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OpenAI Competitor Raises $450M Toward 'Better' Generative AI

Plus, a Japanese research team designs a satellite made from wood, Ford and Tesla team up on EV Supercharger Access, and holoportation sounds futuristic — but it might be here now.

hand holding graphic of alien representing a chatbot
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Anthropic, an OpenAI competitor founded by former OpenAI employees, in May announced it had raised $450 million in a Series C funding round. The company’s main AI assistant product, Claude, is designed to positively impact users with the aim of being more helpful and honest than its generative AI rivals. The funding round was led by venture capital firm Spark Capital.
Source: VentureBeat


After proving that wood can stand up to the harsh environment of space, Japanese researchers are getting ready to launch the first satellite made of lumber in 2024. A team from Kyoto University aboard the International Space Station tested three types of wood and found that it wasn’t affected by conditions like cosmic rays over the course of 10 months, concluding that magnolia was sturdiest. The team will replace the parts of a satellite that are typically made of aluminum with the wood in the experimental device with the idea that it would create less “space junk,” among other advantages.
Source: Gizmodo


Early next year, drivers of electric Ford vehicles will get a big bonus: Access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. and Canada, thanks to a new partnership between the two companies. Current Ford EV owners will be able to charge on the Tesla infrastructure with the help of an adapter, but the next generation of electric cars from the auto giant will feature Tesla’s charging plug.
Source: Interesting Engineering


While holoportation might sound straight out of Star Trek, it could help students at Gallaudet University, a liberal arts school for the deaf and hard of hearing, participate in remote learning. The Epic hologram projection unit from Proto “beams” life-sized images of people into rooms for real-time interaction. At the Visual-Centric Teaching and Learning Symposium hosted by Gallaudet this spring, university president Roberta J. Cordano “beamed” into the Epic to interact with attendees using American Sign Language. The school is interested in the technology’s potential to host guest speakers from around the world.
Source: New Atlas

This story originally appeared in the July/August issue of Government Technology magazine. Click here to view the full digital edition online.