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In a crowded global market, Canadian AI startups’ fundraising results stand out – TechCrunch



In a crowded global market, Canadian AI startups' fundraising results stand out - TechCrunch

It’s heyday for startups building with or on top of AI functionality: the exchange explored the turnout in venture capital dollars for AI startups last week, noting that investments in the business niche set records in the fourth quarter of 2020 and then successively in quarters one, two and three in 2021.

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Given how heated the overall venture capital market is proving to be, those data points were only so surprising. What shocked us a bit, however, was how active the Canadian AI startup market has been this year.

Maybe it shouldn’t have happened. Matt Cohen, a managing partner at Ripple Ventures, told The Exchange that “while investment in Canadian startups of all varieties has increased of late, AI-enabled startups are definitely leading the way.”

We are lagging, it turns out. But not so far behind that we can’t catch up to the Canadian AI startup story. Our questions are simple: why are Canadian startups seeing their fundraising fortunes soar, which parts of the AI ​​stack are under attack, what role does public money play in rising investment totals, and what impact are local universities having on artificial intelligence in Canada?

To help us, we have a dataset from CB Insights and have clarifying notes from Ripple’s Cohen along with Ali Zahidic, an investor at Ramen Ventures, Shawn Chance, a partner at OMERS, Bruno Morency, the director of Techstars Montreal AI, and Louis Fisher, an intelligence analyst from CB Insights.

We’ll start with data and then talk about what’s pushing the numbers up.

Let’s start from an annual perspective. Funding for Canadian AI startups soared to record highs in 2019, before falling to just $488 million in total funding in 2020. But 2021 proves to be more than a return to form for Canadian AI startups, with some $1.5 billion raised in the third quarter.

The results are a bit uneven, to be honest. Canada saw $895 million across 21 deals in Q2 2021 AI financing, and just $446 million in Q3, albeit from a slightly higher deal count of 24. But as the dollar result for Q3 2021 for the country nearly aligns With its full year 2020 total, it’s hard to be too bearish.

The evolution of Canadian AI financing as part of all venture capital financing in the country is impressive. AI firms have so far raised 16% of known venture capital funds in 2021, a huge gain on the only 2% they were worth in total dollar volume in 2016.


UPDATE 3 Rohingya Refugees Sue Facebook for $150 Billion for Violence in Myanmar




Facebook says it removes accounts that focused on Vietnamese activists

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are suing Meta Platforms Inc, formerly known as Facebook, for $150 billion over allegations that the social media company has failed to act against anti-Rohingya hate speech that has contributed to violence. A US class-action lawsuit filed Monday in California by law firms Edelson PC and Fields PLLC argues that the company’s failure to control content and the platform’s design contributed to the real-life violence facing the Rohingya. . .com/investigates/special-report/myanmar-facebook-hate community.

In a concerted action, British lawyers have also sent a letter of formal notice to Facebook’s London office. A Meta spokesperson said in a statement: “We are shocked by the crimes committed against the Rohingya people in Myanmar. We have built a dedicated team of Burmese speakers, banned the Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military), disrupted networks that manipulate public debate and take action against harmful misinformation to protect people. We have also invested in Burmese language technology to reduce the prevalence of infringing content.”

The company previously said it was “too slow to prevent misinformation and hatred” in Myanmar. A spokesman for the Myanmar junta did not return calls from Reuters to comment on the legal action against Facebook.

In 2018, UN human rights researchers said the use of Facebook had played a key role in spreading hate speech that fueled the violence. A Reuters investigation that year, cited in the US complaint, found more than 1,000 examples of posts, comments, and images depicting the Rohingya and other attacking Muslims on Facebook. Almost all were in the main local language, Burmese.

The swear words included posts calling the Rohingya or other Muslims dogs, maggots and rapists, suggesting that they be fed to pigs, and urging them to be shot or exterminated. The posts were tolerated despite Facebook rules specifically prohibiting attacking ethnic groups with “violent or dehumanizing language” or comparing them to animals.

Facebook has said it is protected from liability for content posted by users by a US internet law known as Section 230, which states that online platforms are not liable for content posted by third parties. The complaint says it wants to apply Myanmar law to the claims if Section 230 is raised as a defense. While US courts can apply foreign law to cases where the alleged harm and activities by companies occurred in other countries, two legal experts interviewed by Reuters said they were not aware of a successful precedent for foreign law invoked in lawsuits against social media companies where Section 230 protections may apply.

