Synthetic data to build effective AI

This is where synthetic data comes in—with the promise of scale, privacy, security, and accuracy. And this is what Mumbai-based startup Indika AI is betting on.

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In a hilarious case of mistaken identity, people have been tagging Londoner Liz Trussell in congratulatory messages on Twitter, including the Swedish Prime Minister. Her handle: @Liztruss. Trussel has taken all the chaos in stride, responding to each tweet with surprising alacrity.

ICYMI: A look at India’s pearl farming industry.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Synthetic data to build effective AI
  • Metapass: NFT-ing event tickets
  • Sequoia Capital launches Pathfinders

Here’s your trivia for today: When did the first episode of Star Trek air?

Artificial Intelligence

Synthetic data to build effective AI

High-quality datasets are required to train artificial intelligence (AI) solutions so that the performance of the AI model can be as desired. But real-world data comes with the challenges of privacy, security, cost, access, availability, and the limitations of size and scale. 

This is where synthetic data comes in—with the promise of scale, privacy, security, and accuracy. And this is what Mumbai-based startup Indika AI is betting on.

Building it right:

  • Synthetic data is algorithmically generated (artificially manufactured) data, approximating the properties of original real-world data, such as tabular data, text, images, videos, and speech. 
  • It is expected to not only be able to fix the gaps in AI training data in scenarios where real-world data is not available, unusable because of security or privacy reasons, or expensive, but also quickly generate larger datasets to test and train AI models.
  • Amazon uses synthetic data to train Alexa’s language system, Google’s Waymo uses synthetic data to train its self-driving cars, and American Express and J. P. Morgan use synthetic financial data to improve fraud detection. 


Metapass: NFT-ing event tickets

Can NFTs (non-fungible tokens) be more than just links to static images traded online? Can they have real-world utility in the present? The Web3 industry thinks so.

And, Metapass—conceptualised at a hackathon in December 2021 by 17-year-old developers Anoushk Kharangate and Daksh Kulshrestha—is one such startup. 

Making it possible:

  • The project provides tokenised NFT ticket experiences to events and allows organisers to token-gate these events and provide proof of attendance to participants.
  • Event organisers can create NFT tickets instantly on Metapass and make buying and selling fast and inexpensive for end users. It is built on Polygon with support for Solana.
  • Traditionally, a ticket has no use once the event is completed. But NFT tickets also offer the option to programme exclusive unlockable benefits and rewards for event attendees.


Sequoia Capital launches Pathfinders

Image: Recode

Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia announced the launch of Pathfinders, a platform that will connect early-stage founders from India and Southeast Asia with global operators who can help startups succeed in new markets with a strong focus on the US. 

Key highlights:

  • Pathfinders leverages the power of the international network that Sequoia has built over 50 years to give companies they partner with a headstart in their global ambitions. 
  • It connects founders with seasoned business leaders who can help them accelerate their company-building journey, shape their go-to-market strategy, and much more.
  • Pathfinders is also entirely pro bono, meaning there’s no commercial benefit for Sequoia.

News & updates

  • Lucrative void: After TikTok’s ban in India, Meta and Alphabet are battling for the lead in the country’s short video market, pegged to be worth nearly $20 billion. The US giants are recruiting content creators with incentives and expanding their investment even while they’re scaling back elsewhere in the world.
  • NGMI: Bitcoin traded below $19,000 on Wednesday morning, hitting its lowest level since June following a drop in stock markets globally and the continued strength of the US dollar. The value of the entire cryptocurrency market also fell below $1 trillion as digital coins across the board saw a sell-off.
  • Receipts: Elon Musk suggested delaying his $44bn takeover of Twitter on the grounds that it “wouldn’t make sense to buy Twitter if we’re heading into world war three”, according to texts between the billionaire entrepreneur and his bankers revealed in a court hearing.

What you should watch out for

  • Inauguration of the Central Vista Project in Delhi.
  • The Duleep Trophy marks the beginning of India's domestic cricket season 2022-23.
  • It’s World Literacy Day.

When did the first episode of Star Trek air?

Answer: Star Trek’s first episode, "The Man Trap", aired on September 8, 1966.

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