Like always, this week has been another significant week for the AI and crypto industry with several major announcements. Here’s what you might have missed!
Binance Launches AI-Powered NFT Generator “Bixel” for KYC-Verified Users
Binance’s AI-powered NFT generator, “Bixel,” marks a significant step in the platform’s efforts to cater to the growing demand for non-fungible tokens. NFTs have gained immense popularity in the digital art and collectibles space, as they allow artists and creators to tokenize their work, making it unique, scarce, and easily transferable on blockchain networks.
The decision to make the AI NFT generator available only to KYC-verified users reflects Binance’s commitment to maintaining a secure and compliant platform. KYC, or Know Your Customer, is a standard procedure used by financial institutions and crypto exchanges to verify the identities of their users. It helps prevent fraudulent activities and ensures adherence to regulatory requirements, such as anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines.
The minting fee of 0.008 BNB for creating NFTs is a typical practice in the NFT space, as it helps cover the costs associated with processing and recording transactions on the blockchain. It also serves as a deterrent against spamming the network with unnecessary NFT creations.
Binance’s offer of ten free chances per day for users to generate NFTs provides an opportunity for artists and enthusiasts to experiment with the AI NFT generator without incurring additional costs. This move aims to encourage more users to explore the world of NFTs and foster creativity within the Binance community.
The initial beta launch of the AI NFT generator, called “Bicasso,” had seen overwhelming demand, reaching its minting limit of 10,000 NFTs in just 2.5 hours. However, controversy arose when some accused Binance of copying the idea from the BNB Chain hackathon winners. Binance denied the allegations, maintaining that Bicasso was independently developed before the hackathon. Such incidents highlight the competitive and fast-paced nature of the NFT space, where innovative ideas are closely scrutinized, and originality is crucial.
Alibaba to Utilize Meta’s AI Model Llama for Software Development Support
Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, is set to become the first Chinese company to leverage Meta’s open-source artificial intelligence (AI) model called Llama for zero-cost software development. In collaboration with Alibaba Cloud, the company has deployed a solution based on Llama 2, which allows businesses to create AI-powered software and tools. Meta’s Llama 2 model was introduced as a free-to-use service, competing with other AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. Meta’s plan is to offer Llama 2 for free to companies with less than 700 million monthly active users.
The move signifies Meta’s commitment to an open approach, making foundational AI technology more accessible to businesses worldwide. While Microsoft remains Meta’s preferred partner for its generative AI tool development, Llama 2 will be made available for research and commercial use. This initiative aims to support companies in building products based on Llama 2, encourage cloud providers to include the model in their offerings, and promote research efforts for the responsible deployment of large generative models.
By integrating Meta’s AI model, Alibaba Cloud joins other major cloud computing services, such as Amazon Web Services, tapping into the capabilities of Llama 2’s advanced language model. The collaboration comes amid the backdrop of the United States restricting the sale of certain AI processing hardware chips to maintain a competitive edge in the rapidly evolving AI industry.
Andreessen Horowitz’s Bold Bet on Generative AI Amid Tech Hype and Skepticism
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is aggressively pursuing generative AI investments, following its success in capitalizing on previous tech bubbles. The firm uses a strategy of creating hype around companies it backs, leading to high valuations, and then exiting before valuations decline. Marc Andreessen, one of the co-founders, has been vocal about AI’s potential to save the world and dismisses AI skeptics’ concerns.
a16z recently hired Anjney Midha to lead its AI investing efforts and has raised billions in funds to support tech entrepreneurs. The firm has invested in various AI companies, including those focused on medical advancements and AI-driven platforms. It has also invested in Worldcoin, an ambitious project aiming to scan every iris in the world.
VCs are heavily investing in AI startups, particularly those founded by graduates from prestigious institutions like Stanford and Harvard. This trend mirrors what happened in previous tech markets like crypto and blockchain. While there is significant interest and investment in AI, some skepticism remains as many generative AI use cases have yet to materialize, and security concerns persist. The surge in AI hype could potentially lead to a burst in the AI bubble.