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AI designer and multi-story 3D printer among ICON technologies unveiled at SXSW

Pivot 5: 5 stories. 5 minutes a day. 5 days a week.

1. AI designer and multi-story 3D printer among ICON technologies unveiled at SXSW

CODEX Storm Collection. Image credit: ICON

ICON has unveiled a suite of new technologies at SXSW, including a multi-story robotic construction system and an AI-powered design system. The company also introduced a new low-carbon building material for 3D printing and a digital catalog for residential 3D printed architecture.

The company believes that construction will be done by robots and construction-related information will be processed and managed by AI systems. The company also introduced CODEX, a digital catalog of ready-to-print residential homes, with over 60 designs across five collections. The company aims to make high-design and high-performance residential architecture available at all price points.

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2. Apple acquires AI startup specializing in overlooking manufacturing components

Apple has acquired Canada-based DarwinAI, a vision-based AI startup that focuses on improving manufacturing efficiency by observing components during manufacturing. DarwinAI raised over $15 million in funding from various investors, including BDC Capital's Deep Tech Venture Fund, Honeywell Ventures, Obvious Ventures, and Inovia Capital.

The acquisition is expected to help Apple introduce on-device generative AI features in iOS 18 this year. Apple has lagged behind competitors like OpenAI, Google, Meta, and Microsoft in releasing gen-AI-powered features. The company is also exploring AI integration in Siri, developer tools, and customer support.

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3. Democrats cite AI gains and automation in Senate bill calling for 32-hour workweek

Senator Bernie Sanders and Senate Democrats have proposed a bill mandating a 32-hour federal workweek, citing advances in artificial intelligence and automation. The bill would reduce the standard workweek from 40 to 32 hours over a four-year period, requiring employers to pay overtime compensation to nonexempt employees.

The bill also guarantees that total weekly wages will not be cut due to the reduction in total hours worked. Republicans argue that the mandate would destroy small businesses and hurt industries like retail stores.

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4. Oracle unveils new AI capabilities for finance and supply chain

Oracle has introduced new Gen AI capabilities to its Fusion Cloud Applications Suite, enhancing its capabilities across finance, supply chain, HR, sales, marketing, and service. The rollout also expands Oracle Guided Journeys' extensibility framework, allowing customers and partners to incorporate more AI capabilities.

The offering is built using Oracle's cloud infrastructure, ensuring customer data isn't shared with LLM providers or seen by other customers. An individual customer is the only entity allowed to use custom models trained on its data. Role-based security is embedded directly into Oracle Fusion Applications workflows to protect sensitive information. The launch comes as generative AI shows potential to alter the way people and businesses relate to computers.

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5. Snowflake and Landing AI combine forces to tackle unstructured data challenges with computer vision

Snowflake has partnered with computer vision startup Landing AI to integrate its advanced computer vision platform into Snowflake's Data Cloud. This partnership aims to unlock new possibilities for enterprises seeking to harness the untapped potential of visual data, which accounts for 90% of the world's unstructured data.

Snowflake's robust data security and governance measures position the partnership as a game-changer for enterprises looking to leverage visual data while maintaining the highest standards of data protection. The partnership comes amid Snowflake's stock tumbling amid mixed results and CEO Frank Slootman's retirement.

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