Binance and CZ File for Dismissal of SEC Lawsuit

Binance, its U.S. counterpart Binance.US, and founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) have filed a Joint Motion to Dismiss in the ongoing securities-violation lawsuit brought against them by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

The initial lawsuit, filed in June, accused Binance of unlawfully listing unregistered securities for U.S. investors, which allegedly included all of its crypto-asset transactions. 

In its Motion to Dismiss, filed on Sept. 21, Binance’s attorneys argued that the SEC has not adequately substantiated the alleged securities-related infractions, and is simply stretching its jurisdiction and power over the digital asset sector without any clarification from Congress. 

Pursuant to the “major questions doctrine,” which Binance’s legal team cited in its legal filings, states that federal agencies, including the SEC, are required to wait for Congressional authority before making decisions that concern major economic or political matters. 

The filing stated that since 2019, Congress has reviewed “more than a dozen proposals” that would provide a coherent and workable framework for crypto assets and trading platforms like Binance –, the effect of which, never conferred exclusive regulatory authority over the entire digital asset sector to the SEC. 

“Despite this, the SEC now seeks to expand its authority and filed this lawsuit, asserting claims against Binance Holdings Limited (‘BHL’) and Changpeng Zhao, among others.”

As it stands, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) doctrine maintains a split authority, with some judges believing that Congress should provide clearer guidelines on digital asset regulation, and others believing crypto doesn’t hold enough significance to even invoke the doctrine. 

Binance also argues that the SEC’s broad interpretation of an “investment contract,” under the landmark Howey Test, is another example of the U.S. regulatory watchdog attempting to overreach by expanding the term’s interpretation.

In July, Binance also moved to dismiss the CFTC’s allegations against it, stating that U.S. law only applies domestically and “does not rule the world,” referring back to 15-year-old landmark lawsuit between Microsoft and AT&T back in April 2007. (see: Microsoft Corp v. AT&T Corp., 550 U.S. 437 (2007).

While other countries, including the European Union (EU) and China, are moving at a fairly rapid pace to push forward final drafts of their respective regulatory proposals, the U.S. continues to move at a turtle’s pace as several proposed crypto frameworks remain in the hands of the U.S. House of Representatives – and the SEC fighting against itself to understand its own jurisdiction. 

The future of crypto regulation remains uncertain. While the House Financial Services Committee has moved several crypto-focused bills to the House for voting, their fate in the Senate remains ambiguous.

You can view the recently filed Motion to Dismiss by BAM Management US Holdings and the Joint Motion to Dismiss Complaint by Binance Holdings here. You can also follow the ongoing case of SEC v. Binance Holdings Limited (1:23-cv-01599) here. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-4.

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Pokémon NFT Card Packs Are Being Opened On-Chain

This week, Polygon (MATIC) experienced a whirlwind sale of Pokémon NFT card packs, causing a surge in the blockchain’s trading volume as users actively opened their Pokémon NFT card packs on-chain.

While buyers weren’t purchasing specific cards directly, they instead purchased “mystery boxes” – virtual packs that potentially contained any of the advertised Pokémon-themed cards. Similar to NBA Topshot and “Moments,” holders engage in “pack rips” to discover what cards they get.

The sale followed a two-phase model and saw all 175 Pokémon Cards claimed almost instantaneously. In selecting the PSA-Graded cards that would be offered on-chain, helped facilitate the mechanism. 

Backed by a number of consumer-trusted brands, including BRINKS Security, MoonPay, and VaynerFund, Courtyard serves as a different kind of digital assets marketplace that offers physical vaulting through Brink’s. 

Dubbed the “Stress Test: Break,” the sale offered one pack of virtual Pokémon cards for $5.00 USD, which afforded buyers the chance of receiving one of any of the pre-disclosed cards, including PSA9 graded cards from 2000 with valuations of around $500. 

Users were required to set up an account and then use Google to connect, automatically creating a custodial wallet. For Pokémon fans galore, purchasing the digital card packs wasn’t restricted to cryptocurrency – instead, making it easy for buyers to use their credit cards. 

Once the digital cards were purchased, Courtyard enabled all the purchased packs to be opened 24 hours later, on Sept. 21. From there, the platform allows for them to be exported off the platform and into a user’s own self-custody wallet on Polygon. 

The analyst also noted it resembled a “Rollbit-style loot box, but for existing RWA collectibles.” After the purchase, there’s a waiting period: buyers can unveil their cards after 24 hours, but any unopened packs will automatically reveal their contents after 48 hours. Right now, unopened 2000 Base Set booster boxes are selling for more than $15,000. 

As for why it may make more sense to open a digital pack online, rather than opening a physical booster box, @S4mmy.eth pointed to liquidity. 

 Last month, Polygon outpaced Solana (SOL), cementing its position as the second most active blockchain for NFT transactions. This is most likely attributed to the SEC’s recent accusations of naming Solana as one of 18 other cryptocurrencies that it believes are “securities.”

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-4.

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YouTube to Launch New Suite of AI-Powered Tools

During YouTube’s annual “Made on YouTube” event this week, the video platform announced a suite of new innovative AI features that are expected to roll out in the upcoming months, including AI-generated photo and video backgrounds, AI video topic suggestions, and music search. 

Dream Screen

Among the many tools announced during the Sept. 21 event, “Dream Screen” is one to keep your eyes on. The new feature will allow creators to infuse AI-generated photos and videos into the backdrop of their YouTube Shorts. The video platform also announced a new YouTube Create app during the event that will also make it easier for creators to make Shorts. 

However, while YouTube plans to equip creators with more AI tools to repurpose and modify their content, the feature will initially only allow typed prompts to generate these backgrounds. 

During Made on YouTube, the company did a live demonstration of Dream Screen, which generated backgrounds within seconds, based on short text prompts. 

YouTube Studio

YouTube Studio is another upcoming AI tool for creators that will generate topic ideas and content structures for brainstorming future videos based on trending subjects throughout the creator economy. 

Video Dubbing

Turning next to global content distribution, YouTube’s ongoing collaboration with the AI-powered dubbing service, Aloud, will soon afford creators the capability to easily dub their videos in other languages.

YouTube initially teased the future during VidCon in June, announcing that it had brought over the Aloud team from Google’s Area 120 incubator. The tool, according to Aloud’s website, will first transcribe the video and provide an editable transcription. From there, it translates the final transcript and produces the dub. 

This transformative wave isn’t exclusive to YouTube. The broader digital ecosystem has been gravitating towards generative AI tools, offering affordable and efficient content solutions. Recognizing this trend, Google, YouTube’s parent company, has funneled substantial investments into advancing its generative AI technologies.

YouTube, in response, has gradually incorporated AI functionalities like video summaries. Even on Google’s flagship product, Search, users might soon witness AI search outcomes premiering as part of the “Search Generative Experience.”

And just last week, Google quietly dropped a recent update to keep up with the start to an AI era that will change its entire SEO playbook as we know it when it comes to using Google Search. 

With synthetic content already becoming increasingly prominent and indistinguishable, platforms such as TikTok have already rolled out identification labels for AI-produced content, ensuring transparency for users. At the end of August, Google’s DeepMind and Google Cloud revealed a new AI tool that will help it to better identify when AI-generated images are being utilized by embedding invisible, permanent watermarks to images.

With AI-generated content becoming a mainstay on platforms like YouTube, it won’t be surprising if more platforms adopt similar labeling methods, simply to avoid allegations of copyright and trademark infringement.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-4.

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Proof of Play Raises $33M, Wants to Build ‘Forever Games’ On-Chain

Proof of Play, a Web3 gaming startup led by Farmville’s co-creator Amitt Mahajan, announced this week that the company successfully secured $33 million in funding to begin developing new games that veer away from the “play-to-earn” gaming infrastructure.

Mahajan, who was one of the lead developers on Farmville, also has a stacked team that hails from the traditional gaming industry, including Epic Games, Zynga, EA, Activision, and Google.

Farmville, which initially launched in 2009, lasted for nearly 11 years before suffering an unfortunate fate at the end of 2020 when its parent company, Zynga, shut down the game – and users were pissed. 

Mahajan, who serves as Proof of Play’s CEO, shared in an interview that he wanted to make sure that the gaming startup’s users avoid the fate that Farmville users suffered that cost them the time and money they invested into the game. 

“All that player investment and creativity, and that universe building that the community of players built, just disappeared because the game creator decided that the game had to be shut down for whatever reason,” he said.

But now, Mahajan believes that blockchain-based games can work to “outlive their creator,” where gaming assets and developer code will still exist up and until somebody stops funding the “nodes” that power the designated blockchain behind the game.

“As one of the creators and lead developer of Farmville, the #1 Facebook game played by over 300 million people, I saw first-hand what the amount of energy and storytelling players put into games they love. When the game shut down in 2020, however, over a billion hours of playtime, creativity and investment was lost. Realizing this, I felt compelled to find a better way to make games timeless. Proof of Play is committed to building fully on-chain games, and the technical tools to power them, in order to facilitate autonomous worlds, ensure game longevity, and create a more immersive player experience. We’re creating multi-generational products — games that will outlast us and are owned by the communities that play them,” said Mahajan.

The funding round, according to the Sept. 21 announcement, was jointly led by a16z’s Chris Dixon and Neil Mehta of Greenoaks, with participation by the founders of Twitch and Web3 firms Anchorage Digital, Mercury, Firebase, Zynga, and Alchemy. Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear also serves as a board member.

After announcing the closing of the $33 million funding round, Proof of Play also announced the same day that it launched a “free-to-play” mode of one of its most popular gaming titles, “Pirate Nation,” having launched in closed beta back in December.  

The game, which is entirely blockchain-based, has continued to release weekly updates, including card-based combat, island building, and community-led world boss raids. 

One of the company’s key selling points is its ability to address the common hurdles faced by players when engaging with Web3 games, asserting its development of a “set of technological and product innovations” that promise to swiftly immerse players in an enjoyable gaming experience without the need to grapple with complex blockchain concepts.

In March, Pirate Nation migrated from Polygon’s Ethereum sidechain to Arbitrum Nova, due to exorbitant gas fees ranging from $3,000 to $4,000 per day.

By showcasing Pirate Nation as a “Forever Game” that can operate autonomously without relying on external servers or the intervention of creators, Proof of Play also was transparent about its future intentions of open-sourcing its technology framework. 

And Pirate Nation is just the beginning.

“Our vision is to create permanent, fully extensible games with the potential to become the basis for non-gaming worlds & societies, known as autonomous worlds,” the startup tweeted on X.

