Anthony Levandowski is back in the news again. This time it’s for his new autonomous trucking startup Pronto.ai, where he completed a 3,099 mile cross-country trip in one of his trucks. If verified it would be the longest known journey for an autonomous truck. Levandowski just keeps finding ways to stay relevant.
Some end of the year AI blues for the U.S. gov’t. Recent reports have indicated the Pentagon is concerned the U.S. is losing its AI advantage to China and Europe. Democratic lawmakers also pushed back against a compromise bill for self-driving vehicles. Will be interesting to see how legislature approaches AI in 2019. My guess is it will slip again, but hopefully I’m proven wrong.
Despite recent reports of Chinese VCs pulling back AI investment, many top AI players continue to raise large amounts of cash. ByteDance, the $75bn unicorn that has now surpassed Uber’s valuation, is in talks to raise another $1.45bn. The use of proceeds is to pursue their aggressive global expansion plans.
Meanwhile in the U.S., Republican Senator John Thune and Democratic Senator Gary Peters circulated a draft of a revised self-driving vehicle bill aimed at breaking a legislative stalemate. With the pace of innovation in the field, let’s hope they get this passed sooner rather than later.
Big news out of China this week on yet another ambitious AI project. This time they’re looking to create an underwater AI colony in the South China sea. The base will be for scientific research and defense purposes, so will be interesting to see how much investment is put into this.