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Quilter raises $10 million for AI-powered circuit board design

Quilter raises $10 million for AI-powered circuit board design

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Quilter raises $10 million for AI-powered circuit board design

Circuit board design startup Quilter announced on Tuesday it raised $10 million, saying it would use artificial intelligence to reduce the time to design components that power electronics in rockets, computers, smartphones and other devices.

The $10 million Series A round was led by one of Silicon Valley’s most storied venture capital firms, Benchmark, which made early bets on eBay (EBAY.O) Uber (UBER.N) Snap and Meta Platforms’ (META.O) Instagram. The company did not disclose the valuation.

The Los Angeles-based company’s software uses a form of artificial intelligence similar to what Google employed to defeat a Chinese grand master in the ancient game of Go. Quilter’s technology becomes better at building circuit boards over time and the company plans to completely automate the process.

“Just because (software) got to 90% completion doesn’t mean it did 90% of the work,” Quilter CEO Sergiy Nesterenko said in an interview with Reuters. “That remaining 10% of the work that is left is difficult.”

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Fully automating circuit board design will speed up the process from months to weeks or days, Nesterenko said. There are also ways to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of boards.

The market for printed circuit board design is roughly $40 billion to $50 billion and will continue to grow substantially, Nesterenko said. Labor costs now account for the majority of that spending.

Founded in 2019, Quilter has 12 employees, who work remotely.

Chip software tool maker Cadence Design Systems (CDNS.O) has a circuit board business, as do others such as Altium and Autodesk (ADSK.O).

While they use software for some steps in circuit board design, much of it remains manual, Nesterenko said.

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The Benchmark general partner who led the investment, Eric Vishria, took a board seat at Quilter, as is typical with the firm’s investments.

The Menlo Park, California venture firm became interested in Quilter because the number of electronics in the world is rapidly increasing, and AI has developed the potential to fully automate the circuit board design process, Vishria said. 

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WhatsApp unveils new text formatting feature for enhanced communication

WhatsApp unveils new text formatting feature for enhanced communication

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WhatsApp unveils new text formatting feature for enhanced communication

WhatsApp has unveiled a groundbreaking feature that revolutionizes text messaging by allowing users to customize their messages like never before.

Prior to this update, users were limited to basic text modifications such as bold and italic; however, the new feature introduces a plethora of formatting options, including numbers, bullets, block quotes, and text highlighting.

The process is simple and intuitive, requiring users to incorporate specific symbols to achieve their desired text format. For monospacing text, users can enclose their message with three backticks on both sides. Adding a quote is as easy as placing an angle bracket and a space before the text.

To strike through a message, users need to flank their text with tilde symbols, while bolding requires asterisks on both sides. One of the standout additions is the ability to create bulleted lists effortlessly. Users can precede each word or sentence with an asterisk or hyphen and a space to generate a neatly organized list.

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Moreover, numbering and spacing at the beginning of text with “1.” facilitates the creation of itemized lists, enhancing the overall clarity and structure of messages.

Inline code can now be seamlessly integrated into messages by enclosing the text with backtick symbols at the start and end. This provides users with a practical way to share code snippets or emphasize specific phrases within their conversations.

The accompanying image showcases the versatility of this new feature, illustrating the various formatting options available to users. WhatsApp users across iOS, Android, and web devices can now leverage this advanced text formatting feature to elevate their communication experience.

The update reflects WhatsApp’s commitment to continually enhance user experience and foster more expressive and organized conversations. Whether you’re conveying information, emphasizing key points, or sharing code snippets, the new formatting options provide a dynamic and engaging communication platform for users worldwide. 

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Meta to set up team to counter disinformation, AI abuse in EU elections

Meta to set up team to counter disinformation, AI abuse in EU elections

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Meta to set up team to counter disinformation, AI abuse in EU elections

 Facebook owner Meta will set up a team to tackle disinformation and the abuse of generative artificial intelligence in the run-up to European Parliament elections in June amid concerns about election interference and misleading AI-generated content.

The rapid growth of generative AI, which can create text, images and video in seconds in response to prompts, has triggered fears that the new technology could be used to disrupt major elections, across the world this year. 

European Parliament elections will take place June 6-9. Its 720 lawmakers, together with EU governments, pass new EU policies and laws.

“As the election approaches, we’ll activate an Elections Operations Center to identify potential threats and put mitigations in place in real time,” Marco Pancini, Meta’s head of EU affairs, said in a blogpost.

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He said experts from the company’s intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, content policy and legal teams will focus on combating misinformation, tackling influence operations and counter the risks related to the abuse of generative AI.

Meta, which currently works with 26 independent fact-checking organisations across the European Union covering 22 languages, will add three new partners in Bulgaria, France, and Slovakia, Pancini said.

Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI and 17 other tech companies earlier this month agreed to work together to prevent deceptive artificial-intelligence content from interfering with elections across the globe this year.

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‘X’ faces prolonged suspension across Pakistan

‘X’ faces prolonged suspension across Pakistan

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'X' faces prolonged suspension across Pakistan

The popular microblogging site ‘X,’ formerly known as Twitter, has been inaccessible across Pakistan for over a week. 

Despite a brief interval when the site was accessible, users are now reporting a persistent outage, even when using Virtual Private Network (VPN) services.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the government agency responsible for overseeing telecommunications, hasn’t released any official statement regarding the suspension of the service.

This lack of transparency has only intensified the frustration among users who heavily rely on ‘X’ for information and news updates. Users who initially turned to VPNs as a workaround have also hit a roadblock, as the microblogging site remains inaccessible. 

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The situation has raised concerns about the government’s stance on digital freedom and freedom of speech. The outage has not gone unnoticed by the public, with many expressing their discontent on various platforms. 

Criticism has been directed towards the government and the IT minister for what is perceived as an attack on freedom of speech and a hindrance to the revenue generated by the country’s thriving IT professionals.

Earlier, the Sindh High Court issued a directive to restore access to ‘X’ across Pakistan, recognising the site’s significance for information dissemination. However, despite court’s order, there has been no implementation, leaving users and advocates of digital freedom in a state of dismay.

The suspension of ‘X’ has broader implications, impacting not only the general public but also businesses and professionals who rely on the platform for communication, networking, and staying informed about the latest developments. The longer the outage persists, the more severe the consequences may be for the nation’s digital landscape.

As the public awaits an official statement from the PTA and the government, concerns about the potential ramifications of such a prolonged suspension continue to grow.

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