Last May, Zynga, also known for its iconic 2009 title Words With Friends, was acquired by Take-Two Interactive for $12.7 billion. In August, Zynga added its first-ever blockchain game, Sugartown, into Take-Two’s extensive portfolio of gaming franchises, which include Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, NBA 2K, BioShock, and more.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Amazon’s Alexa Meets Generative AI

Amazon’s Alexa, initially marketed as an intelligent personal assistant that utilizes machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), was designed to perform web searches, create calendar events, play music, and perform a multitude of other tasks. By using natural language and speech recognition, Alexa is able to transmit users’ requests to Amazon’s servers. 

During this week’s Amazon’s 2023 Devices & Services Event, Amazon unveiled its largest infrastructure change to its smart assistant – generative AI, a new update that will allow Alexa to provide more human-like conversations and interactions with its users. 

Last June, Amazon unveiled a feature during its annual global Mars Conference in Las Vegas that would allow Alexa to emulate any voice, including the voices of deceased loved ones. 

As a core part of this update, generative AI will ensure that Alexa’s new ability to carry on conversations without requiring a wake word, respond faster, adapt to user preferences, or even provide its own opinions on certain topics and questions – will have you thinking that you’re talking to something…more human than it was before.

During the live demonstration on September 20, Amazon’s Senior VP of Devices and Services, Dave Limp, showcased Alexa’s new capabilities by engaging in a conversation with Alexa – without having to use the “Alexa” wake word. 

As with any new update, bugs usually follow – in this case, some occasional response time delays, which could also be attributed to the wireless network. Despite the delays, Alexa demonstrated a stronger personality with a more natural tone and smoother conversational flow.

Amazon also announced new developer tools to allow companies to collaborate with its large language model. Notably, the company is partnering with BMW and others to develop in-car conversational voice assistant capabilities.

But, Amazon isn’t limiting these advancements to just voice interactions, as the company is also introducing generative AI to its Fire TV platform.

While Amazon didn’t provide a specific release date for these updates, it reassured users about their privacy and security. The company stated on its website that it would design experiences to safeguard customer data and offer transparency and control.

Some U.S. users will have early access to these changes through a free preview on existing Echo devices. Alexa has been integrated into numerous Amazon products, including speakers, hubs, clocks, microwaves, and eyeglasses over the years.

This update also comes at a challenging time for Amazon, which, like other major tech companies, has faced staffing cuts and product shelving due to economic uncertainty. The company confirmed that it will be laying off more than 18,000 employees in January, after losing half of its Alexa team in May.

Hey Alexa, What’s Next?

Despite these challenges, Amazon remains committed to advancing Alexa’s capabilities and making it a true source of knowledge in the future.

“It has to be conversational. It has to know all,” Limp emphasized.

But we’ve come a long way since these initial challenges.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Dmitri Cherniak Unveils ‘Ringers’ in Collaboration with Avant Arte & LACMA

Avant Arte, a curated art marketplace known for making art more accessible, has unveiled its latest collaboration with Canadian artist and coder Dmitri Cherniak and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). 

Cherniak’s algorithmic art has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and exhibitions around the world, utilizing automation as his primary artistic medium. He is best known for his seminal Ringers series, which consists of 1,000 generative artworks that utilize different combinations of string and peg layouts to create geometric works of art without human interaction. 

In June, Cherniak’s “Ringers #879“, better known as “The Goose,” sold for $6.2 million at auction.

LACMA is considered to be the largest art museum in the western U.S., with a collection of nearly 152,000 objects that illuminate 6,000 years of artistic expression across the globe. Together, Cherniak and LACMA will release a new time-limited silkscreen print edition with an accompanying NFT edition, Ringers #962: The LACMA Iterations, according to the press release shared with nft now.

“We now have several of Dmitri Cherniak’s works in our collection, an artist whose practice is very much in the spirit of LACMA’s original Art and Technology program. LACMA is delighted to be receiving support from this print collaboration between Dmitri and Avant Arte that is derived from our recent acquisition of Ringers #962 making this already well-known work more broadly accessible,” shared LACMA Director Michael Govan.

From Nina Chanel Abney and Ai Weiwei to Jenny Holzer and FUTURA, Avant Arte works with leading contemporary artists to create limited edition works, from sculpture editions and NFTs to works on paper and hand-finished screenprints. 

This unique artwork will be available for a brief 24-hour period starting on September 28 via Avant Arte’s website. Ringers #962: The LACMA Iterations draws inspiration from Cherniak’s original work, Ringers #962, which is now part of LACMA’s permanent collection. This was donated to LACMA earlier this year as part of a historic contribution of blockchain-minted artworks by pseudonymous patron of digital art, Cozomo de’ Medici. Avant Arte and Cozomo de’ Medici released their first artist project on July 25.

The new iteration of “Ringers #962” is a 9-piece parameter sweep presented in a 3×3 grid. It explores variations by changing the percentage of pegs sampled from 10% to 100%, while the signature yellow peg remains consistent in each composition.

“I am so pleased with the opportunity to highlight an important part of my practice, known as parameterization. By changing one variable in the program, in this case the percentage of pegs to be wrapped by a string, we are able to see how the original artwork, Ringers #962, evolves over the course of 9 frames arranged in a grid. This process is what I call a “parameter sweep” and it’s an honor to present the combined works as the LACMA Iterations,” said Cherniak.

Cherniak added that as the artist who coded the algorithm, he had no explicit control over how the artwork would develop, and instead, chose to rely on randomization and a deep familiarity of the aesthetic form to help guide the output through code.

The physical print edition of Ringers #962: The LACMA Iterations is a 3-color silkscreen print featuring 7 layers and embossing. Each print measures 50cm x 50cm and will be signed by the artist. Collectors will also receive an email after purchase to claim the accompanying ERC-1155 NFT, which will feature the same image as the print edition.

Cherniak and Avant Arte have also created a special print edition of 5 XL prints measuring 120cm x 120cm that will be gifted to 5 lucky collectors of the main print edition at random.  Winners will be announced after the 24 hour window has closed.

“This collaboration marks an exciting next step in Avant Arte’s journey to making great art more accessible by democratizing access for collectors and supporting public institutions like LACMA,” said Christian Luiten, Co-founder and Head of Artist Community at Avant Arte.

Ringers #962: The LACMA Iterations will be available to everyone on for 24 hours, beginning September 28 at 11:00am ET. Notably, 50% of the profits from the sale of Ringers #962: The LACMA Iterations will be donated to LACMA, continuing the collaboration’s mission to raise significant funds for the museum.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Yuga Labs Brings On Additional Partners for Otherside Expansion

Yuga Labs, the parent company of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), CryptoPunks, Meebits, and 10KTF, announced a new round of strategic partnerships this week in its ongoing efforts to continue developing its native metaverse, Otherside

Otherside launched in March 2022 as an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) that enables players to own virtual land through NFT deeds, directly tied to the BAYC ecosystem. 

In helping expand Otherside, Yuga is bringing on the following additional partners that will help to enable cross-platform, real-time engagement:

  • Hadean: This spatial technology company will play a critical role in building the core high-density simulation and networking solutions, enabling high-fidelity virtual experiences at scale. It obtained its first commercial contract with Microsoft in 2020, followed by a successful $36 million Series A funding round that included investments from Epic Games and Ericsson.
  • AccelByte: Known for its scalable and extensible backend platform for live game services, AccelByte will utilize its native infrastructure. 
  • Bad Rhino Studios: This team of experienced game developers, designers, artists, and engineers will help create social and dynamic virtual experiences that allow players to connect.
  • Faraway: Faraway will assist in developing engaging gameplay experiences, focusing on moment-to-moment interactions within the metaverse.

“A core objective of Otherside is to enable people to achieve their creative, experiential, and economic goals,” said Eric Reid, General Manager of Otherside. “The key to delivering a disruptive product of this scale is deep collaboration with creators and technologists. These best-in-class companies are aligned with our vision of Otherside as an interoperable platform built with, and in service of, our communities.”

Yuga is also an active member of OMA3, a coalition of web3 metaverse platform creators. The collective vision of OMA3 is to promote interoperability and transparency across platforms, digital assets, and communities.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Moonbirds Embark on Historic Journey to Space

Moonbirds are going to the moon. PROOF, the art collective behind the Moonbirds collection, revealed its plan to send all 254 Moonbirds with the exclusive “Space Helmet” trait to the moon. 

On November 15, an exclusive group of 50 collectors who own a Moonbird with the coveted “Space Helmet” trait will be invited to witness the launch at the Kennedy Space Center, followed by a black-tie gala event. Additionally, a select few of these collectors will receive commemorative official mission jackets adorned with custom embroidered patches, with additional jackets available for purchase.

Moonbird with Space Helmet Trait | Credit: Moonbirds

The Lunaprise Museum

Through an indestructible time capsule, a combination of 222 iconic artists’ works spanning fine art, digital art, music, film, and historical artifacts will be sent to the moon in November – organized by web3 marketing agency CreativeDepartmint, in collaboration with art curator Space Blue.

Dubbed the “Lunaprise Museum,” the space mission is committed to preserving the heart and soul of humanity’s history, culture, and artwork in digital archives that will land on the moon. The Museum will be a part of NASA’s IM-1 Lunar Lander mission, marking NASA’s first return to the moon in over 50 years by way of a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket. 

The Moonbirds collection will be the sole profile picture (PFP) digital art collection featured in the Lunaprise Museum. The 254 Moonbirds with the unique “Space Helmet” trait will be meticulously engraved onto indestructible nickel plates, which will be stored on Lunaprise disks along with other digital artworks. It will house 11 physically engraved twin duplicates from Earth, immortalizing these artistic achievements on the lunar surface.

“We’re honored for Moonbirds to be a part of this historic mission to preserve art and capture humanity,” said Kevin Rose, co-founder and CEO of PROOF.

Beyond its success with Moonbirds, PROOF has also successfully stewarded other successful projects, including Grails, Emotes, and their CC0 collection.

“Humanity Hall of Fame”

The Lunaprise Museum also includes a single collection called “Humanity Hall of Fame,” which uses words and photos engraved onto indestructible nickel plates and digital archiving that are “designed to show future civilizations how our society lived and loved.”

The Lunaprise Museum utilizes advanced file compression and etching technology to store curated art on what is believed to be an indestructible nickel disk. Through a proprietary algorithm, each file is compressed into various digital formats without compromising its quality, while a high-precision laser engraves the binary data onto the disk. The advanced tech also allows for these digital artifacts to be readable via a microscope.

Lunaprise Metaverse Museum

In late 2023, the Lunaprise Metaverse Museum will offer visitors an immersive experience of the Lunaprise Museum – from anywhere in the world. 

The Rocket launch is scheduled for November 15th, 2023, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, via a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket. 

