Welcome back to Spatial Beats, where we round up all the top news and happenings from around the spatial computing spectrum, including its escalating infusions with AI and other emerging tech. Let’s dive in…

The Lede

The biggest news in tech this week wasn’t about financing, it was about movie star Scarlett Johansson threatening Open AI with a lawsuit for releasing a chatbot with a voice eerily similar to hers after she said no to OpenAI’s licensing inquiry. OpenAI immediately took down the offending chatbot. As a result, the legal haggling will fade away (Johansson benefitted more than she was damaged) but the real issue is ongoing data theft on a worldwide scale. Last week, Sony warned 700 companies they may have violated its copyrights training their models.

The AI Desk

As if on cue, OpenAI yesterday morning announced a deal with Wall Street Journal publisher News Corp. Even though it claims it doesn’t need to, OpenAI would rather pay than fight. The NY Times (and perhaps Sony) may want to be paid through a drawn out litigation but others, including Reddit, Axel Springer and now News Corp, prefer to take the cash now. Models trained with only licensed content may soon compete with those that scraped up the whole world with a questionable assertion of fair use.

Michael Bommer, a cancer patient who was diagnosed with colon cancer that became terminal, is using AI to help his family remember him. A former colleague, Eternos CEO Robert LoCascio reached out with an idea to capture Bommer’s voice and memories and turn it into an AI that can interact with his family members. In a phone interview, LoCascio, a successful entrepreneur, explained that the bootstrapped company, which has over a dozen employees, is working to develop a system that would capture not only memories, but your personality. Connecting a life logging system one (capturing conversations, calendars, email, etc.) could, over the years, make a deep and convincing digital twin of your personality, which could be preserved for eternity.

Mika Is a Must-Have For Entrepreneurs. Mika is an AI tool that allows entrepreneurs to mine their contacts on Linkedin and their address book to create a cross-referenced database that identifies relevant VCs (if they have similar investments). At $99/month this is a no-brainer if you have a decent network. It could save you hundreds of hours of research.

Gamma.app Is An AI Genius For Presentations. I put in my lecture notes, and out came a PowerPoint (or pdf if you prefer). $15 will let you make 7 powerpoints. Yes, please!

Feeling Spatial

Cannes Festival’s First Immersive Competition Crowns Colored. The first-ever XR competition crowned the only AR experience in the show. Colored, directed by Stephane Foenkinos and Pierre-Alain Giraud, based on “Noire” by Tania de Montaigne, takes the audience to 1950s Alabama, to meet Civil Rights champion, Claudette Colvin. The directors use the HoloLens to bring historical figures into our physical space, to have ghost-like people surrounding you in a story about what it is to be human.

The Quest 3 Might Get a Major AI Upgrade

Microsoft’s new ‘Volumetric Apps’ for Quest headsets extend Windows apps into the 3D space

Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses now let you share images directly to your Instagram Story

VITURE Launches Latest XR Glasses ‘VITURE Pro’

Leaked Meta Quest 3 Lite Merges Quest 3 And Quest 2 Features

Samsung Prepares to Enter the VR Market with Samsung XR; Here’s Everything We Know So Far

Meta and LG Partnership Reportedly in Question as Korean Tech Giant Now “controlling its pace”

Follow the Money

Scale AI Raises $1B Series F. The data labeling startup helps companies training advanced AI models – valuing the company at $13.8 billion. Accel led this funding round and includes new investors including Amazon and Meta. Scale AI has evolved from labeling data for autonomous driving to helping organizations implement AI. The company is also working with the public sector, including a contract with the Department of Defense and launching an AI-powered decision-making platform for a U.S. government classified network.

French AI Startup “H” Raises $220 M “seed” round. Formerly called Holistic, H is only a few months old. Its powerful founding team, led by CEO Charles Kantor, a Stanford computational math researcher, and former Deepmind engineers, has the attention of investors, which include Amazon, Samsung, Accel, Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund, Creandum, Elaia Partners, Eurazeo, FirstMark Capital and Visionaries Club, and a long list of billionaires.

Suno AI Music Raises $125 M. The AI music company announced it raised $125 million in its latest funding round from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Nat Friedman. Suno allows users to create full songs from simple text prompts and aims to make music creation accessible to everyone. The company’s technology is proprietary, but it uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT for lyric and title generation. Suno has raised concerns about copyright infringement, as its training data may include copyrighted material without consent. Despite this, the company believes its technology will amplify human creativity and has already seen millions of users, including Grammy-winning artists and everyday people, create music with its platform.

Param Laboratory raises $7M. Crypto and its cousin web3 are back, baby, and it’s all on-chain. Param Labs is developing a modular gaming ecosystem governed by the PARAM token, consisting of games and infrastructure. Funding consisted of seed and private financing rounds led by crypto venture capital firm Animoca Brands. Delphi Ventures, Cypher Capital, P2 Ventures (formerly Polygon Ventures), Mechanism Capital, Merit Circle, TRGC Capital, and Double Peak Group. Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu also invested personally.

Humane, Maker of the failed wearable AI device, The Humane Pin, Is Looking For a Buyer. Launched last fall, the Pin cost $700 plus a T-mobile subscription. It wasn’t even able to do email. Consequently, there’s no way to leave the phone at home. Ex-Applers Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri raised $230M from investors like Microsoft, Qualcomm Ventures, Marc Benioff, and OpenAI’s Sam Altman. Bloomberg says they are seeking a $1 Billion dollar exit. Just two short years ago, they blew everyone away at TED.

Weekend Reading

Pokemon’s Upgrade Thrills a Poke Photographer

18 Transformative Ways Industry Is Leveraging XR

Listen In

For more spatial commentary & insights, check out This Week in XR, hosted by author Charlie Fink, Ted Schilowitz, former studio executive and co-founder of Red Camera, and Rony Abovitz, founder of Magic Leap. This week our guest is Napster CEO Jon Vlassopulos.You can find it on podcasting platforms SpotifyiTunes, and YouTube.

Charlie Fink is an author and futurist focused on spatial computing. See his books here. Spatial Beats contains insights and inputs from Fink’s collaborators including Paramount Pictures futurist Ted Shilowitz.

More from AR Insider…