29/01/2023

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Daniel Ek poured €100m into Helsing AI last year. The startup just partnered with a European arms manufacturer

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Daniel Ek poured €100m into Helsing AI last year. The startup just partnered with a European arms manufacturer

In 2020, Spotify Founder Daniel Ek pledged a personalized commitment of €1 billion in excess of the up coming decade to spend in European technological innovation providers.

Ek referred to these companies – operating in fields from equipment understanding to biotechnology, content sciences and energy  – as so-named ‘Moonshots‘ that would concentrate on what he stated at the time would be “the deep technological innovation important to make a considerable good dent”.

Spotify’s founder and his expenditure auto Prima Materia subsequently joined funding rounds for the likes of battery maker Northvolt, H2 Inexperienced Metal, climate undertaking Pale Blue Dot, and AI expense organization Air Road Funds.

Then, in November past 12 months, it was disclosed that Ek, via Prima Materia, had invested €100 million into a European defence AI business identified as Helsing AI.

He also joined the company’s Board, along with Helsing’s co-founders Torsten Reil, Gundbert Scherf and Niklas Köhler.

In a press assertion, Helsing stated it “was started to give liberal democratic societies with world-foremost AI technological innovation for defence and national security”.

Ek’s involvement with Helsing AI captivated criticism from artists at the conclude of very last yr with calls to boycott the Spotify system more than the move.

Helsing reported that the investment, which shaped element of a €102.5 million Series A spherical, would be used to develop its workforce of deep learning researchers, software engineers, and area specialists to more accelerate progress of its AI software platform.

“AI is a highly effective technologies that will engage in a crucial purpose in shaping the development we make as a modern society.”

Daniel Ek, in a November 2021 push assertion

When the investment was introduced, Ek reported that, “We launched Prima Materia to progress formidable science and technology to clear up the world’s greatest problems and help society development towards a greater future”.

He extra: “AI is a powerful technology that will engage in a key function in shaping the progress we make as a society. Europe has a great opportunity to direct in making dynamic AI units in an moral, transparent, and responsible manner.”

As pointed out by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Helsing AI has earlier partnered with providers like Airbus, as properly as Saab and French robot maker MDBA.

Now, the Daniel Ek-backed defence AI business has entered into a strategic partnership with Rheinmetall, a Germany-dependent, publicly listed automotive and arms producer.

According to push supplies asserting the partnership, “through the joint advancement of software-centered defence techniques and retrofitting of existing platforms, this partnership will offer the armed forces with superior and foreseeable future-proof capabilities, enabling them to satisfy present and long run challenges.”

What that usually means in exercise, the launch proceeds, is that the partnership “combines entire world-major, fight-analyzed elements, platforms, methods and software program with modern day, navy-grade AI abilities in order to discourage and, if essential, successfully take on an adversary”.

It provides: “By investing in technology progress upfront and offering new products at pace, this partnership will supply the armed forces with quickly access to the most current technological innovations.”

“Helsing is a new form of defence business, targeted purely on program and AI, funding our personal product growth. We are for that reason delighted to associate with Rheinmetall and blend our highly developed AI abilities with their planet-main land platforms.”

Dr Gundbert Scherf, Helsing

Dr Gundbert Scherf, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Helsing claimed: “Helsing is a new sort of defence enterprise, focused purely on software and AI, funding our have product development.

“We are therefore delighted to companion with Rheinmetall and blend our advanced AI capabilities with their earth-leading land platforms. Modern geopolitical events have revealed that democracies have to have to be capable to guard and discourage.

“But democracies also will need to out-innovate and out-rate autocratic regimes. We imagine this partnership has the opportunity to do that, equipping land forces for the future at pace.”

Christoph Müller, CEO of Rheinmetall Digital Alternatives, reported: “Rheinmetall has been giving advanced networked products and solutions, techniques, software package and technologies in the defence and protection realm for quite a few a long time, for which we are pretty grateful.

“Our partnership with Helsing will further increase our capabilities in the field of synthetic intelligence, enabling us to equip our items with the most recent technologies speedier than ever. This lets us modernize legacy platforms and programs, giving our consumers with new, planet-major abilities.”

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