Technology Inflection AI sets off fireworks with $1.3 billion funding,...

Inflection AI sets off fireworks with $1.3 billion funding, highlighting growing interest in LLMs (and Nvidia H100s)


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In a pre-4th of July weekend surprise, Bend AIthe Palo Alto-based startup founded by Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind, and co-founder of LinkedIn Reed Hoffman, has announced that it has raised $1.3 billion in an eye-popping round that brings its valuation to $4 billion.

Forbes reported that Microsoft and Nvidia led the round, along with Hoffman, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Nvidia was the only new investor – which is remarkable considering that Nvidia and its service provider CoreWeave have worked with Inflection to develop Inflection’s current H100 cluster, and Inflection has worked with Nvidia to help refine models on a recent MLPerf- test that set records on current AI model training benchmarks.

The Forbes report also said that Nvidia and CoreWeave are now helping Inflection install a cluster that will consist of a whopping 22,000 H100s – which Inflection believes will be the largest GPU cluster for AI applications in the world (before even Meta’s 16,000 GPU Cluster). announced in May).

Does rising investor interest signal an AI bubble?

Not surprisingly, the increasing investor interest in high-performance LLMs to create “personalized” chatbots has some already talking about an AI bubble. Nic Carter, a general partner at Castle Island Ventures, said, “AI makes the crypto bubble look like child’s play.”


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Inflection AI raised $225 million when it launched a year ago

Inflection, which is only a year old, brought tears to the eyes from the start, when it announced that it had launched and already raised $225 million with plans to use AI to “generate language to virtually human performance.”

And late on a Friday afternoon in March, the Financial times reported that Suleyman and Hoffman were seeking up to $675 million in funding, even though they had yet to release a product.

That soon changed: in May the company went launched Pi, which it said was named for “personal intelligence” and intended to be “empathetic, helpful and secure” — that is, act more personably and informally than OpenAI’s GPT-4, Microsoft’s Bing or Google’s Bard, without getting into the super rundown -scary. Speaking at a panel last week at the Bloomberg Technology Summit, Hoffman said the Pi chatbot has a more personal, emotional approach than ChatGPT. “IQ isn’t the only thing that matters here,” he said. “EQ also matters.”

Last week, Inflection also announced that it would be releasing a new LLM to power Pi called Bend-1which it claims outperforms OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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