Amazon Thwarts Damaged Goods - with AI

PLUS: Baidu reveals $145M AI Fund

Good morning, human brains. Welcome back to your daily munch of AI news.

Here’s what’s on the menu today:

  • OpenAI’s New Cybersecurity Grant Program 🔐

    $1M earmarked for AI-powered cybersecurity projects

  • Amazon’s AI sniffs out damaged products 📦
    Detecting defects 3x more effectively than humans

  • Baidu’s AI Venture Fund

    The Chinese giant has set aside 1 billion yuan of dry powder for AI investments


OpenAI’s push for better cybersecurity 🚨

It’s the second grant program they’ve released in less than a month. The first one aims to explore democratic decision-making mechanisms for AI systems.

The goal for this one? Empower defending security teams to fight off threats with the help of AI.

The interest in cybersecurity coincides with data privacy concerns with ChatGPT, which prompted scrutiny from regulators and a temporary ban in Italy. Interesting timing…

OpenAI’s program will award qualifying teams chunks of $10,000, but only for defensive cybersecurity tools and methods.

You can apply for the grant here.

Take: Smart move by OpenAI. Googling “OpenAI cybersecurity” before this program announcement yielded a much different result, to say the least... $1M as a PR fix and a gesture of goodwill? Two birds with one stone.

Counter-take: Ulterior motives aside, dedicating funding for better security is a welcome sign. Fighting fire with fire may be a necessity rather than a nice-to-have as attackers gain more and more edge with AI.


Defensive Cybersecurity

Security measures put in place to protect data, networks, and software from attacks.

In contrast, offensive cybersecurity actively seeks out vulnerabilities and weaknesses to better secure systems and networks. These two ideas dovetail into what’s known in the industry as red team/blue team exercises — the red team attacks while the blue team defends.


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Amazon’s AI-powered quality assurance 📦

Amazon is integrating AI into its fulfillment warehouses.

Amazon’s spiffy new model was trained on images of both damaged and undamaged items. It’s learned to distinguish between the two and flag any products that don't meet the bar.

Amazon has successfully integrated this AI into two of its major fulfillment centers. In addition to these first two, the giant intends to expand the tech into 10 additional centers across the U.S. and Europe soon.

This is just one step of many in automating increasing portions of fulfillment.

Without the AI, it falls on warehouse workers to inspect goods for wear and tear. The Director of Applied Science at Amazon Robotics, Jeremy Wyatt, stated that the process can be quite demanding. The defect rate is already less than one in a thousand, so it’s simply not feasible to make checking for damage a primary concern.

But, this first version of the AI is three times more efficient at detecting damaged products than humans — adding up to a lot of time and effort saved.

Our take: AI for quality control in fulfillment centers makes sense. Between labor shortages, the repetitive nature of the work, and human error, machines are clearly better here. We can only hope the efficiency boost will result in more bathroom breaks for Amazon’s warehouse employees…


Baidu’s AI venture fund 💸

Chinese tech titan Baidu announced a new 1 billion yuan ($145 million) venture fund last week.

The objective? Back AI startups focused on content creation.

Baidu's push mimics OpenAI’s play, where, in 2021, the company launched a $100 million startup fund (that later expanded to $175 million).

Robin Li, CEO of Baidu. Credit: Getty Images

Apart from seeking a return, the idea behind the strategy is to create new power-user customers, and hopefully, acquisition targets for later down the line.

There’s big potential for Chinese companies to capitalize here — despite global popularity, China banned ChatGPT in February.

Baidu themselves announced their own ChatGPT counterpart, Ernie, in March. However, public response was lackluster — stock price tanked 10% following the public reveal.

Our take: There are plenty of competitors joining the fray, but what’s their plan to actually catch up to OpenAI? How will Ernie and others differentiate themselves from OpenAI’s tools?



Think Pieces

Emotional Artificial Intelligence: what will relationships between humans and AI look like?

AI for Trading Stocks: how a trading bot produces profits north of 5%.

Startup News

CrowdStrike: a new AI for Cybersecurity called Charlotte AI


Google Research for Software Developers: DIDACT - A Large Sequence / Multi-Tasking Model

A helpful Guide to Building LLM’s: the main difficulties to look out for when building large language models.

“Casual Inference“ For Machine Learning Algorithms: how to enable AI and machine learning algorithms to reason similarly from a statistical standpoint.


TweetHunter: All-in-one AI tool to build your personal brand on Twitter. Content creation, advanced scheduling, analytics, automation, engagement — it’s all there. [Sponsored]


AI-generated image of Elon Musk as a baby went viral. His response was hilarious:

Tag us on Twitter @BotEatBrain for a chance to be featured here tomorrow.



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