Anupam Chander, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said relying on Myanmar law was not “inappropriate”. But he predicted that “it is unlikely to be successful,” saying that “it would be strange if Congress ruled out actions under US law but allowed them to proceed under foreign law.” More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Rakhine state in Myanmar in August 2017 after a military crackdown that refugees say involved massacres and rapes. Rights groups documented murders of civilians and the burning of villages.

Myanmar authorities say they fought an insurgency and deny committing systematic atrocities. The International Criminal Court has opened a case over allegations of crimes in the region. In September, a US federal judge ordered Facebook to release data from accounts linked to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar that the social media giant had shut down.

The new class-action lawsuit references claims by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who leaked a cache 2021-12-03 from internal documents this year that the company does not monitor abusive content in countries where such expressions are likely to do the most damage. The complaint also cites recent media reports, including a Reuters report last month, that Myanmar military used fake social media accounts to engage in what is commonly referred to in the military as “information battle.”

Mohammed Taher, a refugee living in the camps in Bangladesh where more than a million Rohingya live, said Facebook was widely used to spread anti-Rohingya propaganda. “We are happy with the move,” he said on the phone.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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YouTube cancels year-end video ‘Rewind’ for 2020, says it’s been a different year




YouTube cancels year-end video 'Rewind' for 2020, says it's been a different year

Video streaming giant YouTube, owned by Google, has announced that it will not release a “Rewind” video for 2020, the company’s celebratory year-end video featuring top video creators. YouTube made the announcement in a statement, saying 2020 was a “different” year and it wouldn’t feel right to continue if it wasn’t. “We know that so much of the good that happened in 2020 was created by all of you. You’ve found ways to cheer people up, help them cope, and make them laugh. You really made a difficult year better,” YouTube said in a statement.

According to an IANS report, major creators have backed YouTube’s call to cancel its year-end video ‘Rewind’. However, the report said there were disagreements with some creators like JerryRigEverything saying that besides all the wrong things that have happened this year, there are several things to be positive about. “Since 2010, we have closed the year with Rewind: a look back at the most impactful creators, videos and trends of the year. Whether you love it — or you just remember 2018 — Rewind was always meant to celebrate you. Thank you for making a difference,” the tweeted statement from YouTube read.

In 2018, YouTube turned its year-end rundown into a short film with cameos from Will Smith, Marshmello, and more. However, the video became the most hated video of all time, despite a star-studded cast. Last year, YouTube went back to a montage of clips from YouTube’s most liked videos of the year.

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NC leaders see many opportunities, growth with news Amazon opens branch




NC leaders see many opportunities, growth with news Amazon opens branch

KINSTON, NC (WNCT) — Amazon is coming to Kinston.

The company purchased a building on Enterprise Boulevard near several other manufacturing centers.

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City and county leaders said this is a major problem for the community. They said it will not only create jobs but could also help attract more large companies to East North Carolina.

“Watch what’s going on in East North Carolina,” said Mark Pope, senior vice president of North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development. “Available Jobs and Opportunities.”

People are already working to get the new facility ready. It’s called a last mile facility.

“That large facility would send products and packages to this facility, and then it would go out from here and be distributed to residents, commercial properties,” Pope said.

The hub will bring new jobs to the area. Officials don’t know how many yet, but some job openings are already online.

“We would like all Kinstonians to be able to apply and accept the job here at our local Amazon hub,” said Mayor Don Hardy. “I think it’s a big problem and it’s going to mean a lot to our community.”

Hardy said this investment proves Kinston has a lot to offer.

“They see us growing,” he said. “They see that we are an asset and they see that we are a force to be reckoned with.”

This is not the first major investment in the region this year.

“We’ve announced more than 1,700 jobs, so a lot of capital investment … about $125 million,” Pope said. “Our region has been very lucky to attract businesses this year.”

Pope said with a name like Amazon coming to town, this won’t be the last big announcement.

“For a company like that to create jobs, a capital investment in the community is a lot,” he said. “People from out of state really notice, they say there’s staff, there’s education. That can attract other companies.”

Hardy said he doesn’t know when the facility will open. He and provincial officials will be talking to Amazon in the coming months to help with plans.

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