On May 21, digital artist ThankYouX witnessed his painting, Urge for Perfection, launched into space, also onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket, as part of a private launch chartered by Axiom Space. His painting spent 15 hours on the craft before docking at the International Space Station (ISS) on May 22. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Author’s Guild Sues OpenAI For Copyright Infringement

OpenAI faces yet another major legal action after The Authors Guild alleged that the AI startup violated U.S. copyright law as it continues to train its artificial intelligence (AI) models. 

The class-action lawsuit, initially filed on September 19, alleged that OpenAI’s AI algorithms serve as “the heart of [OpenAI’s] massive commercial enterprise…[a]nd at the heart of these algorithms is systematic theft on a mass scale.”

Since 1912, The Authors Guild has been advocating for the rights of writers by supporting free speech, fair contracts, and copyrights. 

In the legal documents, The Author’s Guild claims that OpenAI has violated the Copyright Act by conducting what it describes as “flagrant and harmful infringement” of registered copyrights related to written works of fiction. 

The registered copyrights at issue are the late Mignon Eberhart’s works, including While the Patient Slept and The Patient in Room 18. Eberhart has been dubbed “America’s Agatha Christie,” and authored dozens of mystery novels over nearly sixty years that were eventually adapted for film – The White Cockatoo, The Patient in Room 18, Hasty Wedding, Mystery House, and While the Patient Slept.

According to the Guild’s most recent authors earnings study, median writing-related income for full-time authors make just over $20,000, where full-time traditional authors earn only about $10,000 of that from their published books. It’s no secret that writers are facing extreme financial hardship from copywriting, journalism, and online writing. 

One Guild member who writes marketing and web content reported losing 75 percent of their work as a result of their clients switching to AI. 

The organization argues that OpenAI specifically copied some of these works extensively, without proper permission or compensation, by incorporating them into large language models (LLMs). 

Specifically, the Guild emphasizes the crucial role that these algorithms play in OpenAI’s commercial activities, suggesting that the heart of these AI systems is systematic copyright infringement on a massive scale. It further suggested that OpenAI could have simply trained its AI models by using the public domain or by paying licensing fees for the use of these copyrighted materials.

“When prompted, ChatGPT generated an accurate summary of the final chapter of While the Patient Slept…ChatGPT could not have generated the material described above if OpenAI’s LLMs had not ingested and been ‘trained’ on the Authors Guild Infringed Works.”

Calling on Big Tech

In June, The Authors Guild wrote an open letter calling on OpenAI and other big tech firms to fairly license authors’ work for use in LLM training, pointing to the risks of generative AI tools like ChatGPT and GPT-N.

“As a result of embedding our writings in your systems, generative AI threatens to damage our profession by flooding the market with mediocre, machine-written books, stories, and journalism based on our work. The introduction of generative AI threatens…to make it even more difficult, if not impossible, for writers – especially young writers and voices from under-represented communities – to earn a living from their profession,” the Complaint read in part. 

To date, that open letter has been signed by almost 12,000 authors, including many of the plaintiffs to the current class-action lawsuit.

On September 11, The Authors Guild pinned an article containing tips for authors seeking to protect their works from AI use.

It also highlights the steps it has taken to raise awareness about protecting authors’ work from AI web crawlers, such as those used by OpenAI. 

This lawsuit against OpenAI follows a similar legal action involving Meta (formerly Facebook) and OpenAI. In that case, initiated in July, author Sarah Silverman and others alleged copyright infringement related to AI models using copyrighted material for training. Both Meta and OpenAI have since requested that the claims be dismissed.

The U.S. Copyright Office

The legal dispute occurs in the context of growing concern over the use of AI in content creation and its implications for copyright protection.

While the U.S. continues to stagnate on pushing any foundational AI framework forward, other countries, including the EU are in their final stages of their AI guidelines being made into law. 

This week, the UK’s regulatory watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), issues its initial set of AI guiding principles that are aimed at ensuring the responsible development and use of foundation models (FMs) with AI. It specifically identified big tech, including OpenAI, Apple, Google, and Microsoft and the antitrust concerns. The next update on the CMA’s progress is expected to be published in early 2024.

In mid-August, a U.S. federal court upheld a previous decision from the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) that denied copyright protection for any submitted generative AI work in the United States. The work in question was an AI-generated work called “A Recent Entrance to Paradise,” which was the output from Dr. Stephen Thaler’s AI system, “Creativity Machine.”

Unfortunately, the biggest concern for the USCO right now is that its current enforcement mechanism is based on an “honor system” for disclosing whether a work was generated by an AI software or a similarly related algorithm. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Mythical Games Takes Web3 Blankos Block Party to Mobile Gamers

Following the successful launch of NFL Rivals, the Web3 game studio Mythical Games, announced that it’s bringing one of its most popular titles, Blankos Block Party, to mobile gamers.

Mythical Games specializes in building games around “player-owned” economies that have helped to develop leading game franchises including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero, Skylanders, and more. In June, the startup secured $37 million as part of a Series C1 funding round led by Scytale Digital and with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Ark Invest, and others.

In August, the gaming studio announced NFL Rivals, the NFL’s first-ever licensed game that incorporates blockchain technology into a “gamers-first” approach through a landmark collaboration between Mythical Games, the NFL, and the NFL Players Association.

Originally launched on PC, Bankos Block Party is a unique blend of Web2 and Web3 features, enabling players to make in-app purchases without the need for cryptocurrencies or Mythical Games’ tokens, making it compliant with major app stores’ policies. While Web3 technology enhances the game’s experience, Mythical Games’ “gamers first” approach ensures that players can enjoy the game without delving into the intricacies of blockchain technology.

Ahead of the 2023 NFL season, which kicked off on September 7, the Miami Dolphins signed a deal with NFL Rivals, marking the gaming studio’s first NFL partnership, where the NFL Rivals’ branding will be featured throughout the Dolphins’ home stadium during games. 

Since its launch, the mobile game, available on iOS and Android, has experienced almost 2.5 million downloads. According to Linden, Mythical Games has been emphatic about complying with the app store rules of both Apple and Google, especially given Apple’s more stringent policies.

Players can use virtual currency to purchase items within the Marketplace, and this virtual currency can be obtained through in-app purchases, allowing app stores to collect their standard 30% fee. However, this virtual currency cannot be cashed out and is designed for in-game purchases.

Web3 Mobile Gaming

While Google Play’s rules explicitly prevented certain Web3 games, Mythical Games’ approach has enabled it to collaborate effectively with app stores, especially while its approval on Apple’s App Store remains on an experimental basis.

Apple’s stance on Web3 games has been somewhat more opaque compared to Google Play, but Mythical Games has maintained open communication with both platforms. Linden emphasized that Mythical Games has made every effort to abide by app store rules and has shared important statistics with Apple to demonstrate that Web3 elements are not detrimental to the platform.

The success of NFL Rivals and its ability to attract players to make in-game purchases and then return for more has demonstrated the viability of Web3 elements in mobile gaming. Mythical Games is now looking to capitalize on this momentum by revisiting Blankos Block Party, a PC and Mac-exclusive title, and reworking it with a mobile-first approach while ensuring cross-play compatibility.

Blankos Block Party faced challenges such as high acquisition costs and a diverse player base due to its mix of shooting and racing activities. Mythical Games believes that with revisions and a mobile-first strategy, the game can become a success on mobile app stores.

Overall, John Linden expressed optimism about the growth of Web3 in gaming, noting that Mythical Games is on track to add nearly a million players per month to its games. This promising trajectory suggests that Web3 gaming is approaching a “hockey stick moment” of rapid expansion and adoption in the industry.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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NFT Marketplaces Ban Stoner Cats Following SEC Charges

The Stoner Cats NFT project, which was co-created by actress Mila Kunis and is related to a celebrity-filled cartoon series, has been removed from major NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Blur, and Rarible following charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for conducting an unregistered offering of crypto asset securities.

The six-episode adult animated web series centers around five house cats who mysteriously become sentient. With their “higher” consciousness, they create an absolute catastrophe, forcing them to repeatedly save their beloved owner, Ms. Stoner. 

Developed by Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions, the web series stars Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Jane Fonda, Seth McFarlane, Dax Shepard, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Rock, and Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin.

According to the SEC, Both OpenSea and Rarible have verified that they have banned Stoner Cats NFT trading, and Blur has no current listings following the SEC settlement. 

While NFTs can no longer be purchased, sold, or transferred on these platforms, they remain on the blockchain and in the wallets of holders. Some marketplaces, such as LooksRare and X2Y2, still have Stoner Cats NFT listings online. 

Recapping the SEC Order

According to the September 13 SEC Order, Stoner Cats 2 LLC (SC2) raised approximately $8 million from investors to finance the animated web series, Stoner Cats, in July 2021 through the sale of Ethereum-based NFTs. Each NFT granted holders access to the web series. 

With each NFT selling for approximately $800 each, the collection sold out in 35 minutes. In its Order, the SEC stated that prior to Stoner Cats NFTs being sold to the public, SC2’s marketing campaign specifically emphasized the benefits of owning an NFT, which included the option for investors/owners to resell their NFTs on the secondary market.

“Regardless of whether your offering involves beavers, chinchillas or animal-based NFTs, under the federal securities laws, it’s the economic reality of the offering – not the labels you put on it or the underlying objects – that guides the determination of what’s an investment contract and therefore a security,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Google Refines SEO Playbook For The New AI Era

Google’s latest infrastructure change is centered around the way in which content is generated and presented to users. For two decades, Google Search has been the invisible hand driving the public market’s curiosity and demand for immediately accessible information on anything and everything in real time. 

But now, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has changed everything, including the ways in which content is generated and how users want to interact with it. For years, SEO, or search engine optimization, has allowed our world to be “indexed” online through tactical insertions of keywords in URLs, article titles, and of course, embedded into the articles and website themselves for easy discoverability. The closer to Page 1 of Google News something was, the more likely it would be discovered and not lost in translation. 

But today, the value of SEO has undeniably changed, where the desire to be on or as near Page 1 as possible, has collided with the ethics of doing anything it takes to be there – even if it is complete spam or bullshit. 

Arguably, the power of SEO really came through in 2001, when Google Image Search launched and users began to recognize the power of “talentless hacks,” better known as “Google bombing.”

A recent report from The Verge does an excellent job of breaking down the history and transformation of Google’s algorithm and SEO infrastructure. 

In keeping up with Google’s ever-changing algorithm, the search engine recognizes that repetitive and/or low-quality AI content could harm the SEO mechanism and that human contribution still remains a crucial element in how content is created and distributed. We have already seen plenty of examples in which these AI models like ChatGPT, can make up information (machine hallucinations) or steal other’s original work opening the doors to defamation, copyright infringement, and other ethical concerns. 

