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This was AI race week, seemingly, and Google, Nvidia, AT&T, Siemens and your local retailer were all there. At the pole position, Google held an AI event on Wednesday. In addition to announcing the company’s recent advances in AI technology, CEO Sundar Pichai made the case for responsible AI, saying, “We see so much opportunity ahead and are committed to making sure the technology is built in service of helping people, like any transformational technology.” 

Nvidia has entered the speech AI race (currently dominated by Google and Meta) by partnering with Mozilla Common Voice. The partnership’s goal is using crowdsourced content to build automatic speech recognition models that can work universally for language speakers worldwide. 

“Demographic diversity is key to capturing language diversity,” said Caroline de Brito Gottlieb, product manager at Nvidia, “… we aim to create a dataset ecosystem that helps communities build speech datasets and models for any language or context.” 

Speaking of AI and races, AT&T has become a surprise contender in the AI-as-a-service market. Maybe it’s not so surprising — as a legacy company, AT&T had a lot of legacy tech debt to deal with. So as the company modernized its tech stack, it took those learnings and turned them into a process to package and sell to other companies. 

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Siemens was also able to find strong growth (as in $5 billion-over-two-years strong) in turning its products into subscription services. Over the past two years, Siemens has transitioned its digital twin portfolio to an industrial metaverse cloud platform and now offers it as a SaaS. Most companies expect to take a temporary revenue loss while transitioning to a new business model, but Siemens capitalized on what Cedrik Neike, CEO of Siemens Digital Industries, called “the ketchup bottle effect.” 

Here’s more from our top 5 tech stories of the week:

1. How Siemens grew 25% in two years building a SaaS for digital twins

Siemens Digital Industries has grown revenues from about $15 billion a year to $20 billion within only two years of transitioning its digital twin portfolio to an industrial metaverse cloud called Siemens Xcelerator.

Siemens has one of the most extensive portfolios of simulation, optimization, testing and design tools to link digital twins. For example, its PLCs in the factory generate terabytes of data that can calibrate a production digital twin with live data from the factory floor. This can help teams look for bottlenecks and see quality defects.

“Everybody was talking about automation and digital twins, but now they’re investing in it,” said Cedrik Neike, CEO of Siemens Digital Industries. 


2. Google announces AI advances in text-to-video, language translation, more

At a Google AI event at the company’s Pier 57 offices in New York City, Google announced a variety of artificial intelligence (AI) advances, including in generative AI, language translation, health AI and disaster management.

The event also focused heavily on a discussion around its efforts to build responsible AI, particularly related to control and safety, helping identify generative AI, and “building for everyone.”


3. Nvidia enters the speech AI race, joining Meta and Google

At Nvidia’s Speech AI Summit this week, the company announced its new speech artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem, which it developed through a partnership with Mozilla Common Voice. 

The ecosystem focuses on developing crowdsourced multilingual speech corpuses and open-source pretrained models. Nvidia and Mozilla Common Voice aim to accelerate the growth of automatic speech recognition models that work universally for every language speaker worldwide.


4. At AT&T, AI is becoming part of ‘core fabric,’ says chief data officer

One year ago, AT&T, the world’s largest telecom company, announced a collaboration with AI cloud company H2O to jointly launch an artificial intelligence (AI) feature store for enterprises.

Since then, the feature store has become a key part of AT&T’s vision of scaling its own AI efforts across the organization, and to “truly integrate data and AI into the core fabric of how we run the business,” Andy Markus, AT&T’s chief data officer, told VentureBeat.


5. Computer vision brings intelligence to retail tech

Cashierless checkout and inventory management tools powered by AI and computer vision are on the rise. A variety of companies, both big tech and startups, have taken different approaches over the past few years, using cameras and sensors to identify items and ringing them up — allowing the customer to quickly grab items off the shelf and leave without standing in line.

Even as the economy slows, investors show no signs of pulling back on investments in this sector. Big funding rounds are still making news, including the Tel Aviv-based Trigo, which last week announced a $100 million series C investment, bringing its total funding to around $199 million, according to Crunchbase.

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