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AI News: Bitcoin Adoption, Elon Musk Launches xAI, KPMG, EU & Japan, Claude 2

AI Chip Bitcoin AI News
By Nicolo Finazzi
Nicolo Finazzi

8 Min

July 13, 2023

Welcome to AI News by Lab51. This week's highlights include updates on the convergence of Bitcoin and artificial intelligence, Elon Musk's new company xAI, KPMG $2 billion investment, a new collaboration between European Union and Japan, and the official release of Claude 2 by Anthropic.

AI and Bitcoin Converge with Hayes Prediction and Lightning Network Update

Key Takeaways:

  • Arthur Hayes predicts Bitcoin will be the chosen currency for AI systems.
  • He argues that AI requires a payment system that is available at all times, digital, automated, censorship-resistant, and transparent.
  • Lightning Labs' new developer tools enable AI applications to integrate Bitcoin payments.

Arthur Hayes, the co-founder of BitMEXbelieves that Bitcoin will be the currency of choice for AI systems. In an essay, Hayes outlined the reasons why AI would select Bitcoin as its native currency. He argued that AI requires a payment system that is constantly availabledigital, and fully automated to sustain its operations. The traditional banking sector cannot provide the necessary 24/7 service, but a blockchain-based system can.

He emphasized that an AI payment rail must be censorship-resistant and supported by clear and transparent rulesto avoid the risk of deplatforming. Bitcoin meets these criteria, as its network rules can only change through a public proposal that requires majority consensus. In contrast, other blockchains and stablecoins backed by centralized reserves can be frozen or censored by their issuers.

In a separate development, Lightning Labs, a leading company working on the Bitcoin-based Lightning Network,announced new developer tools that integrate Bitcoin with AI applications and Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT. These tools enable AI applications to hold, send, and receive Bitcoin payments on-chain and via the Lightning Network. The integration of Bitcoin with AI opens up new possibilities for monetizing access to AI software applications and provides an open payment system for AI models.

Overall, Hayes' prediction and Lightning Labs’ developments both align with the growing intersection between AI and cryptocurrencies, where Bitcoin's decentralized nature and transparency make it an appealing choice for AI systems.

Elon Musk Launches xAI: Exploring the Universe Through Artificial Intelligence

Key Takeaways:

  • Musk launches xAI, a new company focused on understanding the true nature of the universe.
  • xAI comprises a team of experts and aims to compete with players like OpenAI and Google.
  • The company plans to delve into the mathematics of deep learning.

Elon Musk has announced the launch of his new artificial intelligence company, xAI. The primary objective of xAI is to explore and comprehend the fundamental nature of the universe. Musk, along with a team of experts who have previously worked at prominent AI organizations like DeepMindOpenAIGoogle ResearchMicrosoft ResearchTwitter, and Tesla, aims to push the boundaries of AI understanding.

xAI's emergence in the AI landscape positions it as a potential competitor to established players such as OpenAI, Google, and Anthropic, which have developed leading chatbots like ChatGPTBard, and Claude, respectively.

The Financial Times had previously reported on xAI in April, mentioning Musk's acquisition of thousands of GPU processors from Nvidia, indicating the company's intention to power a significant language model. Musk also discussed his plans for a new AI tool called "TruthGPT," expressing concerns about existing AI systems prioritizing political correctness.

Dan Hendrycks, executive director of the Center for AI Safety, will serve as an advisor. Recently, the organization published a letter signed by tech leaders emphasizing the importance of mitigating the risks associated with AI.

xAI's focus lies in exploring the mathematics of deep learning and developing a comprehensive theory for large neural networks. The startup aims to take AI to new heights by unraveling the underlying principles governing these complex systems.

More information about xAI's plans and initiatives will be revealed on Friday during a live Twitter Spaces chat, allowing enthusiasts to gain deeper insights into the company's vision.

KPMG Expands Partnership with Microsoft for $2 Billion AI and Cloud Investment

Key Takeaways:

  • KPMG plans a $2 billion investment in AI and cloud through an expanded Microsoft partnership.
  • The investment aims to automate tax, audit, and consulting services, enhance the workforce with AI skills, and generate new efficiencies.
  • The partnership is projected to bring in over $12 billion in revenue over the next 5 years.

KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, reveals its plan to invest $2 billion in AI and cloud services over the next five years. The investment will be made through an expanded partnership with Microsoft, aiming to automate various aspects of KPMG's tax, audit, and consulting services. The company expects the partnership to generate more than $12 billion in revenue over the same period.

KPMG's goal with this investment is to leverage AI technology to enhance its workforce rather than eliminate jobs. By automating certain processes, employees will have more time for strategic analysis and providing valuable advice to clients. KPMG's global chair and CEOBill Thomas, emphasizes the intention to reskill employees and create new opportunities within the organization.

As part of the expanded partnership, KPMG will gain early access to Microsoft 365 Copilot, an AI assistant, before its public launch. The partnership also involves utilizing Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, which already incorporates OpenAI technology for app development and execution. Generative AI will be a significant focus of KPMG's investment, as it offers potential cost-cutting measures and operational efficiencies for businesses.

KPMG's utilization of generative AI will extend to strengthening its work on environmentalsocial, and governance (ESG) issues. By unifying vast data sets, KPMG can improve tax reporting, analyze ESG-related transactions, and conduct audits with greater efficiency. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlights the transformative potential of AI technology in accelerating knowledge workflows and fundamentally changing processes in areas like ESG reporting and audits.

EU and Japan Forge Stronger Partnership in AI to Reduce Reliance on China

Key Takeaways:

  • The EU plans to cooperate closely with Japan on key technologies, including AI.
  • EU Commissioner Thierry Breton is meeting with Japan government to discuss cooperation.
  • The EU aims to reduce reliance on China and strengthen relationships with allied countries in the technology sector.

The European Union is seeking to establish a closer partnership with Japan in key technology areas such as AI and semiconductorsEU Commissioner Thierry Breton is scheduled to meet with the Japanese government, with AI being a prominent topic on the agenda. In a video shared on Twitter, Breton emphasized the importance of organizing the digital space and developing AI based on shared values.

To facilitate this cooperation, the EU and Japan plan to establish an EU-Japan Digital Partnership council, focusing on quantum computing, high-performance computing, and other areas. Last week, the EU held a similar council with South Korea, highlighting the commitment to collaborating on AI and cybersecurity.

The strategy involves reducing dependence on China and deepening relationships with allied countries in the technology sector. Semiconductors, a critical component used in various industries, including AI, are a key area of cooperation between the EU and Japan. Japan plays a significant role in the semiconductor supply chain and has been working to strengthen its domestic industry.

While the U.S. has taken steps to decouple its economy from China, the EU's approach involves deepening collaboration with like-minded allies. The EU and Japan's cooperation in the semiconductor sector aligns with the growing global trend of reassessing supply chains and ensuring self-sufficiency in critical technologies.

Anthropic Launches Claude 2 with Enhanced Performance and Expanded Capabilities

Key Takeaways:

  • Anthropic introduces Claude 2, a highly competitive AI model rivaling ChatGPT.
  • Claude 2 showcases improved performance, longer responses, and enhanced memory.
  • The model excels in coding, math, reasoning, and delivers safer and more helpful outputs.

Anthropic has unveiled Claude 2, a new AI model that presents strong competition to ChatGPT. Claude 2 boasts enhanced performance, responses, and accessibility through an API and a new public-facing beta website called The model has received positive feedback for being easy to converse with, providing clear explanations, generating fewer harmful outputs, and demonstrating improved memory capabilities. Notably, Claude 2 showcases advancements in coding, math, and reasoning. For instance, it achieved a 76.5% score in the multiple-choice section of the Bar exam, surpassing its predecessor Claude 1.3. Furthermore, when compared to college students applying to graduate school, Claude 2 achieved scores above the 90th percentile on the GRE reading and writing exams while performing similarly to the median applicant on quantitative reasoning.

The API is available to businesses at the same price as Claude 1.3. Additionally, individuals in the US and UK can start utilizing the beta chat experience immediately.

Anthropic has expanded Claude's input and output capabilities, allowing users to input up to 100K tokens per prompt. This enables working with extensive technical documentation or even entire books. Claude 2 can now generate longer documents, including memos, letters, and stories, up to a few thousand tokens in one go. The model also demonstrates significant improvements in coding skills and a strong emphasis on safety.

The launch of Claude 2, coupled with its broad range of capabilities and safety measures, positions it as a versatile AI model for various applications while maintaining a focus on responsible deployment.