Quality of Content Will Now Take the Throne

A recent report from Decrypt indicated that Google’s most recent update involves the search engine “quietly rewriting its own rules” to accept AI’s arrival. 

The latest iteration of Google Search’s “Helpful Content Update,” replaced the long-standing phrase “written by people” to a statement indicating that Google will continue monitoring “content created for people” in order to better index and rank sites on its search engine. 

In other words, regardless of whether a human or machine produces the content, Google will focus on the quality of the content, rather than the author of it. However, Google does still penalize the improper use of AI as it impacts content summaries. 

As lawmakers and regulators are currently faced with how to implement systems that can distinguish human-generated content from AI-generated content, Google is about to change the traditional rules of SEO. 

Taking on ChatGPT

Last week, we learned that Google is also reportedly taking steps to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 model with its own AI software, Gemini. 

According to a September 14 report by The Information, Gemini, which hails from Google’s DeepMind AI division, is developing a similar large language model (LLM) to GPT-4 that will also work as a chatbot and generate “original” text based on text prompts. 

Google is currently offering developers early access to a beta version of Gemini, claiming that its larger version under development will directly compete with GPT-4.

Calling Out AI-Generated Images with Watermarks

The search engine giant also revealed a new tool at the end of August that will supposedly help it better identify when AI-generated images are being utilized improperly. 

SynthID, which is currently in beta, is designed to combat misinformation by adding an invisible, permanent watermark to images to identify which of them were computer-generated. The watermark is embedded directly into the pixels of an image created by Imagen, and remains regardless of whether the image is modified through filters or color alterations.

UK’s ‘CMA’ Watchdog Issues 7 Governing AI Principles

This week, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which serves as the primary antitrust regulator in the UK, published a report containing 7 proposed principles that are tailored towards the responsible development and use of foundation models (FMs) with AI. 

Throughout the September 18 report, the CMA cautioned against behaviors intended to weaken competition and overlook consumer protection laws – including the spread of misinformation or enabling AI fraud via machine hallucinations. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Friend.Tech Sparks Debate Over Regulatory Concerns

Justin Blau, better known as DJ 3LAU, sparked a series of conversations this past weekend after announcing his exit from the social currency platform.

The September 15 X thread revealed that he considered to be “too risky” for him, indicating the presence of a number of regulatory concerns that he feels could present a risk to his public branding., launched in mid-August, offers users the ability to tokenize their social presence by buying and selling keys. 

Since these keys have a financial impact, as they involve monetary transactions and can fluctuate in value based on various factors, Blau’s sudden departure is an early testament to wanting to avoid any future instances where crypto-based celebrity endorsements backfire, as we’ve already seen over the past few years. 

“Because people will ask…Just off-boarded after understanding more of the risks. I think it’s an awesome product, but a bit too risky for me (unfortunately),” Blau tweeted.

He continued “I take full responsibility on not understanding the full spectrum of risk that comes with (frankly) any new crypto product, before using it.”

Blau, who considers himself a DJ-turned tech entrepreneur, is also founder of the music rights NFT marketplace Royal, which launched in 2021. The marketplace enables music artists to “sell” their music royalties to fans as NFTs. 

In a previous interview with Hypebeast, Blau spoke of his decision to go “full-time” into music tech, while emphasizing that he will still make music as DJ 3LAU on weekends and for friends on special occasions. 

Blau: “Everything is probably fine minus the amm mechanic”

Blau’s main apprehension with centered around the platform’s automated market maker (AMM), a feature that facilitates the trading of user keys, formerly known as shares, on

AMMs are a mechanism that makes it easier for individual traders to buy and sell crypto assets. As the underlying protocol that powers all decentralized exchanges (DEXs), AMMs help users exchange crypto by connecting the parties directly, rather than using an intermediary.

He voiced concerns that this feature, in the context of a social media platform, falls into a regulatory gray area that could potentially pose future issues for users.

The decision by the Royal founder to exit the platform naturally triggered a significant reaction on X (formerly Twitter), with the hashtag #3LAU, generating numerous tweets from individuals expressing support or criticism. 

Some even accused him of unloading his shares on his followers or using them for “exit liquidity.” However, he later affirmed his commitment to reimburse anyone who had purchased his keys.

Blau also clarified that he did not perceive the risks as exceptionally high but felt a sense of responsibility to avoid engagement in areas with unclear regulatory boundaries. He specifically mentioned concerns regarding the AMM mechanic and its association with his brand.

In a subsequent post, Blau addressed the concerns posed by X users, and elaborated on how he planned to compensate affected key holders. He mentioned the existence of “too much drama” surrounding his initial announcement and revealed his intention to create a split contract to return all the ETH to 3LAU key holders pro-rata at the block at which he sold the first key. 

He reaffirmed his commitment to donating the full value of all his keys (approx. 8 ETH) to a music-specific charity that he’s passionate about, the Paid In Full Foundation.

Trading Volume has been under the microscope as of late, with concerns that its “overnight success” was simply another fad, with X users declaring the platform to be “dead.”

However, last week, an anonymous user to told CoinTelegraph that the platform’s future depends on the team and what they do over the next five or so months, with the platform experiencing an increase in its daily trading volume ($12.3 million per Dune Analytics).

As of September 18,’s key volume reportedly took a sharp turn, yielding close to 2x as much volume as ETH NFTs for six consecutive days.

Who is Behind Friend.Tech?

Back in August, an X user who goes by the handle @nix.eth, was sharing some of their research into who the team behind could be, cautioning users to “be careful putting too much money into it.”

According to the August 20 X thread, @nix.eth stated their belief that the same team behind, also launched @KosettoIsKawaii at the end of 2022, alleging that this same team sold a bunch of wearable NFT stickers by having users spamming out referral codes.

That same day, the thread continued with additional support from @nix.eth claiming that the following people probably comprise the team:

  • @0xRacerAlt
  • @shrimppepe

The thread continues to point out that “the most compelling evidence” behind identifying the team is the “reuse of the Kosetto[.com] domain for the FT APL.”

Stoner Cats and the SEC

Just last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the Stoner Cats NFT project with having offered an unregistered security. 

The NFT collection, which launched in July 2021, was spearheaded by Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions, expecting to release an animated series that features the voices of Nila Kuns, Ashton Kutcher, Chris Rock, and Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin.

According to the SEC, the Stoner Cats NFTs were marketed and sold as investment opportunities, rather than mere collectibles – pointing to Stoner Cats 2 LLC’s marketing campaign. The creators agreed to pay a $1 million civil fine, among other things.  

In March, the SEC also charged eight celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, and Ne-Yo, with violating the anti-touting provision of the Securities Act. 

“Regardless of whether your offering involves beavers, chinchillas or animal-based NFTs, under the federal securities laws, it’s the economic reality of the offering – not the labels you put on it or the underlying objects – that determines what’s an investment contract and, therefore, a security.” 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

This post was UPDATED as of 9/19/23 to include more information as to concerns involving the identity of’s founders.

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Elon Musk Wants Everyone to Pay Subscription Fees For X

X CEO, Elon Musk, hinted at the possibility of implementing a mandatory paywall for all users on the platform during a recent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

With approximately 550 million monthly users curating around 200 million posts per day, X, formerly known as Twitter, has already transformed into something else entirely since Musk purchased the company in October 2022. 

The idea behind introducing a paywall, according to Musk, is to deter the proliferation of automated accounts or bots, which have been a persistent problem on X. Musk argued that setting up bots currently costs only a fraction of a penny, making it easy for bad actors to create and deploy them.

To counter this, Musk suggested that increasing the cost of an X account to “a few dollars or something” could act as a deterrent to bot operators. He further emphasized that requiring a new payment method for each new bot creation would add another layer of complexity for those attempting to abuse the platform.

“Decline in Ad Revenue”

Currently, X only charges users for its subscription service, X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue), which gives paying subscribers an automatic verified blue checkmark for just $11/month in the United States. As part of the initial stages of Twitter’s rebranding, Musk enabled users to hide their paid for blue check marks as part of the perks to subscribing to Twitter Blue. 

The irony in Musk’s “benevolent solution” to do away with these bots is that it simply opens up an additional, inescapable revenue stream for he and X, which has been the underlying motivation behind every “new” change the platform has continued to implement.

In early August, X began its distribution payouts under its Subscriptions monetization mechanism, where users began sharing screenshots of their first advertising payouts from the platform – initially ranging from $50 to $12,000+.  

Users who want to take advantage of Subscriptions, must be subscribed to X Premium to earn monthly income from the content they create, in addition to meeting other criteria beyond their blue check mark. 

The idea of introducing a paywall comes as X faces a decline in its advertising revenue, which has historically been its primary source of income. According to Musk, X has seen a 60% decrease as a result, which remains in question.

Musk’s Battle With the Anti-Defamation League

Musk has attributed this “decline” to an advertiser boycott, prompted by concerns over his leadership and the platform’s handling of inappropriate or hateful content, specifically attributing the decline to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). 

He has since gone on the offensive against anyone who has attempted to challenge his leadership and his apparent departure from a “free speech platform” and towards an extremely biased and emotional soundboard for the X CEO that has continued to welcome hate speech, including anti-semitism. 

Earlier this month, Musk filed a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization committed to fighting anti-semitism, extremism, and bigotry. He accused the ADL as having been “trying to kill [X] by falsely accusing it and [him] of being anti-Semitic.” 

At the same time, Musk was called out for liking X posts with the hashtag #BanTheADL,” which was trending for at least one week. 

The discussion with Netanyahu, initially focused on technology and artificial intelligence, quickly shifted towards issues of free speech and antisemitism on X. 

Netanyahu expressed hope that Musk would find a way to address antisemitism and hate speech on the platform while respecting the principles of the First Amendment.

“I encourage you and urge you to find the balance,” Netanyahu said, acknowledging the complexities of moderating content on a platform that values free speech.

Musk has previously expressed his stance as being “pro-free speech but against antisemitism of any kind” on X – yet, every action he has continued to take or behavior he has chosen to condone, blatantly contradicts that position.

As of press time, Musk has not yet confirmed whether X would implement a charging policy for all users. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Citigroup Launches Digital Asset Solutions for Institutional Clients

Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) is piloting a new initiative, Citi Token Services, that will use blockchain and smart contract technologies to deliver digital asset solutions for Citi’s institutional clients – elevating core cash management and trade finance capabilities.

By offering cross-border payments, liquidity, and automated trade finance solutions on a 24/7 basis, Citi Token Services aims to meet the demands from institutional clients who often seek ‘always-on’ programmable financial services.

