Here’s a question that’s been percolating since ChatGPT abruptly entered the mainstream: Does AI provide more avenues to enhance and augment education, or drive it into obsolescence?
According to Under 30 Europe lister Joel Hellermark, the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning is rife with possibilities that can help the ways in which humans learn and collaborate, not replace them. He offered the calculator as a comparison: “If we think about it just like an insanely powerful calculator, you’d want everyone to just learn to use the calculator. Why should you sit there and do a bunch of calculations? That’s quite inefficient.”
The 26-year-old cofounder of software company Sana Labs has been immersed in the coding space since taking online Stanford courses at just 13 years old in Sweden. Now, at his startup, he’s built an AI-driven software to help businesses manage workforce onboarding and training. The program pulls from correspondences, documents and the internet to answer questions and help train employees. Sana introduced the product to the world just as it was shutting down in 2020, and initially offered their platform to hospitals free of charge (over 2,000 took them up on the offer). Sana has since landed paying clients, including Klarna, Merck and Electrolux, and has raised $54.5 million.
Hellermark, who dropped out of school at 19 to start the company, envisions a near future where the content we interact with is presented to us dynamically and with our personal contexts in play. “We’re so used to creating content and then someone consumes the exact thing that you created– that goes all the way back to the printing press,” says Hellermark. “It hasn’t changed that much since. What we can do now is dynamically generate content, so now the system will know what you know, it will know your level, it will know your context, it will know your role, it will know what you’re interested in, and then it will dynamically generate content for you based on that.”
He also mentioned that machine learning will soon incorporate multi-modal responses, such as text, image, video or maps to best fit the needs of a given prompt. This can be used to build custom learning courses for people, develop an order of operations for projects and more. “If you have this knowledge assistant that you know you use across your entire life, it will know you based on what you’ve written, the role you have, historical searches, courses you’ve taken,” says Hellermark. “I think that’s really the end game here.”
How A TikTok Ban Would Deal A Blow To Creators, Businesses And The American Economy
A U.S. ban on the world’s most popular social media app would affect far more American businesses and people than just the 150 million using the platform here.
The company says 5 million U.S. businesses use TikTok to reach customers. And some creators have themselves morphed into mini-industries supported by dozens—even hundreds—of staff, from managers, agents, lawyers and publicists down to editors, producers and assistants. The $100 billion creator economy, and the supply chain of jobs that come with it, are staring down a potentially enormous upheaval as the Biden administration threatens to ban TikTok over national security concerns.
On Our Radars
- Alphabet, Meta and Snap would all be in line for major stock jumps–tacking on some $431 billion in market value– if the U.S. moves forward with a TikTok shutdown, according to a note to clients from Bernstein analysts. Viva la American dream (but only if you work in tech, of course). (Forbes)
- Mobile payment giant Block falsely inflated its stock’s value by lying about internal metrics, allowing company insiders including billionaires Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey to profit wildly, according to a bombshell report from activist investing firm Hindenburg Research. (Forbes)
- If you lived practically anywhere in the U.S. this winter, the following won’t come as a surprise, but the planet is on track for catastrophic warming, according to a new climate change report from the U.N. However, world leaders already have many options to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and protect people, the report says, such as quickly adopting renewable sources of electricity and clamping down on new oil and gas extraction. (NPR)
- In good news, the secondhand retail market is getting bigger. Kream, a second hand clothing marketplace, announced it raised $168 million in Series C funding. The fresh funding put its valuation at $742 million and was led by Altos Ventures, a longtime investor in the company. (Tech Crunch)
StartADAM, founded by Forbes Under 30 Asia lister Adam Stone, announced it raised $1.9 million for the launch of its AI concierge suite for team collaboration. The Los Angeles-based startup acts as an AI assistant to manage and organize multiple workspace platforms, like Slack or Microsoft Teams, to one existing stream with features such as unified communications, automated follow-ups, team updates and due dates. Looking ahead, the company plans to incorporate ChatGPT access, time-tracking, payments, translation, employee rewards, among other initiatives.
Space data company Pixxel, cofounded by Forbes Under 30 Asia lister Awais Ahmen, this week announced a five-year contract with the U.S. NRO Commercial Systems Program Office (CSPO) for the Strategic Commercial Enhancements for Commercial Hyperspectral Capabilities program (say that fives times fast). Pixxel says it’s building a “health monitor for the planet” by creating a constellation of satellites that can reveal key environmental insights like oil spills, gas leaks, methane emissions, forest fires, water pollution, crop disease and more. Through the new partnership, which is Pixxel’s first publicly-announced government customer, the startup will provide technical hyperspectral imagery (HSI) remote sensing capabilities, which can see and interpret the entire color spectrum in each pixel captured by the satellite. Pixxel has raised over $35 million in Series A funding and is backed by Lightspeed, Radical Ventures, Relativity’s Jordan Noone, Seraphim Capital, Ryan Johnson, Blume Ventures, Sparta LLC and Accenture, among others.