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HeyGen, an AI video startup, has raised $60 million in a Series A funding round. The company is now valued at more than $500 million. The round was led by Benchmark. HeyGen lets companies create, localize and personalize videos without a camera or crew, using virtual avatars. According to the startup, it has been profitable since the second quarter of 2023 and has grown its annual revenue from one million to more than $35 million. Its customers include small businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies. HeyGen plans to use the fresh capital to expand its product offerings and invest in corporate security, AI ethics, trust and safety.

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According to Clément Delangue, CEO of Hugging Face, more founders are looking to sell their AI startups. Delangue says he is currently receiving inquiries from about ten founders a week who are interested in being acquired. Hugging Face itself recently announced the acquisition of Argilla for $10 million. This is the fourth acquisition for the New York startup, which raised $235 million from investors last year and is valued at $4.5 billion. Argilla develops software that allows people to collaboratively improve data sets to train artificial intelligence. Argilla's 13 employees will become part of Hugging Face, but will continue to operate independently under the same name.

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Microsoft has released a set of vision models called Florence 2. Florence 2 is a prompt-based vision model designed for computer vision and image processing tasks such as image description, object recognition, localization, and segmentation. According to Microsoft, Florence 2 can outperform other specialized and larger vision models in some tasks. To train Florence, Microsoft created the FLD-5B dataset, which contains 5.4 billion annotations for 126 million images. The models come in two sizes, with 0.23B and 0.77B parameters, and are available on Hugging Face for commercial use under the MIT license.

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TikTok has launched Symphony Digital Avatars, a generative AI tool that allows creators and brands to create AI avatars of real people for branded content. The tool offers stock avatars, pre-built avatars created with paid actors, and custom avatars representing a creative or brand spokesperson. With the Symphony AI Dubbing AI tool, content can be translated into more than 10 languages. TikTok is also launching the Symphony Collective, an advisory board to provide feedback on TikTok's AI marketing solutions.

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Introducing Symphony Digital Avatars, to help creators and brands captivate global audiences and deliver impactful messages in an immersive and authentic way. Check out our Newsroom to learn more.

♬ original sound - TikTok Newsroom

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