“The development of Citi Token Services is part of our journey to deliver real-time, always-on, next-generation transaction banking services to our institutional clients,” said Shahmir Khaliq, Global Head of Services at Citi in the September 18 announcement.

Khaliq also spoke to Citi’s previous collaboration with Maersk, a shipping and logistics company out in Denmark, and a canal authority to digitize a solution comparable to bank guarantees and letters of credit within the trade finance ecosystem. This pilot showcased the programmable transfer of tokenized deposits, enabling instant payments via smart contracts.

Citi Token Services has also been deployed in a global cash management pilot, empowering clients to transfer liquidity between Citi branches around the clock.

Ryan Rugg, Global Head of Digital Assets at Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions, emphasized that Citi Token Services offers corporate treasurers a powerful tool to manage global liquidity on a just-in-time, programmable basis. This approach is expected to reduce friction associated with cut-off times and service gaps.

The private/permissioned blockchain technology underpinning Citi Token Services is owned and managed by Citi, eliminating the need for clients to host a blockchain node to access these services.

Citi’s continued commitment to developing digital asset solutions underscores its ambition to enhance its product and service offerings across various sectors, including digital money, trade, securities, custody, asset servicing, and collateral mobility.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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UK’s Watchdog Shares AI Principles to Ensure Consumer Protection

The UK’s regulatory watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), unveiled its set of seven guiding principles that are aimed at ensuring the responsible development and use of foundation models (FMs) with artificial intelligence (AI). 

The CMA, which is the country’s primary anti-trust regulator, balances the need to foster open innovation and strong competition with prioritizing consumer protection. The September 18 report emphasizes accountability, transparency, and competition within the current AI boom that takes into consideration how versatile AI systems like FMs are capable of adapting to a variety of specific purposes. 

The Seven Principles

Throughout the report, the CMA cautions against the potential harms in the event competition is weak or consumer protection laws are overlooked – including the spread of false information and AI-enabled fraud (or machine hallucinations).

As it concerns big tech, including OpenAI, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, the CMA addresses the strong possibility of market power being consolidated to their respective platforms, which presents the risk of other AI contenders coming into the arena. 

These seven principles, as outlined in the report, speak to the development and use of FMs for a more ethical and regulated AI framework. 

In creating these principles, the CMA engaged with over 70 stakeholders, gathering information directly from leading FM developers such as Google, Meta, OpenAI, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Anthropic, as well as governments, academics, and other regulators. The CMA also considered publicly available information, including the latest AI research. 

  1. Accountability: FM developers and deployers are accountable for the outputs provided to consumers.
  1. Access: Ensuring ongoing access to key inputs without unnecessary restrictions.
  1. Diversity: Promoting sustained diversity in business models, including both open and closed approaches.
  1. Choice: Sufficient choice for businesses so they can decide how to use FMs. 
  1. Flexibility: Allowing flexibility to switch and/or use multiple FMs as needed. 
  1. Fair Dealing: Prohibiting anti-competitive conduct, including self-preferencing, tying, or bundling. 
  1. Transparency: Providing consumers and businesses with information about the risks and limitations of FM-generated content. 

The next update on the CMA’s progress, including the adoption of these seven principles, is expected to be published in early 2024. 

“The CMA’s role is to help shape these markets in ways that foster strong competition and effective consumer protection, delivering the best outcomes for people and businesses across the UK. In rapidly developing markets like these, it’s critical we put ourselves at the forefront of that thinking, rather than waiting for problems to emerge and only then stepping in with corrective measures,” said Sarah Cardell, CEO of the CMA.

In the report, Cardell stressed the need to proactively address potential issues and not wait for problems to emerge before taking corrective measures. 

“The goal is to further develop these principles collaboratively and ensure that the responsible development of FMs promotes competition and protects consumers.”

Where’s the U.S. At?

In the U.S., governments at various levels are still figuring out how to use and regulate AI-powered tools like ChatGPT. 

Back in June, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) predicted that new AI legislation was just months away from its final stage, which appears to be on the same trajectory as the EU and its final stages of negotiations for its EU AI Act

For the remainder of 2023 and into the beginning of 2024, city and state agencies are expected to start releasing the first wave of generative AI policies that address these AI-powered tools like ChatGPT. In summer 2024, the Biden Administration is expecting to release its initial guidelines for how the federal government can use AI. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Magic Eden Introduces ‘Compressed NFTs’ to Slash Minting Fees

NFT marketplace Magic Eden revealed a new mechanism that would introduce a cost-effective alternative to produce content at scale – cNFTs, or compressed NFTs. 

In a September 14 tweet, Magic Eden distinguished cNFTs from traditional Solana NFTs, stating that its ability to employ data compression and off-chain storage would reduce minting fees and allow for NFTs to be produced at a fraction of the cost. 

Unlike minting on Ethereum, cNFTs harness Solana’s state compression, facilitating the minting of up to 1 million NFTs for approximately $110 (compared to minting price points from $2.90 to $30+ per NFT on Ethereum). 

For larger-scale collections spanning gaming, music, and events, utilizing cNFTs increases the reach creators already have and allows them to broaden their targeted network without incurring substantial additional expenses. 

By lowering the expenses associated with creating an NFT, Magic Eden aims to create an accessible entry point for newcomers who want to dip their feet in with digital collectib;es that “are lower stakes, fun, and affordable.”

In May, Magic Eden launched its Chapter II rewards program that rewards traders with Solana’s native cryptocurrency, $SOL, based on their trading activities. By temporarily reducing its maker fee to -0.25%, Magic Eden provides traders with the opportunity to earn $SOL on each transaction.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Animoca Brands Subsidiary Debuts Bitcoin’s First Metaverse Token

Darewise Entertainment, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands and the visionary force behind the Life Beyond Gaming Metaverse, unveiled their strategic partnership with Horizen Labs on September 14 to advance its mission of launching the first-ever metaverse token for the Bitcoin ecosystem. This partnership marks a significant step for the expansion of Bitcoin by tapping into the gaming sector. 

The upcoming token launched by Darewise Entertainment will be the first of its kind to power a full ecosystem on Bitcoin for gaming, brands, and IRL experiences, and Life Beyond is the first gaming metaverse set to use the token for in-game assets, virtual lands, and more. 

Horizen Labs, a blockchain advisory firm that also develops tokenized experiences, will provide technical token development and consulting services to Darewise Entertainment. The joint endeavor aims to create a groundbreaking metaverse token that will power a comprehensive ecosystem on Bitcoin, serving gaming, brands, and real-life experiences.

Life Beyond, the sci-fi MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) being developed by Darewise Entertainment, whose team comprises AAA gaming veterans, will be among the first metaverses to employ this innovative token. It is expected to be used for various in-game assets, virtual land ownership, and much more, the press release stated.

“With the advent of the Ordinals protocol, we’re witnessing a pivotal moment for Bitcoin as it extends its reach and introduces the concept of culture. High-quality gaming is one of the keys to mass adoption, and we’re thrilled that our AAA studio Darewise Entertainment is working on this untapped opportunity in partnership with Horizen Labs, a pioneer and expert in its field,” said Yat Siu, the co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands.

Benjamin Charbit, co-founder and CEO of Darewise Entertainment, emphasized Bitcoin’s potential to become something more than a “store of value.”

“We’re still in the early innings…To achieve that potential, we need to roll up our sleeves and build, and that’s the essence of our partnership with Horizen Labs. We’re joining forces to contribute to the foundational infrastructure that the Bitcoin ecosystem needs to truly flourish. This is about collaboration, community, and contributing to a collective effort that could redefine the digital landscape.”

Throughout the partnership, Horizen Labs will play a pivotal role in offering technical services, consultation on tokenomics, and developing essential tools and applications to further the Ordinals ecosystem.

“Over the next few months, we will unveil a lot of technological breakthroughs we have been working on that will power not only Life Beyond Chapter 1 in 2024 but also metaverses and games around the world. We are working tirelessly to ensure we have genuine utility in this ecosystem when our token is launched,” said Vincent Marty, chief product officer at Darewise Entertainment.

Earlier this month, Animoca announced that it raised $20 million to advance its Mocaverse project. The investment round was led by CMCC Global and included contributions from Yat Siu himself, in addition to GameFi Ventures, Liberty City Ventures, and Kingsway Capital.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Google Wants to Rival ChatGPT-4 with Gemini AI Software

Google is reportedly taking steps to rival OpenAI‘s GPT-4 model with its AI software, Gemini. An exclusive report by The Information on September 14 indicated that it’s providing a select group of companies with early access to Gemini.

Hailing from Google’s DeepMind AI division, Gemini, which is still under development, is similar to GPT-4 in that it’s also a large language model (LLM) that is designed to work as a chatbot, while generating “original” text based on text prompts, in addition to code generation.

While the exact costs of fully developing Gemini aren’t known at this time, it’s fair to assume that its hefty price tag will fall somewhere in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars. In April, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman told WIRED that creating GPT-4 cost over $100 million.

While Google is currently offering developers access to a substantial version of Gemini, it has a larger version in development that is expected to directly compete with GPT-4. 

The AI software will eventually be made accessible to companies through Google’s Cloud Vertex AI service. Over the past few months, Google has taken significant strides in its commitment to integrating generative AI into a solid chunk of its products. 

Detecting AI-Generated Images

Last month, DeepMind and Google Cloud revealed SynthID, a new AI tool that will help the company better identify when AI-generated images are being utilized by placing an invisible, permanent watermark to each image. This project is aimed at curbing the spread of misinformation and copyright infringement. 

Google Search Got an Upgrade

In the same month, it also introduced generative AI to its Search tool in India and Japan, enabling text and visual results based on user prompts. Prior to the rollout, the feature was first launched in the United States, giving users a choice to opt in.

An AI Life Coach?

The New York Times also reported in August that Google has also been testing an internal AI tool, ScaleAI, that supposedly will be able to provide consumers with “life coaching advice” in addition to performing at least 21 other tasks. However, Google hasn’t confirmed whether this tool will ever see the light of day.

Additionally, Google made its AI-powered tools available to enterprise customers for a monthly fee of $30 per user.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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9dcc x Stapleverse Limited Edition Baseball Cap Debuts During Paris Fashion Week

The 9dcc x Stapleverse Lucky Sh*t Limited Edition Baseball Cap quickly sold out within hours of its debut during Paris Fashion Week. The collaboration between gmoney and Jeff Staple, which comprised an exclusive batch of 200 caps, vanished almost instantly, highlighting a next-gen demand for fashion tech created by today’s top designers.

