accessible and more powerful. We have explored this in detail in our AI in analytics article.Analytics Enablers
Natural language user interfaces (NLUI): All employees need to be able to at least access analytics. These interfaces enable employees to write their queries in natural language and access results,Application specific analytics
Text analytics: Analyzing text requires the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP), a branch of AI. There are emerging specialized analytics tools for analyzing written communication.What are the best practices for analytics?
Based on analytics vendors and our own experience and interviews, these are emerging best practices:High quality data collection is an important first step
Most organizations still throw away a significant share of their data or keep data with significant quality issues. With data issues, analytics can be an exercise of garbage in, garbage out.
To see the big picture in your data, it is good to use the most suitable visualization tools. Visualization is a great way to understand and present insights in the process of decision-making.Identify your KPIs and regularly monitor them via dashboards
Identifying and tracking KPIs is critical for any business. To achieve this, it is good to keep in mind the end goal of the collected data. With that answer, you can add relevant parameters to your reports or dashboards, and remove the redundant ones. Well-prepared reports and dashboards, which are free from irrelevant metrics, eases organizations’ understanding of the current situation and improvement areas.Check your Analysis Periodically
Results of your analysis will change as your company and market conditions evolce. A decision your organization makes today may not be the most optimal decision tomorrow. That’s why periodical analytical checks of the insights can be a life-saving action.What are the analytics pitfalls to avoid?
We have heard about these analytics pitfalls as we spoke to practitioners:
Organizations that operate on executives’ gut feel rather than data. First step in setting up analytics in an organization should be to ensure that the whole company, from management to most junior employees, follows data-driven decision making.
Operating a small sample size of data, which is associated with low statistical power, prevents organizations from success. Make sure you have a large volume of data to get accurate insights.
Data may give you all the information you need, but analysts should be careful while translating it into insight. Confusing causation with correlation may lead to misleading conclusions, be hesitant to make conclusions and try to find out an answer to the question of why.
Some tools that can enable more powerful analytics include:
NameFoundedStatusNumber of Employees Amazon Machine Learning1994Public10,001+ Ayasdi2008Private51-200 BigML2011Private11-50 H2O.ai H2O2012Private51-200 IBM Watson1911Public10,001+ Infosys1981Public10,001+ Microsoft Azure Machine Learning1975Public10,001+ Receptiviti2023Private11-50 SAS Analytics Suite1976Public10,001+
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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In outbreak news
There’s an Ebola outbreak in Guinea, a rare but much-feared hemorrhagic fever, and a lot of people are talking about it. The Ebola strain originated 2000 miles away, and experts are trying to figure out how exactly the virus traveled over such a great distance. It’s a sobering reminder that deadly disease that appears contained in one part of the world can easily break out under the right circumstances. Already, the outbreak has moved to neighboring Liberia.
Measles appeared in New York City, and some have blamed the anti-vaccine movement.
A possible new deadly virus may have appeared in China.
Climate change may allow malaria to spread to new altitudes, reports the BBC. And speaking of malaria, Ed Yong has a superb longread at Mosaic on how malaria defeats drugs.
In vaccine news
A new study says the Google Flu Trends has accuracy problems. Alexis Madrigal at the Atlantic defends the tracker.
Researchers say that influenza mutations are behind the flu vaccine’s poor showing in 2012. Still, despite the fact that the vaccine didn’t match the circulating virus very well that year, the Centers for Disease Control says it still helped reduce serious flu-related illness in both the 2011-12 season and the year before.
And the World Health Organization declared that India is officially polio-free. Yay, vaccination programs!
In antibiotics news
Alex Broom at The Conversation says doctors over-prescribe antibiotics and explains why, and the CDC says a lot of hospitals are overusing or misusing the drugs.
Pagan Kennedy has a disturbing piece on antibiotics and obesity in the New York Times. If the drugs cause livestock to fatten up, Kennedy asks, what about people?
And Brendan Borrell has a lovely profile at Nautilus on a tuberculosis researcher (whose work is indirectly related to antibiotic treatments) who is going blind. A must read.
In invasive species news
Brian Barth at Modern Farmer tells us one way to combat invasive species is to eat them.
NPR’s All Things Considered describes giant invasive lizards in Florida.
In agriculture and plant science news
A genetically engineered Chestnut tree might bring back a species decimated by a fungus. Ferris Jabr has a great story on the project in Scientific American.
Alexa Kurzius at Modern Farmer has an interesting piece on using genomics to control agricultural weeds.
Brandon Keim at Wired explained how some rootworm species have grown resistant to Bt corn. (I maintain this is a stewardship issue, and is not unique to GMOs).
Researchers in Queensland are attaching tiny radio trackers to fruit flies in order to map swarms. The ultimate goal is to release sterile flies to help lower the fly population to protect crops. Sounds like science fiction but it’s real—the Conversation explains.
And Retro Report has a great story on the medfly debacle of the eighties.
In creepy crawly news
Researchers tricked flies into falling in love with a ball of wax by zapping them with lasers.
Dan Kois has an op-ed at Slate arguing that yes, kids with lice should be allowed to go to school. Let the lousy kids learn!
Rebecca Kreston’s wonderful Body Horrors blog at Discover tells us all about Salmonella and reptiles.
And William Storr has a great book excerpt at Matter on Morgellons disease. Equal parts horrifying and fascinating.
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