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A News Digest on AI, IPO and Self-Driving Tech

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SoftBank’s internet subsidiary Z Holdings outlined plans on Monday to invest 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) in technology over five years with a focus on artificial intelligence.
Aurora Innovation, the self-driving tech developer that recently bought Uber’s Advanced Technology Group, is acquiring OURS Technology, a Silicon Valley startup specializing in integrating multiple sensors into a single chip to help cut the cost and size of the laser lidar system it developed for autonomous trucks. OURS, which specializes in sensor fusion applications, will integrate Aurora’s FirstLight lidar technology, created after it previously bought FMCW lidar maker Blackmore in 2019, into a solid-state chip. Aurora declined to say how much it’s paying for Santa Clara, California-based OURS, which has raised about $5.8 million since its founding, according to PitchBook. About a dozen OURS engineers are joining Aurora and will work at its Bay Area offices. Along with Aurora, leading autonomous tech developers including Waymo, Cruise, Ford- and Volkswagen-back Argo AI, Hyundai-backed Motional, and Amazon’s Zoox robotaxi unit prioritizes lidar to help maximize safety owing to its ability to detect depth and other features cameras aren’t as good at. Notably, one major holdout against the technology is Tesla’s Elon Musk, who has called it a “crutch” and a useless organ, like an “appendix.” Musk has touted and charged Tesla customers for “Full Self Driving” capability for years–but hasn’t quite delivered it–favors lower-cost cameras and radar.
Robinhood to Plan Confidential IPO Filing as Soon as March Robinhood, which was valued at $11.7 billion in a funding round last year, raised financing this year that will convert to equity in an IPO. A first tranche will convert at a $30 billion valuation or a 30% discount to the IPO, whichever is lower, with the second at the lower of the 30% IPO discount or a $33 billion valuation, Bloomberg reported. Vlad Tenev is a Co-Founder and CEO of Robinhood.
Artificial intelligence
AI can write a passing college paper in 20 minutes Natural language processing is on the cusp of changing our relationship with machines forever. The specific AI — GPT-3, for Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 — was released in June 2020 by OpenAI, a research business co-founded by Elon Musk. It was developed to create content with a human language structure better than any of its predecessors. Natural language processing has been developing swiftly in the past couple of years, enabling computers to generate text that feels, in many cases, contextually appropriate and passably organic.
Clubhouse Is Booming. So Is the Ecosystem Around It An ecosystem of startups, features, and tools has sprung up around Clubhouse, and some, like the Clubhouse analytics tool Direcon, are already monetizing
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