This limited-edition cap, featuring Staple Design’s iconic pigeon motif and a distinctive poop stain on the brim, is more than just another fashion accessory. With a price point of $295 (approx. 0.19 ETH), each cap comes embedded with an NFC chip, granting its owner access to a digital twin of the cap and a Sapienz avatar. 

Additionally, cap owners will receive an airdrop on September 22 as long as they’ve claimed the hat’s certificate of authenticity (COA) through the NFC chip.

The COA, which serves as a gateway to that airdrop and the digital interaction that comes with it, paves the way for a new mechanism in which consumers are able to ensure they are purchasing high-end luxury fashion apparel. 

9dcc x Stapleverse Limited Edition Baseball Cap to make debut
Credit: Stapleverse/9dcc

Gmoney, whose first steps into fashion tech came in the form of launching the first crypto-native fashion luxury house, 9dcc, has been recognized by the Vogue Business Disruptors 100 and featured on Fortune as one of the 50 most important people in NFTs. His ongoing commitment to producing NFC-powered fashion apparel and accessories undeniably keeps the NFT community on their toes in seeing how these physical garments are interlinked with blockchain technology. 

“Leveraging technology, we’ve ushered ‘Networked Products’ into the streetwear arena, crafting an evolved and immersive purchasing adventure,” said 9dcc’s Gmoney. He described the rapid sale of the 9dcc x Stapleverse Limited Edition Baseball Cap as a “vivid illustration” of this mechanism’s untapped potential. 

Last November, gmoney surprised the community by revealing his identity during The Gateway 2022 in New York as part of the ITERATION-02 release.

Staple, the founder of his native digital world, Stapleverse, along with Reed Art Department (f/k/a Staple Design), has worked on countless creative projects for clients ranging from startup brands to Fortune 100 companies. His STAPLE trademark, which he founded in 1997, is best known through the now infamous “Pigeon” logo that can be seen in this latest collaboration. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Pace Verso Launches NFT Tribute to Joy Division’s 44th Anniversary

Pace Verso, the Web3-powered art division of Pace Gallery, is preparing to launch an astrologically-infused NFT project this fall, in collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Peter Saville, musician Stephen Morris, and the Joy Division Archive.

The gallery established a multifaceted partnership with Art Blocks in 2022, where it presented multiple NFT projects by Jeff Koons, Zhang Huan, Glenn Kaino, DRIFT, Lucas Samaras, and more. 

CP1919, which debuts on October 9th during Frieze London, commemorates 44 years since the release of the English rock band Joy Division’s seminal album “Unknown Pleasures” by Factory Records in 1979. 

Formed in 1976 by Morris, Ian Curtis, and Bernard Sumner, was heavily influenced by early punk and served as one of the leading pioneer music groups of the post-punk movement. Their debut album Unknown Pleasures dropped in 1979.

Discovering the CP1919 Star

First detected by Cambridge University astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell in 1967, CP1919 (“Cambridge Pulsar 1919”) was the first pulsar rotating neutron star that emitted radio waves at regular intervals to ever be discovered. 

“Pulsar,” a contraction of “pulsating star,” occurs as a result of the gravitational collapse of a star during a supernova that is less than 20 solar masses. To put it simply, the collapsing CP1919 star, characterized as a “neutron star,” measured around 20 kilometers — but if that collapsing star was any bigger in size, it would have become a black hole. 

The collapsing star’s signal was captured on a plotter as one long, continuous line, but subsequently enhanced and reformatted in layers by Harold Craft of Cornell University to show the frequency and symmetry with which the pulses first appeared. 

This visualization was eventually published in the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy, where Sumner of Joy Division discovered it.

Pace Gallery to Release CP1919 NFT Collection, Celebrating 44th Anniversary of Joy Division’s Debut Album
Pace Gallery

Saville and Morris Reimagine CP1919

Naturally, the NFT project adopts the CP1919 name as a tribute to the OG visual pulse of the collapsed CP1919 star that is displayed on the cover of Unknown Pleasures, which Sumner suggested Saville use for the 1979 album cover. 

Saville, renowned for his groundbreaking designs for Joy Division and New Order, marks his first collaboration with a former Joy Division band member. Morris, a founding member of Joy Division and long-standing drummer for New Order, brings his rich musical legacy and extensive Joy Division archive to this contemporary digital collectibles art project.

CP1919 encompasses animated, three-dimensional imagery created by Saville, coupled with an original soundtrack featuring previously unreleased vocal samples from Joy Division.

The project itself comprises two distinct digital artworks – CP1919: Sweeping Sun White 2023 and CP1919: Sweeping Sun Black 2023.

Sweeping Sun White 2023

CP1919: Sweeping Sun White 2023 is an open edition NFT with a monochromatic white palette, with an unlimited number of editions available. It also includes auditory components featuring recently uncovered Joy Division sound and vocal samples. Holders who purchase the open-edition piece will receive a unique, corresponding limited-edition t-shirt.

Sweeping Sun Black 2023

CP1919: Sweeping Sun Black 2023, on the other hand, is a one-of-one edition with a monochromatic black palette. 

It will be auctioned exclusively through Pace Verso, and its immersive artwork and soundtrack, featuring previously unreleased Joy Division vocal fragments, will remain accessible solely to the auction winner (and never released to the general public). 

The winner will receive their artwork on a commemorative hard drive in a bespoke slipcase. A portion of the proceeds from CP1919 artwork sales will be donated to the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a UK-based nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention, in memory of Ian Curtis, Joy Division’s late frontman.

The CP1919 NFT collection is expected to be released on October 9 at 12:00pm ET through Pace Verso.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Nakamigos Teases ‘CLOAKS’ NFTs, Sparks Community Backlash

The bizarre, pixelated NFT project known as Nakamigos, revealed its next NFT initiative, CLOAKS, on September 13. It resembles the textbook hype we’ve continued to see with these derivative NFT projects that show little to no creativity – powered by aggressive marketing and puffery, and the Web3 community that often overlooks asking the right questions and challenging these projects and founders on their innovative purpose. 

Nakamigos was first launched in March by HiFo Labs, an out-of-the-blue company that claims its team has been producing NFT and digital projects for the past five years. Its OG collection mirrors CryptoPunks with 24 x 24-pixel characters, serving as the “friends of Satoshi Nakamoto.” 

Within four days of its launch, it had surpassed Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) in lifetime trades, reaching close to $13 million in trading volume on the secondary market when nft now first reported, increasing to around $39 million the following month, according to CoinDesk

Rumors began circulating as to who was pulling the strings or connected to HiFo Labs, with Crypto Twitter insinuating that HiFo was somehow connected to Larva Labs, the parent company of CryptoPunks, which was sold to Yuga Labs in 2022. Nevertheless, Nakamigos took to Twitter in late March, denying any connection to Larva or Yuga.

The Upcoming CLOAKS Mint

Its Early Access (free) Mint begins September 21 from 12:00pm – 3:00pm ET on the Nakamigos website, with eligible wallets holding a Nakamigos NFT during a snapshot taken on September 19 at 11:59pm ET. The Public Mint begins September 21 at 4:00 p.m. ET with a minting price of 0.05 ETH.

While there isn’t much to share about CLOAKS at this time, what we do know is that the NFT collection involves 20,000 Nakamigos characters that consist of “human-like characters and wolves.”

Main Characters and Wolves

There are three types of “human-like” characters – Warriors, Knights, and Archers, which all come with different rarity levels. There are also sub-human characters, including Sorceresses and Wizards. 

Each human-like character is also a member of one of seven clans – Water, Sky, Earth, Steel, Crystal, Fire, and Darkness. 

These “Main Characters” also have the ability to take on unique forms – Undead Reaper, Possessed, or Android (Good or Evil). Archers can appear in Wild form, while Wolves can appear as Grey Wolf, Forest Wolf, Mountain Wolf, or an Arctic Wolf. 

Non-Human Characters

The project also consists of six types of “non-human characters,” or “Rares” – Arctic Wolf, Komodo Dragon, Yin-Yang, Cheetah, Bat, and Black Panther. 

Each of these NFTs also reportedly comes with global gaming and commercial IP rights – similar to what Yuga Labs does with its respective portfolio of projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), CryptoPunks, etc. 

Community Backlash

The original announcement for ‘CLOAKS’ listed the mint price at 0.05 ETH for all minters. Shortly after receiving backlash from the community, the project updated it to a free mint for Nakamigos holders.

However, despite this change in pricing strategy, community members are still expressing skepticism about the project’s overall value and utility. They argue that the introduction of yet another NFT collection will dilute the project’s supply, similar to what happened with Azuki and its latest collection, Elementals.

Members of the community are drawing parallels between this approach and DeGods Season III, which initially introduced a “collection upgrade” but later altered their plans due to negative feedback. While some individuals suspect that these changes are deliberate, others contend that they are merely reactionary and lack a clear strategic intent.

Regardless of the perspective on the recent changes, there appears to be a prevailing consensus within the community that projects should prioritize providing additional benefits to their existing holders rather than continuously launching new collections.

IP Rights

Under the CLOAKS licensing agreement, HiFo Labs owns all the IP in the Nakamigos art and simply grants a limited license to holders to be able to use the Nakamigos art for as long as they hold their Nakamigos NFT. 

While it’s not exactly a Creative Commons (CC0) license, it still allows for holders to gain their own competitive edge. 

CLOAKS also comes with “worldwide gaming rights,” which “entitle any creator, company or entity to incorporate Nakamigos-CLOAKS characters into any game, metaverse, or similar endeavor.”

From the start, all 20K Nakamigos NFTs minted out, but they are still available on the secondary market with a current floor price of 0.26 ETH (approx. $424 USD) as of press time. 

The Nakamigos team has gifted “honorary” Nakamigos to well-known individuals in the NFT community – Art Blocks’ Erick Calderon (Snofro), Seedphrase, Comozo de’ Medici, and more.

While it’s too early to make any pre-conceived judgments as to the project’s long-term viability, it isn’t too farfetched in recognizing the understandable skepticism the NFT community has when a new meme or derivative NFT project is introduced.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Stability AI Releases ‘Stable Audio’ An AI Music Generator

Stability AI, the London-based startup behind the open-source image-generating AI model Stable Diffusion, has released Stable Audio, a tool capable of creating high-quality music for commercial use using a technique called ‘latent diffusion.’ 

Just one year after the AI startup began exploring generative audio with the soft release of its Dance Diffusion AI music tool, Stability AI is reportedly under pressure from investors to bring in over $100 million in capital into its revenue-generated products.

The company has raised over $125 million in funding, having recently raised an additional $25 million in June through a convertible note, as initially reported by Bloomberg. The deal was expected to increase the startup’s initial $1 billion valuation to $4 billion.

