Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing everyday life, heralding a paradigm shift beyond smarter chatbots.
And the technology is showing no signs of slowing down — in fact, it’s speeding up.
This, as the European Union’s 27 member states appear to think the AI ecosystem could use some speed bumps, or at least a yield sign or two.
The bloc at the end of last week (Feb. 2) unanimously endorsed the final text of its Artificial Intelligence Act, moving past concerns by some nations including France, Germany and Italy around the Act’s potential to hamstring innovation and set EU-based companies further back in the AI arms race relative to their global peers.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., one venture capital firm says AI startups now represent about 80% of the pitches it sees.
Here is a pulse-check on the top AI news PYMNTS has been tracking this week.
On Thursday (Feb. 8), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made it illegal to use artificial intelligence (AI)-generated voices in robocalls, giving state attorneys general another tool to use against voice cloning scams, as they can prosecute bad actors for not only the scam but also for using AI to generate the voice in the robocall.
Elsewhere in AI safety, Amazon and Mastercard are among dozens of members of a new government AI safety initiative. The tech giant and the payments company announced Thursday that they are part of the newly formed U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC).
In terms of AI use in battling fraud, the integration of AI into conventional behavior-monitored systems marks a leap forward in the fight against payments fraud. While traditional systems may excel at recognizing known patterns, they often struggle with detecting novel or sophisticated forms of fraud. AI augments these systems by continuously learning and adapting to emerging threats, helping organizations increase payment authorization rates while minimizing fraudulent transactions.
On Friday (Feb. 9), PYMNTS explored AI’s role behind a recent spate of corporate layoffs across companies like UPS, BlackRock and others.
PYMNTS also reported on how while Big Tech’s big AI models have served their purpose of both popularizing and familiarizing the disruptive technology across a broad global audience, the future of AI’s commercial applications likely lies in smaller models that have fewer parameters but perform well on specialized tasks.
In the marketplace, recent moves include generative AI firm Galileo debuting a tool to help businesses develop trustworthy AI solutions, on Tuesday announcing the release of a new retrieval augmented generation (RAG) and agent analytics solution.
Construction and landscaping software startup Attentive.ai has raised $7 million. The company’s AI platform helps contractors and landscapers save time and make effective bids for contracts using automated site measurements.
Microsoft launched an AI-focused partnership with news startup Semafor. The collaboration would see Semafor use tools from Microsoft and partner OpenAI to develop news stories with a “global, multi-source” breaking news feed known as “Signals,” Semafor announced Monday (Feb. 5).
And in slightly more esoteric news, Elon Musk offered financial support to a project that aims to use AI to read ancient Roman scrolls that were damaged by a volcano’s eruption nearly 2,000 years ago, announcing on Wednesday (Feb. 7) that his Musk Foundation will support the initiative.
Utilizing generative AI in various areas such as deciphering unstructured text, resolving disputes, automating processes and personalizing recommendations all represent some of the “low-hanging fruit” where AI can have an immediate impact across B2B payments, Ahsan Shah, senior vice president of analytics and AI at Billtrust, told PYMNTS.
“The first step when undertaking an AI integration is to not shy away from the technology,” Shah added.
And when it comes to accelerating generative AI use — and capability — within an enterprise setting, “Collaboration and a partnership model between computational and AI experts on one side, and domain experts in a particular enterprise industry on the other side, is really, really important as well as having the right compute engine and datasets under the hood,” Andy Hock, senior vice president of product and strategy at Cerebras, told PYMNTS during a conversation for the “AI Effect” series.
“I’m declaring my bias here, but I think there are tremendously positive outcomes [AI will bring to the business landscape], and in order to push forward on those, we also should push forward quickly with the right tools on how to do this work safely and responsibly,” Hock said.
“AI will help enterprises move with greater efficiency and make better products, and it’s also going to help our human workforce and bright analytical minds actually do the kind of work that human minds are really well suited for,” he said.