The coolest AI startup?

+ Meta raising eyebrows again

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What’s in store:

  • Epilog might be the coolest startup in AI.

  • Meta’s new AI ads tool raises eyebrows.

  • Around the web: Microsoft's Recall feature in Windows 11 will be opt-in, addressing security concerns with user authentication.

Read Time: 6 minutes


We’ve seen AI applied in various industries - chatbots, marketing tools, data analysis - and it’s transformative - but a little… boring.

One AI startup is doing something so cool, it’s straight out of Terminator.

This is Epilog. Founded in 2015, before OpenAI even existed, Epilog has been working with AI systems for almost a decade, using computer vision to track vehicles in real-time, originally working on reading licence plates. Their latest product, SideCar, delivers truly autonomous driving.

But what’s different from SideCar to buying the latest Tesla? Epilog’s new self-driving product is retrofittable.

That means you can upgrade your older car with self-driving AI capabilities! Cars from as old as 2016 can take advantage of the AI system and deliver autonomous driving. That’s a game-changer!

How does it work?

SideCar is a self-contained installable computer system that takes control of cruise control and lane assist - using these features to take complete control and deliver self-driving. Simply turn on cruise control, and SideCar kicks in.

Advanced AI computing, powered by an onboard Nvidia chip, is able to fully track surroundings and adjust driving when needed. But the AI isn’t just watching the road - it also watches the driver, to ensure they continue to pay attention and look ahead, making Epilog’s product incredibly safe as well as effective.

A vision brought to life

SideCar was founded by Michael and Lance Mojaver with one goal - computer vision with human eye-level quality. The SideCar project has been in development for over three years, finally releasing in March of this year.

Epilog isn’t making bold promises it can’t keep - it has already manufactured over 1,000 SideCars, and the product is being used by drivers all over America.

SideCar can be installed in 15 minutes, opening up autonomous driving to millions of drivers. The product was released just a couple of months ago in March, but demand has been high already - and Epilog is working hard to add more compatible models to their support list, with a wider rollout the next step to mass adoption.

An Epilog engineer installs a SideCar system.

A bold future

Michael and Lance envision a world where humans are aided and protected at every turn by intelligent machine insights, and with innovations like SideCar, it seems entirely feasible.

What Epilog hopes to achieve is integration with future car models by striking deals with the parts suppliers. This could mean that SideCar comes built into many future cars as a standard feature - particularly where manufacturers do not have their own self-driving solution. 

Michael and Lance have plans to up their manufacturing by 10x in the next five years, with huge demand and the AI boom driving interest in the product. Not only that but there are over 50 million cars potentially eligible to be fitted with SideCar - that’s a lot of room for growth.

It’s clear that self-driving features are the future of driving - and Epilog has taken us one step closer to mass adoption.

Support Epilog and invest in the future of driving

With over 5,000 investors supporting Epilog’s mission, the company holds a $60M valuation. 

You can join their latest fundraising round, and support a company that looks set to have a huge impact on the future of autonomous driving. 

Would you add self-driving capabilities to your car?

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Meta has launched its first AI-driven ad-targeting program for businesses on WhatsApp.

This move aims to generate revenue from the popular chat service, announced at a conference in Brazil by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

This marks a significant shift for WhatsApp, known for its focus on privacy and avoidance of targeted advertising, unlike Meta's other apps like Facebook and Instagram.

Meta has been introducing commerce and payment features on WhatsApp for years.

These include tools for businesses to conduct customer service chats and send marketing materials to those who’ve shared their phone numbers.

Previously, these tools sent broad messages to all opted-in users.

The new AI tools will use behaviour from Facebook and Instagram to target messages more effectively, provided users use the same opted-in phone number across accounts.

Here’s what you should know:

  • New tools will use user behaviour on Facebook and Instagram to target messages to customers who have opted in with the same phone number across accounts.

  • This aims to improve ad efficiency and engagement.

  • Meta introduced a chatbot to handle common business inquiries, such as finding catalogues or checking business hours, pushing for businesses to adopt automated communication tools.

  • WhatsApp will integrate Brazil’s digital payment method PIX, facilitating money transfers and purchases, similar to its existing payment services offered in India.

The Zuck’s AI gamble

WhatsApp's head of strategic markets, Guilherme Horn, mentioned that these AI tools will help businesses optimise ad delivery to users likely to engage.

"This is very important for business because they are paying for those messages," he said.

Meta has been working to bring in revenue from WhatsApp, its most-used app daily.

Despite its popularity and the $22 billion acquisition cost in 2014, it contributes just a small fraction of Meta’s revenue.

At the conference, Meta also introduced an AI chatbot to answer business inquiries directly in chat.

This aligns with Zuckerberg's goal of getting businesses to use automated tools for communication.

The chatbot will assist users with requests like finding catalogues or consulting business hours, similar to existing AI customer service platforms.

Additionally, Meta announced the integration of Brazil’s PIX payment method into WhatsApp’s payment tool in the country.

PIX, developed by the central bank, accounted for about 39% of transactions in Brazil last year. It provides similar services to WhatsApp payments, such as money transfers and purchases from companies.

WhatsApp started offering similar services from rival providers in India last year.

Can’t wait to get ads in between messages from Granny.

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U.S. stocks slipped Friday after a stronger-than-expected jobs report, complicating potential Fed rate cuts.

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