How It Works

Stable Audio was developed by Stability’s audio team, which formalized in April, drawing inspiration from Dance Diffusion, according to an exclusive TechCrunch report.

The new tool, according to Stability AI, is the “first product for music and sound effect generation,” capable of creating high-quality 44.1 kHz stereo sound for commercial use. By utilizing latent diffusion for its audio model, it is also able to generate instrumental music with more coherent and melodic results compared to some other generative AI models. 

Notably, the generated music tracks are about 90 seconds long, providing a level of coherence that extends beyond shorter audio snippets typically generated by other AI tools.

Unlike Dance Diffusion, which generated short, random audio clips from a limited sampling of sounds, Stable Audio can generate longer audio – up to 90 seconds, where the user is also able to utilize a text prompt to have more control over that music track’s generation and desired length. 

The secret behind Stable Audio’s output is ‘latent diffusion,’ a technique similar to that used in Stable Diffusion for generating images. The model gradually subtracts noise from a starting song, moving it closer to the provided text description. It was trained with the help of AudioSparx, a commercial music library, on a collection of songs, excluding vocal tracks, to avoid ethical and copyright issues.

Ed Newton-Rex, VP of audio for Stability AI told TechCrunch via email that the startup is currently building “foundational AI models” across various content genres – or “modalities.”

He elaborated on Stable Diffusion’s expansion to include languages, code, and music. “We believe the future of generative AI is multimodality,” he explained. 

Stable Audio is currently offered through a web app, as it’s not open source. Under the Pro Tier membership, users are able to create 500 commercializable tracks at a maximum length of 90 seconds, per month, for $11.99. 

Free users, on the other hand, are limited to 20 non-commercializable tracks at 20 seconds each per month. 

According to TechCrunch, Stable Audio’s Terms of Service also indicate that Stability may use users’ prompts, songs, and data for various purposes, including developing future models and services.

Copyright Concerns

While generative AI tools like Stable Audio have the potential for commercial use, they raise copyright and ethical concerns. 

While the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) has yet to release its official position on AI-generated music; last month, a federal judge ruled that AI-generated music cannot be copyrighted

In the case of Stephen Thaler v. Shira Perlmutter and The United States Copyright Office, Judge Beryl Howell emphasized that “human authorship is a bedrock requirement of copyright,” where the “public is the primary beneficiary of copyright law.” A spokesperson from the USCO agreed with Judge Howell’s decision but didn’t provide any further comment.

Earlier this month, the USCO refused to grant copyright protection to another AI-generated art project that involved the use of Midjourney, citing that it was “not the product of human authorship.”

Stability’s approach also fails to consider compensating artists directly for the use of their work in training the model. However, some artists had the option to remove their work from the training dataset. AudioSparx, Stability’s partner, offers revenue sharing for musicians on the platform, allowing them to profit from Stable Audio if they choose to participate in the training or contribute to future versions.

Stability AI recently faced financial troubles, including delayed payments to employees and payroll taxes, despite the company denying any such struggles. While the company aims to turn its fortunes around with Stable Audio and its other AI models, it certainly has some challenges ahead in becoming a viable contender in generative AI and music. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist to Take NFT Track ‘Voir Dire’ on Tour

Rappers Earl Sweatshirt and The Alchemist are bringing their latest NFT project, ‘Voir Dire’, on a nationwide tour, with support from MIKE and Black Noi$e. 

MIKE is slated to be the opening act for most of the tour, while Black Noi$e will be the opener for the initial three shows. The tour will visit 11 cities across the United States, kicking off in Seattle, Washington on November 6, and concluding in Detroit, Michigan on November 27. 

The mysterious ‘Voir Dire’ album was revealed exclusively on the Gala Music platform on August 24 by both Sweatshirt and The Alchemist. The platform, a subsidiary of the hybrid Web3 entertainment platform Gala, is best known for its involvement in the release of ‘Mount Westmore’s Bad MFs’ last year, as well as its utilization of NFTs that afford Gala Music users exclusive album access with limited ownership rights. 

VOIR DIRE, which contains 11 tracks, comes with 11,000 NFTs – each track containing 1,000 NFTs. The iconic rap artists, known for their boundary-pushing approach, have fully embraced the digital format, the track ‘Voir Dire’ is still only exclusively available on Gala Music and is not yet available on other major music streaming platforms, like Spotify or Apple Music.

Earl Sweatshirt and The Alchemist 2023 Tour Dates:
11/06 — Seattle, WA – Showbox Sodo
11/07 — Portland, OR – McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
11/09 — San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
11/14 — Dallas, TX – The Studio At The Factory
11/15 — Houston, TX – The Ballroom At Warehouse Live
11/18 — Atlanta, GA – Heaven At The Masquerade
11/20 — Washington, DC – The Fillmore Silver Spring
11/21 — Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
11/22 — New York City, NY- Brooklyn Steel
11/24 — Boston, MA – Royale
11/27 — Detroit, MI – Saint Andrew’s Hall

Tickets to all dates go on sale Friday, September 15 at 10 AM local, with various presales happening now.

Now that the album is released exclusively in this unique format, it’s yet to be determined how fans and the wider music industry will react to this blend of art and technology. However, bringing the NFT track on a national tour is a significant step in the evolution of the web3 music domain.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

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Meta Launches VR Educational Program with 15 Universities

Meta announced its ongoing partnership with 15 universities across the United States this week, who are currently embracing immersive learning through virtual reality in the classroom – including, but not limited to: Stanford University, Arizona State University, New Mexico State University, University of Iowa, Purdue Global, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Nova Southern University, Miami Dade College, and Morehouse College.  

These new collaborations span a wide range of educational apps, ranging from science, engineering, STEM, history, language, and more – all of which can be found in the Meta Quest store.

A recent report by PwC found that 40% of VR learners are more confident in applying what they’ve been taught, and 150% more engaged during classes. The XR Association (XRA) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) found that 77% of educators believe immersive technologies ignite curiosity and improve engagement in class. 

For instance, Stanford University is using VR to teach soft skills to business students, while Arizona State University is enabling students to practice language conversations in virtual environments. 

Purdue Global and Nova Southern University, respectively, use VR to train nurses in virtual simulations of hospitals and to teach first year medical students about organs in the human body.

Other institutions like New Mexico State University are employing VR for criminal justice education, and the University of Iowa is focusing on soft skills training for business students.

The results of early initiatives are promising, according to Meta. Morehouse College in Atlanta found that students who learned in VR achieved higher test scores compared to traditional in-person or online methods, with students who learned in VR averaging final test scores of 85 (compared to 78 in-person and 81 for traditional online methods). 

VR in-the-classroom is not only enhancing learning but also boosting attendance and engagement.

In addition to these university partnerships, Meta is testing ways to make educational content more accessible on its VR platform, Meta Quest. The company recognizes the importance of providing age-appropriate educational resources and is exploring dedicated shelves in the Meta Quest store to facilitate content discovery.

Turning to Europe

However, this educational push isn’t limited to the United States, as Meta has kept its eyes on how educators in Europe have also embraced VR and metaverse technologies in the classroom. 

Take Italy, for example, whose schools are integrating immersive experiences into lessons, with the University of Camerino hosting its first entirely metaverse-based course for this upcoming term.

In Germany and Austra, GoStudent is a revolutionary language learning through virtual reality that goes alongside its foreign language classes, GoVR, where students interact live with native-speaking tutors and classmates from across the country. 

And in the UK, the award-winning education app, Noun Town, uses gameplay to remove the grind from learning new languages, including Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Chinese. 

While Meta is enthusiastic about the potential of the metaverse in education, the company emphasizes the importance of governments and institutions embracing these technologies to ensure they benefit students at all levels. Skilled teachers, Meta believes, are central to inspiring students, and providing them with the necessary equipment is a crucial starting point.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.

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OneOf Partners With Web3 Emerging Artists for ‘Creator Mint’ Platform

Eco-conscious NFT tech company, OneOf, has launched its Creator Mint platform, aimed at providing creators of all sizes the opportunity to mint, sell, or gift their digital collectibles for free. 

Known for its user-friendly and eco-friendly Web3 platform, OneOf allows fans and consumers to naturally purchase or trade digital collectibles without having to worry about the underlying blockchain infrastructure. 

According to OneOf’s co-founder and CEO, Lin Dai, the platform is part of a bigger pledge “to forever uphold creator royalty,” while opening up the doors for artists and creators to “forge authentic fan connections” – what that means, however, remains to be seen as that “invisible barrier” hasn’t been broken yet in the Web3 space. 

It is up to the creator to set up a 10% resale royalty on all digital assets minted, as well as setting any price for a digital collection, including “free-to-claim.”

The public beta of Creator Mint includes features that offer easy minting for creators of all technical skill levels, blockchain support for self-minting on Tezos or Polygon, zero gas fees, and natural collecting for fans with no prior Web3 knowledge required. 

Creators joining the platform already encompass a wide range of artists, including 3D animators, visual artists, digital artists, and musicians. Notable creators include Andre Oshea, Dzanar, Gabe Weis, Adamtastic, Sian Morson, Jo Jerusalem, Coco Sarai, The Existential Pisces, and Ely.

Mastercard’s Artist Accelerator

The platform, which initially powered Mastercard’s Artist Accelerator program, aims to strengthen connections between creators and fans, expanding their reach to new audiences.

The Artist Accelerator officially launched in April while simultaneously introducing its Mastercard Music Pass that granted holders access to the program’s educational resources. Mastercard partnered with Billboard on a livestream that was hosted on Billboard’s YouTube channel.

“Creator Mint provides an incredible opportunity for artists and creators of all sizes to forge authentic fan connections, and we pledge to forever uphold creator royalty on the platform,”  said Lin Dai, Co-Founder & CEO, OneOf.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3

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NYFW’s Nolcha Shows: Merging Fashion, AI, and Web3

During New York Fashion Week (NYFW) on September 10, the award-winning Nolcha Shows event celebrated its 15th year of showcases by putting on a “Fashionology” immersive experience that fused its runway shows with a one-stop-shop technology experience lounge.

Over the past 11 years, the Nolcha Shows have become established as a platform of discovery that showcases the collections of independent fashion designers to a global audience by leveraging cutting-edge innovative designers through runway shows and exhibitions.

The event featured a range of experiences, including digital wearables, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences, interactive fashion gaming, and a showcase of sustainable fashion brands focused on ethical fashion, curated by Wear The Future.

The “Ones to Watch” segment highlighted ready-to-wear and wedding brands embracing Web3, such as Oh Polly, Nazranaa, Jessica Abbey & Federico Kampf, Tina Tandon, Vitruvius, and a special collection by the New York Culture Club with embedded microchips for an immersive AR experience.

