The Fly

Australian AI venture studio at forefront of 'synthetic media'

It's no secret that the stars are falling from the sky
It's no secret that our world is in darkness tonight
They say the sun is sometimes eclipsed by a moon
You know I don't see you when she walks in the room

It's no secret that a friend is someone who lets you help
It's no secret that a liar won't believe anyone else
They say a secret is something you tell one other person
So I'm telling you, child

Michelle Dintner is the portfolio director of Mawson, an AI venture studio investing in AI-driven startups that enables Australia’s bevy of technical talent to become successful entrepreneurs.

She, and Mawson, are helping Australia grow new businesses and then retain those businesses, providing new fuel for the local economy.

In her words:

At a time when Australia is looking for future industry to produce the next wave of productivity and economic growth, we believe more of our scientists and engineers should be problem solving by starting new tech companies. It is technology, particularly artificial intelligence, that will be the primary driver of innovation in all industries as we move into a new decade.

The studio has become a leader and pioneer in synthetic media: the algorithmic, AI-powered creation and/or manipulation of existing media into something entirely new and different, whether text, images, audio, or video.

Four companies have already emerged from the studio:

  • Popgun - a company democratizing music and music creation through the development of AI tools, such as Splash Pro:

  • Replica - a company using AI to create synthesized voices for all manner of creative projects, providing natural-sounding performances without a voice artist or studio:

  • Delta AI - a company using AI to provide marketers with analytics on how consumers are using their products in a wide variety of contexts, developing something called social media product intelligence to parse the more than 60 million minutes of social video being played on the internet every minute.

  • Vaux - a company which has created a new file format technology to make voice small, clear, private, and efficient to transmit, changing the way companies send, store, and protect their data.

Collectively, these companies have raised millions of dollars, and Mawson itself was founded and backed by founders Graeme Wood and Stephen Phillips, who have enjoyed previous splashy entrepreneurial exits to Twitter and Expedia.

With increased media focus and scrutiny on deepfakes, along with other AI-oriented content designed to obfuscate and deceive, it’s important to have groups like Mawson and the companies they spin up to lead ethical approaches to these technologies, as they blaze new trails.

I can’t wait to find out what AI thinks of This Week In Voice VIP.

Really mediocre, and why are there all these music references?

Achtung, baby.

It's no secret that a conscience can sometimes be a pest
It's no secret ambition bites the nails of success
Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief
All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief

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