🥊 SMEs Challenge Big Tech’s AI Rules

PLUS: Alibaba unveils new image-to-video model "Animate Anyone”

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Welcome! Today is Tuesday, December 5th and we're covering European SME concerns on potential AI Act changes favoring Big Tech, AssemblyAI's growth in speech AI, and Getty's lawsuit against Stability AI heading to trial. New to The Intelligence Age? Sign up here.
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European SMEs Raise Issue With Potential AI Act Changes

European SMEs are voicing concerns over potential AI Act amendments that could potentially skew the competitive landscape. The crux of the issue: a proposal by France, Germany, and Italy suggesting Big Tech should self-regulate their foundational models. SMEs fear this could offload regulatory burdens onto them, heightening barriers to entry and stifling innovation. The European Digital SME Alliance is advocating for third-party conformity assessments, which would ensure that larger entities shoulder the responsibility of compliance, thus easing the market entry for SMEs.

The stakes are high. Legal certainty and a level playing field are essential for smaller players leveraging AI technologies. The Alliance's stance is clear: without strict regulatory measures for Big Tech, SMEs could face insurmountable compliance hurdles or be nudged out of the innovation race. Amnesty International echoes these sentiments, warning against the dilution of obligations for foundational models and the risks it poses to the adoption of the AI Act. The EU is at a critical juncture, where its regulatory decisions could set a global standard for AI governance. siliconrepublic

Why does this matter?

As the debate intensifies, one wonders if the proposed self-regulation could inadvertently lead to a surge in 'shadow' AI services, where SMEs might seek less regulated spaces to innovate, potentially introducing new risks into the AI ecosystem.

AssemblyAI Lands $50M To Build And Serve AI Speech Models

AssemblyAI's recent influx of $50M heralds a surge in the generative AI realm, reflecting a broader industry trend. The company's growth speaks volumes: a 200% increase in customers, 25 million daily API calls, and a developer base exceeding 200,000. "Enterprises that leverage AssemblyAI's platform can focus on building new AI products...without having to focus on model development," says CEO Dylan Fox.

Investments and advancements in AI are skyrocketing, with IDC projecting a $154 billion industry value by year's end. Yet, challenges loom, such as the rapid evolution of technology and the profusion of AI vendors, complicating deployment for businesses. AssemblyAI distinguishes itself by offering specialized speech models through a straightforward API, allowing for seamless integration into various applications. techcrunch

Getty Lawsuit Against Stability AI To Go To Trial In The UK

In a landmark decision, the UK High Court ruled that Getty's lawsuit against Stability AI can proceed to trial. The heart of the dispute? Getty's claim that Stability AI used its copyrighted images to train the Stable Diffusion model without permission. This case touches on the intricate balance between innovation and intellectual property rights, a tension that's intensifying as generative AI becomes more embedded in our digital fabric.

Justice Joanna Smith flagged concerns over incomplete or inaccurate evidence provided by Stability, particularly in light of CEO Emad Mostaque's comments on aiding UK visa processes. Getty's parallel litigation in the US underscores the global magnitude of this issue. The outcome of these trials could set a significant precedent for AI training practices moving forward. theverge

Why does this matter?

Beyond the legal ramifications, consider the ethical implications if AI companies were to self-regulate their training methods. Would this foster greater innovation, or could it lead to a wild west of unchecked AI development?

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Research Review

‘Animate Anyone’ Heralds The Approach Of Full-Motion Deepfakes

Generative AI's leap into full-motion video deepfakes is no longer a distant threat. Alibaba Group's Animate Anyone marks a significant advancement in image-to-video technology. The transition from academic novelty to potential mainstream misuse is accelerating, with implications that will soon challenge our discernment of reality. While previous efforts suffered from "hallucination" issues, the new model refines the preservation of details, edging closer to convincing realism. The question isn't if, but when these tools will be polished enough to deceive the untrained eye.

The researchers are cautious, withholding the release of their code for now. Yet the inevitability of such technology becoming accessible looms large. The capacity to animate a single image with such precision blurs ethical lines and amplifies the potential for misuse. Imagine a world where any photo could become a puppet to a puppeteer's narrative. As this technology improves, the distinction between real and generated content becomes dangerously thin. sciencedaily

Written by Isaac R. Ward, Casey Clifton, and Alex Brogan.

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