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Wonder Dynamics raises $2.5M seed to equip indie filmmakers with AI-powered VFX

Practically every film production these days needs some kind of visual effects work, but independent creators often lack the cash or expertise to get that top-shelf CG. Wonder Dynamics, founded by VFX engineer Nikola Todorovic and actor Tye Sheridan, aims to use AI to make some of these processes more accessible for filmmakers with budgets on the tight side, and they’ve just raised $2.5 million to make it happen.
The company has its origins in 2017, after Sheridan and Todorovic met on the set of Rodrigo Garcia’s film Last Days in the Desert. They seem to have both felt that …

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Scale CEO Alex Wang and Accel’s Dan Levine explain why sometimes unconventional VC deals are best

Few companies have done better than Scale at spotting a need in the AI gold rush early on and filling that gap. The startup rightly identified that one of the tasks most important to building effective AI at scale — the laborious exercise of tagging data sets to make them usable in properly training new AI agents — was one that companies focused on that area of tech would also be most willing to outsource. CEO and co-founder Alex Wang credits their success since founding, which includes raising over $277 million and achieving break-even status in terms of revenue, to early support from …

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Extra Crunch roundup: Tonal EC-1, Deliveroo’s rocky IPO, is Substack really worth $650M?

For this morning’s column, Alex Wilhelm looked back on the last few months, “a busy season for technology exits” that followed a hot Q4 2020.
We’re seeing signs of an IPO market that may be cooling, but even so, “there are sufficient SPACs to take the entire recent Y Combinator class public,” he notes.
Once we factor in private equity firms with pockets full of money, it’s evident that late-stage companies have three solid choices for leveling up.
Seeking more insight into these liquidity options, Alex interviewed:

DigitalOcean CEO Yancey Spruill, whose company went public via IPO.
Latch …

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How Digitata provides intelligent pricing on mobile data and voice with Amazon Lookout for Metrics

This is a guest post by Nico Kruger (CTO of Digitata) and Chris King (Sr. ML Specialist SA at AWS). In their own words, “Digitata intelligently transforms pricing and subscriber engagement for mobile operators, empowering operators to make better and more informed decisions to meet and exceed business objectives.”
As William Gibson said, “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” This is incredibly true in many emerging markets for connectivity. Users often pay 100 times more for data, voice, and SMS services than their counterparts in Europe or the US. Digitata aims to better democratize access to …

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Rust detection using machine learning on AWS

Visual inspection of industrial environments is a common requirement across heavy industries, such as transportation, construction, and shipbuilding, and typically requires qualified experts to perform the inspection. Inspection locations can often be remote or in adverse environments that put humans at risk, such as bridges, skyscrapers, and offshore oil rigs.
Many of these industries deal with huge metal surfaces and harsh environments. A common problem across these industries is metal corrosion and rust. Although corrosion and rust are used interchangeably across different industries (we also use the terms interchangeably in this post), these two phenomena are different. For more details …

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Aerobotics improves training speed by 24 times per sample with Amazon SageMaker and TensorFlow

Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Michael Malahe, Head of Data at Aerobotics, a South African startup that builds AI-driven tools for agriculture.
Aerobotics is an agri-tech company operating in 18 countries around the world, based out of Cape Town, South Africa. Our mission is to provide intelligent tools to feed the world. We aim to achieve this by providing farmers with actionable data and insights on our platform, Aeroview, so that they can make the necessary interventions at the right time in the growing season. Our predominant data source is aerial drone imagery: capturing visual and …

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UiPath’s IPO filing suggests robotic process automation is booming

Robotic process automation platform UiPath added its name to the list of companies pursuing public-market offerings this morning with the release of its S-1 filing. The document details a quickly growing software company with sharply improving profitability performance. The company also flipped from cash burn to cash generation on both an operating and free-cash-flow basis in its most recent fiscal year.
Companies that produce robotic process automation (RPA) software help enterprises reduce labor costs and errors. Instead of having a human perform repetitive tasks like data entry, processing credit card applications and scheduling cable installation appointments, RPA tools employ software …

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Technology With Heart is What We Need: The Role of AI and Deep Tech Towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability | Mustafa Mousa

Technology With Heart is What We Need:
The Role of AI and Deep Tech Towards
Urban Resilience and Sustainability

Mustafa Mousa
Co-founder & CEO, Sadeem Technology


Mustafa is a cofounder and CEO of the startup company, Sadeem, the world's first multi-patented flood information system to save lives and resources in real-time. Mustafa is a PhD holder from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Electrical Engineering and a control system engineering graduate of King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals (top of the class). He has an expertise on instrumentation, flood detection and machine learning gained in KFUPM, KAUST and the department of transportation engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

Mustafa started his entrepreneurial life with a joint diploma in Entrepreneurship between UC Berkeley and KAUST. In 2019, Mustafa became a certified strategy and business development and execution professional provided by the KPI institute, and in the same year, he became an accredited Small and Medium businesses consultant by the Association of Accredited Small Businesses Consultants (AASBC).

He helped Sadeem to raise seed and growth funding (+2.6M USD funds), as well as the expansion of Sadeem's operation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and the United States. In addition, Mustafa acquired several personal and professional honors and accolades through his career. For instance, he helped Sadeem to become the best IP-based startup in 2016 (In KAUST), best global startup in GITEX 2017 (In UAE), 1st place winner in ArabNet's event in 2018 (In Riyadh), as well as getting the award of the best entrepreneur in 2018 by Oqal in their 27th annual meeting (In Riyadh) (Prize money +200k USD)


Wireless Sensing Systems Company

Sadeem provides smart city solutions worldwide, saving lives and resources in real-time. Being the global leader in urban flood & traffic monitoring with a multi-patented technology that combines a sensor network, mobile applications and a visualization platform.

Sadeem was founded with one intention: to save lives using technology that creates safe, smart, sustainable cities. Headquartered in Saudi Arabia, our international team of scientists, developers, and engineers bring a wealth of expertise to every one of our smart solutions.

Sadeem’s multi-patented technology provides wireless sensing systems that monitor air pollution, traffic, and flooding. We utilize solar powered sensor networks, machine learning based software, mobile applications, and visualization platforms to provide critical geographic information system (GIS) data and alerts cities can use to prepare for emergencies, address climate uncertainty, and design strong urban resilience plans.

From our beginnings as a small start-up at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in 2010, Sadeem is now recognized as a respected leader in providing smart city solutions around the world.

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Startups book an expo booth at TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 to double down on connection and exposure

When it comes to fast-moving technology, mobility zooms ahead of the pack — both literally and figuratively. Early-stage startup founders and investors need to keep their fingers on the sector’s very rapid pulse and the best place to do that is, you guessed it, TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 on June 9.
If you’re eager to introduce your early-stage startup to the top leaders, investors, experts and policy makers across the mobility tech community, don’t just attend TC Sessions: Mobility — exhibit there. Double down on essential exposure and increase your opportunities.
Budget-friendly tip: The early-bird price remains active until May 5 at 11:59 …

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Deep science: AI is in the air, water, soil and steel

Research papers come out far too rapidly for anyone to read them all, especially in the field of machine learning, which now affects (and produces papers in) practically every industry and company. This column aims to collect some of the most relevant recent discoveries and papers — particularly in but not limited to artificial intelligence — and explain why they matter.
This week brings a few unusual applications of or developments in machine learning, as well as a particularly unusual rejection of the method for pandemic-related analysis.
One hardly expects to find machine learning in the domain of government regulation, if only …

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