The event also featured tech activations and digital art presentations, including LAVO’s community hub for creators and NUMB3R xA, a digital art collective.

Alongside the other immersive fashion activations, Collina Strada, a New York fashion brand, unveiled its spring/summer 2024 collection, uniquely crafted using AI. The brand trained the AI with its design archives from 2008, refining the AI-generated designs until they resonated with the team’s style. The final creations hit the runway with models portraying tension between humans and AI, marking Collina Strada as a pioneering brand in embracing AI for design.

Collina Strada

The convergence of fashion and Web3 is seen as a significant trend, with the market capitalization of crypto experiencing fluctuations, yet ongoing interest in Web3 technologies. As AI continues to find its place in our tech sector, the demand for digital self-expression remains strong, with consumers seeking new ways to curate their digital identities and maintain ownership over their digital assets. However, survival depends on the practicality and security of these newly built infrastructures that often blindly invite consumers to trust these new technologies. 

The event also honored military spouses, offering them a VIP makeover experience and showcasing the fashion industry’s commitment to inclusivity and giving back.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.

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Karl Lagerfeld x Bosa Launch NFT Tribute to Fashion Icon’s Legacy

Karl Lagerfeld and Bosa launched a special NFT collection on September 10, in tribute to the enduring legacy (and birthday) of the late iconic designer. 

Lagerfeld, a German fashion designer kicked off his fashion career in the 1950s, where he worked for several top fashion houses including Balmain, Patou, and Chloe before he transitioned to Chanel in 1983, where he took over as creative director until his passing in February 2019. He was widely recognized for his rock chic signature style – white hair, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves, and decked out in black. 

This collaboration between Lagerfeld and Bosa was born from a shared commitment to preserving heritage and excellence in craftsmanship. 

Bosa, an internationally acclaimed ceramics workshop nestled in the Venetian countryside, is renowned for its entirely handmade pieces. This dedication to craftsmanship and passion for the art form underscores the essence of this collaboration, ensuring that each piece remains unique, identifiable, and of the highest quality.

With more than 120 stores worldwide, the House of Karl Lagerfeld fuses the late designer’s iconic vision and design aesthetic of its founder with a contemporary, forward-looking spirit. The Maison’s portfolio features Parisian-inspired classics with a rock-chic attitude, including ready-to-wear for women, men, and kids, plug bags, small leather goods, footwear, fragrances, eyewear, and more. 

The KARL LAGERFELD X BOSA collection introduces two distinctive handmade ceramic statues, crafted from 24-carat gold and platinum paints, which reimagine the iconic image that made Karl Lagerfeld instantly recognizable. These creative reinterpretations pay homage to Lagerfeld’s remarkable talent for design and creation.

As part of the new collaboration, a pre-launch event was held on September 7 in the Karl Lagerfeld flagship store in Paris and exclusively on KARL.COM. The collection will be available on the website, as well as Karl Lagerfeld stores spanning Paris, London, Munich, Vienna, and Milan, along with a handful of Bosa retailers globally.

The “POP KARL” statue, designed by Elena Salmistraro, captures Lagerfeld’s humor and playfulness. Using a vibrant palette and contrasting elements, Salmistraro’s work creates a textured and vivid representation of Lagerfeld’s spirit. 

In contrast, “ROCK KARL” by Nika Zupanc takes inspiration from Lagerfeld’s rock-chic style. The statue features Lagerfeld in his signature black suit, white shirt, and dark sunglasses, with a pop of color on the dentelle collar and brushed gold-hued fingerless gloves.

Both statues stand at 41cm in height and 18 cm in width. Additionally, Lagerfeld’s NFT collection expands with two limited-edition digital assets inspired by the “POP KARL” sculpture, celebrating Lagerfeld’s enduring influence. 

These NFTs, released in collaboration with DEMATERIALISED, include a limited initial run and an ultra-exclusive offering, each accompanied by a physical version of the figurine.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.

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US Governments Race to Utilize AI While Navigating Pitfalls

As the infrastructure for safely integrating generative artificial intelligence (AI) into the U.S technology sector continues to be addressed, governments at various levels in the U.S. are also grappling with how to use and regulate AI-powered tools like ChatGPT.

OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT, only continues to grow in reach and popularity. With its first office located outside San Francisco and a new facility in London, OpenAI is now expecting to open its second official office located in Dublin.

Federal Government

In July, ChatGPT’s creator, OpenAI, faced its first major regulatory threat with an FTC investigation that has demanded answers to questions involving the ongoing volume of complaints that accuse the AI startup of misusing consumer data and increasing instances of “hallucination” that makes up facts or narratives at the expense of innocent people or organizations. 

The Biden Administration is expecting to release its initial guidelines for how the federal government can use AI in summer 2024. 

Local Government

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) predicted in June that new AI legislation was just months away from its final stage, coinciding with the European Union moving into its final stages of negotiations for its EU AI Act

On the other hand, while some municipalities are adopting guidelines for their employees to harness the potential of generative AI, other U.S. Government institutions are imposing restrictions out of concern for cybersecurity and accuracy, according to a recent report by WIRED. 

City officials throughout the U.S. told WIRED that at every level, governments are searching for ways to harness these generative AI tools to improve some of the “bureaucracy’s most annoying qualities by streamlining routine paperwork and improving the public’s ability to access and understand dense government material.”

However, this long-term mission is also hindered by the legal and ethical obligations contained within the country’s transparency laws, election laws, and others – creating a distinct line between the public and private sectors. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for example, blocked its employees from accessing ChatGPT on May 8, pursuant to (a now completed) FOIA request, while the U.S. State Department in Guinea embraces the tool and uses it to draft speeches and social media posts. 

It’s undeniable that 2023 has been the year of accountability and transparency, beginning with the fallout and collapse of FTX, which continues to shake our financial infrastructure as today’s modern-day Enron.

“Everybody cares about accountability, but it’s ramped up to a different level when you are literally the government,” said Jim Loter, interim chief technology officer for the city of Seattle. 

In April, Seattle released its preliminary generative AI guidelines for its employees, while the state of Iowa made headlines last month after an assistant superintendent utilized ChatGPT to determine which books should be removed and banned from Mason City, pursuant to a recently enacted law that prohibits texts that contain descriptions of “sex acts.”

For the remainder of 2023 and into the beginning of 2024, city and state agencies are expected to begin releasing the first wave of generative AI policies that address the balance of utilizing AI-powered tools like ChatGPT with inputting text prompts that may contain sensitive information that could violate public records laws and disclosure requirements. 

Currently, Seattle, San Jose, and the state of Washington have warned its respective staff that any information that is entered into a tool like ChatGPT could automatically be subject to disclosure requirements under current public record laws. 

This concern also extends to the strong likelihood of sensitive information being subsequently ingested into corporate databases used to train generative AI tools, opening up the doors for potential abuse and the dissemination of inaccurate information.

For example, municipal employees in San Jose (CA) and Seattle are required to fill out a form every time they use a generative AI tool, while the state of Maine is prioritizing cybersecurity concerns and prohibiting its entire executive branch of employees from using generative AI tools for the rest of 2023. 

According to Loter, Seattle employees have expressed interest in using generative AI to even summarize lengthy investigative reports from the city’s Office of Police Accountability, which contain both public and private information. 

When it comes to large language models (LLMs) in which data is trained on, there’s still an extremely high risk of either machine hallucinations or mistranslating specific language that could convey an entirely different meaning and effect. 

For example, San Jose’s current guidelines with respect to using generative AI to create a public-facing document or press release isn’t prohibited – however, the likelihood of the AI tool replacing certain words with incorrect synonyms or associations is strong (e.g. citizens vs. residents). 

Regardless, the next maturation period of AI is here, taking us far beyond the early days of word processing tools and other machine learning capabilities that we have often ignored or overlooked. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.

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Animoca Brands Raises $20M For Mocaverse, Will Create Digital ID System

Web3 venture capital firm Animoca Brands, announced on September 11 that it successfully closed a funding round, raising $20 million to further develop its Mocaverse platform.

The funding round was led by CMCC Global, with additional contributions from GameFiVentures, Liberty City Ventures, and Kingsway Capital. It also included investments from Animoca’s co-founder Yat Siu (in a personal capacity), Sky Mavis founder Aleksander Larsen, and Yield Guild Games founder Gabby Dizon.

The Mocaverse project is focused on providing Web3-native infrastructure tools to help users and developers build gaming and other entertainment products. 

At the heart of the successful raise is the development of Moca ID, a key component of the Mocaverse platform, that will serve as a “digital ID” by and through an NFT collection that will enable users to participate in and navigate Mocaverse. 

It will naturally provide access to Animoca’s extensive portfolio of 450+ companies and projects, opening up a user network of 700+ users. 

Mocaverse, according to Animoca, will empower users to “accumulate reputation” and “earn and spend loyalty points.” Embracing a DAO approach, Moca ID will also serve as a digital identity, reputation, and loyalty system for decentralized organizations.

The funding round, led by Asia’s blockchain VC investment vehicle, CMCC Global, is another testament to Siu’s ability to continue leading strategic investment and innovative growth throughout the nascent Web3 space. 

The Funding Round

The $20 million was reportedly raised through the issuance of Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs) at a price of A$4.50 per share (A$31.3 million). 

What is a “SAFE?”

A SAFE traditionally involves an investor like CMCC Global, providing funding to a startup in exchange for the right to receive equity at a later date – subject to certain terms and conditions such as a valuation cap, discount rate, and conversion trigger

Unlike other traditional investment agreements, SAFEs are more flexible in that they don’t require interest payments or a maturity date – as they aren’t considered to be a loan that would need to be repaid. 

As between Animoca Brands and CMCC Global, the SAFE does contain a conversion trigger, where the SAFEs automatically convert into ordinary shares after six months. These “triggers” are usually followed by an event that activates that conversion of the investment into equity – e.g. a future financing round or acquisition. 

The number of new shares to be issued will be determined by the AUD:USD exchange rate at the time of settlement. The Company’s number of current outstanding fully paid ordinary shares is 1,910,074,127. As part of the raise, the Company has granted to participating investors a free-attaching utility token warrant (at a nominal price) on a 1:1 dollar basis with a 30-month vesting schedule. 

“Yat Siu has proved time and again his ability to lead Web3 in creative new directions and we are excited to be supporting him and the Animoca Brands team once again as they venture into the Mocaverse,” said Martin Baumann, co-founder of CMCC Global, in a statement to VentureBeat. 

Baumann continued by characterizing Mocaverse as a unique identifier in Animoca’s investment portfolio, where the project will eventually become “a portal for hundreds of millions of new users” who want to access Web3 and other metaverse ecosystems. 

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.

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