Coffee Briefing Jul. 18 – Musk aims to get a grip on reality using AI; Scotiabank and Xero join forces to support Canada’s small businesses; Shutterstock offers enterprise indemnification for AI image creation; and more

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Musk aims to get a grip on reality using AI


Co-founder of SpaceX and current chief executive officer of Twitter, Elon Musk, has entered the AI space with the launch of start-up xAI. Musk shared the news of xAI’s formation on Twitter with minimal details about the company’s specific focus, stating only that it aims to “understand reality.” 

The start-up’s team comprises experts formerly employed by AI firms such as DeepMind, OpenAI and Google Research.

This isn’t Musk’s first involvement in the AI realm; he was a co-founder of OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT. However, his association with the company ended in 2018, allegedly due to disagreements with management over safety approaches.

Scotiabank and Xero join forces to support Canada’s small businesses with automatic bank feeds

Scotiabank Logo (CNW Group/Scotiabank)

Scotiabank and global small business platform Xero have started a collaboration that hopes to simplify financial administration tasks for Canada’s small business owners and their accounting advisors. By integrating Xero’s services, Scotiabank’s small business clients can access and merge their business banking information with day-to-day operations, granting them visibility into cash flow and reducing manual data import tasks.

Chris Manning, senior vice president of global business payments at Scotiabank, said, “Scotiabank is committed to making it easier for our clients to run their businesses. Working with Xero, Scotiabank will provide business clients with the convenience of a single platform to carry out their accounting, payments and financial management processes.”

The integration relies on API-enabled technology delivered through Scotia TranXact, through which Scotiabank will provide financial data to Xero’s accounting platform, streamlining the accounting process for business owners. The companies said that the partnership aims to offer Xero’s Canadian customers added value by granting them insights for informed decision-making and improved efficiency through reconciliation automation capabilities.

Shutterstock offers enterprise customers indemnification for AI image creation


Shutterstock.Ai – Creativity at the Speed of Your Imagination

Shutterstock now offers full indemnification for enterprise customers for the license and use of generative AI images on its platform. The move is designed to allow for AI image licensing and fair compensation for contributing artists through the Shutterstock AI-specific Contributor Fund. The indemnification process is activated on-demand via human review, protecting customers from potential claims related to their use of AI-generated images.

“We’re at an inflection point in the use of generative AI technology as business professionals are seeking more assurance around their rights to legally use AI-generated content, and creators of original content want to ensure their work is fairly licensed for use,” said John Lapham, general counsel at Shutterstock. “We have always sought to manage risk for our customers and are uniquely positioned to bring a commercially viable image generator to market and indemnify its outputs, because of our relationship with artists and intimate understanding of the complexities of licensing.”

The company said that this move is part of Shutterstock’s efforts in AI, including recent launches of AI Design Assistant and DALL.E-powered AI Image Generator. The AI image generator prioritizes customers’ commercial safety while protecting and compensating artists. The company’s ongoing partnerships with tech leaders, it said, demonstrate its commitment to AI innovation and developing AI tools and standards for creators.

EY Canada welcomes newest cohort of Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs to its Entrepreneurs Access Network

EY logo – Building a better working world (CNW Group/EY (Ernst & Young))

EY Canada has announced the selection of 13 company founders for the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network Class of 2023. The program was launched in 2022 to assist Black and Indigenous leaders in accessing learning and networks to scale their businesses and overcome barriers.

The selected entrepreneurs include Jefferson Darrell of Breakfast Culture Inc., Farnel Fleurant of Workind, Thierry Lindor of, Alison and Sean Evans of Gulf Island Seaplanes, Anthony and Nancy Wingham of Nuez Acres, Muriel Koucoï of SIMKHA Biocosmétiques™ Inc., Stan Higgins of Versapile, Inc., Clara D. Lewis of Brown Diva Dolls Inc., Evelyne Nyairo of EllieBianca, Akeem Gardner of Canurta Inc., Nicole Antoine of N/A & Company Inc., Mallory Yawnghwe of Indigenous Box Inc., and Randy Osei of Athlete Technology Group.

“The Entrepreneurs Access Network is one tangible way that EY can live its purpose of Building a Better Working World – everyday,” says Myriam Gafarou, EY Entrepreneurs Access Network program co-director. “Together, we can build a stronger economy by building an inclusive economy.”

Amazon Web Services and Momentum bring fiber optic fusion splicing certificate to Calgary

At the Calgary Stampede this week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a collaboration with Momentum, a community training organization, to bring a free fiber optic fusion splicing training course to Calgary.

The project, known as the Fusion Splicing Certificate Courses, offers a two-day program of lecture-based and hands-on workshops. The workshops will be led by optical fiber technology company Sumitomo Electric Lightwave. The course promises to prioritizes job placements, with networking opportunities upon graduation. 

The program is running September 12 and 13, 2023.

More to explore

Bell remains fastest provider, Telus dips in performance: Ookla’s Q2 2023 mobile and broadband analysis

Bell remained the fastest mobile and fixed broadband operator in Canada, while Telus tumbled in several categories, Ookla’s Q2 2023 mobile and broadband analysis, released today, found.

Forrester assesses priority cloud trends and strategies in 2023

As U.S. hyperscalers began to build data center regions in Canada nearly 7 years ago, the scope of cloud adoption here exploded.

Canada welcomed more than 32,000 tech workers between April 2022 and March 2023: Report

A total of 32,115 tech workers came to Canada in the period from April 2022 – March 2023, a new report by The Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) and Canada’s Tech Network (CTN) found.

Sentry report shows developer happiness drives productivity

Toronto-based tech company Sentry recently released a report on developer productivity and happiness, shedding light on the challenges faced by developers and offering insights into how companies can optimize developer workflows. Sentry’s CEO, Milin Desai, discussed the key findings of the report in an interview, and emphasized the importance of prioritizing developer success in today’s fast-paced tech industry.

Manifest Climate: transforming climate risk planning with AI

Toronto-based company Manifest Climate wants to change how corporations’ climate disclosures are processed and shared. The company, founded by Laura Zizzo, who is now chief executive officer (CEO), aims to provide decision-makers in the capital markets with better information to scale climate resilience globally.

Chinese hacker forged authentication tokens to access government email: Microsoft

A China-based threat actor was able to access cloud-based Microsoft email accounts of approximately 25 organizations — including government agencies, as well as related consumer accounts of individuals likely associated with these organizations — by forging authentication tokens to access user email, the company has warned.

KPMG, Microsoft sign cloud and AI alliance mega deal

KPMG and Microsoft have announced what they described as a “significant expansion of their global relationship that will reshape professional services across a number of business-critical areas including workforce modernization, safe and secure development, and use of artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives for clients, industries and society more broadly.”

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Hashtag Trending Jul. 18-Meta fined $100,000 a day for privacy violations; Reddit annoys moderators again; Google tightens PlayStore policies

Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

Cyber Security Today, July 17, 2023 – USB-based attacks rising, attacks on AWS increasing and more

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances

If you live in Québec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr is a recent journalism graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University. She loves writing about all things data, travel, tech, lifestyle and subculture. You can reach out to Breanna via [email protected].

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