On the internet Korean beauty retailer Memebox raises $60M much more to sharpen its focus on the U.S.

Memebox, a Y Combinator startup that sells Korean beauty items in the U.S. and Asia, has raised $ 60 million. The cash is an extension of the firm’s Series C round which initially closed at $ 65.95 million in August.

The company mentioned the cash will go towards continuing its operations and growing its international footprint. Korea, its home industry, remains its biggest nation for sales, but the firm is growing its concentrate on China and, in specific, the U.S.. Founder and CEO Dino Ha lately relocated to San Francisco from Seoul.

The new funds requires Memebox to much more than $ 160 million in investor funds because it was founded in 2012. The round extension was put with each other by a range of existing and new backers, which consist of Goodwater Capital, Altos Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Mousse Partners, Formation Group, Funders Club, Pear Ventures and Cota Capital. Janet Gurwitch, a partner with Castanea Partners and former CEO of cosmetics brand Laura Mercier, also invested and will turn into a member of Memebox’s advisory board.

Memebox began as a beauty box service, delivering a selection of cosmetics and products each month for a fixed charge, but as pioneers of business model such as Birchbox struggle, it evolved into a makeup and cosmetics shop. Thanks to the rise of K-Pop and Korean drama series, the firm has been able to surf a global wave of interest in Korea to expand its client base.

Today, Memebox sells its own brand items as nicely as these from third parties and market names. It operates physical shops in Korea, but is predominantly focused on on-line. Certainly, it claims that, worldwide, an average of 88 percent of purchases come by way of its mobile — that figure rises to 94 % for Asia-based customers. It mentioned its annual revenues are more than $ one hundred million, but it is not but profitable.


US lead on AI will shrink without much more funding and education

The hearing’s only pleasant surprise was its bipartisan support. Senators from both sides of the aisle, along with Cruz, all took the expert panel’s testimony seriously. Granted, AI still has the the new-car smell of a nascent field with great potential, which could boost US labor productivity by 40%, Cruz said in his introductory remarks. Golden bullet it might seem, but even the current experiments using AI to assist or solely could take a chunk out of the 35,000 annual vehicular deaths, 94% of which are caused by human error, committee member Senator Gary Peters noted.

Artificial intelligence could save even more lives, said the hearing’s first witness, Microsoft Research Lab’s managing director Eric Horvitz. AI could sift through vast quantities of medical data and catch things human doctors miss, as IBM’s Watson did back in August when it identified a rare form of leukemia and saved a patient’s life.

When people think of the cost benefits of AI, they think of automation. But reducing death and debilitating injury affects the overall economy, too: AI-assisted driving could also cut down on the 300,000 incapacitating vehicular injuries every year, which means more people remaining in the workforce and less time and money spent finding and training temporary or permanent replacements.

The looming fear over the hearing was China and India’s ever-greater competition in AI R&D. Logically, America’s lead on China and India could shrink simply due to how many more computer scientists they can train per their colossal populations. But letting US artificial intelligence slide could also be dangerous to national security. Back in August, the Defense Department suggested “immediate action” should be taken to boost development of AI war technology.

We can retain our lead to keep pioneering artificial intelligence by training America’s youth in AI programming as early as middle school, recommended the hearing’s second witness, Dean of the school of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University Andrew Moore. In his opinion, there’s a staggering amount of work and not enough trained computer scientists to perform it. Train a million middle school kids in AI, perhaps 1% stick with it, and even if you ended up with 400 experts at the level of Moore and his fellows at the hearing, there would still be too much work to do, Moore said. Pumping out more AI professionals won’t just be a smart move to fill a wanting workforce: for every programmer trained in artificial intelligence a tech company hires, Moore estimates, they earn $ 5 to $ 10 million more.

Collaboration could also help the US keep its lead, said the third witness, cofounder of the nonprofit OpenAI Greg Brockman. Making more AI systems open source drives innovation, Brockman said, along with unlocking datasets for anyone to use. But it’s not just amateurs and corporations working together: The tech industry, the government and academia should coordinate to establish standards of safety, security and ethics.

The last witness, senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Steve Chien, noted that the space agency put an AI-controlled spacecraft in orbit to track earthbound phenomena — which has been continuously snapping photos from the high atmosphere for a dozen years. Many of NASA’s vehicles, including its Mars rovers, rely on AI to navigate and triage environmental conditions.

With technological possibilities come dangers, and AI is no exception. Cruz’s limp Skynet joke aside, the pressing concern with creating more complex and prevalent artificial intelligence is the subsequent increase in cyber vulnerabilities. We don’t have to look farther than the last year to see government and political agencies hacked by foreign independent and state agents.

But even things as mundane as liability could get in the way of AI application progress here in the US. The prospect of AI-controlled cars getting into collisions could lead to a legal impasse between carmakers, insurance companies and citizens as fault becomes uncertain. Public uncertainty or displeasure could derail AI implementation in those applications, too.

To avoid the US slipping out of first place in the AI race, the panel of witnesses ultimately recommended more investment and collaboration. That means far more emphasis on AI programming earlier in education, as Moore points out, but also simply more money injected into research: Government investment in AI over the past year was $ 1 billion, while the tech industry spent $ 8 billion, Brockman pointed out. That funding will likely help us make the roads safer and people healthier, but as Chien stated, it will also help us discover the deep space answers to a few questions that have bothered mankind for eons — namely, how did life form along with the universe around it?

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So, Nobody Knows How Much Self-Driving Automobiles Will Pollute

Ask the automakers and tech businesses attempting to develop cars that drive themselves to defend their function, and they turn to two crucial arguments: Autonomous vehicles will save lives, and, by eliminating the need to have for a human driver, they’ll open the auto to new utilizes and customers.

Less often invoked, but equally integral to that vision of a safer, far more comfy planet, is efficiency—which is to say, significantly less environmental impact that your old, dumb, gasoline-powered ride. But a report the Center for American Progress released today undermines that assumption. “It could go either way,” says Myriam Alexander-Kearns, one of the authors.

Alexander-Kearns and her co-authors say no one can know what robot cars’ environmental effect will be without having 1st answering 3 queries: How will automation impact total automobile miles traveled, how will it influence congestion, and how efficient will the autos be?

The dilemma is that nobody knows how these autos will be utilised, especially in the early years. You could assume that due to the fact the tech will probably debut via ride-sharing solutions, individuals will want fewer cars, and so cars will drive fewer overall miles. Or, because riding in a vehicle gets way nicer when you don’t have to do anything, car miles may soar.

Smarter vehicles could drive much more closely with each other, but that will require a vital mass of autonomous automobiles on the road—a threshold that is decades away. Shared cars could devote lots of time “deadheading”—driving about empty in between pickups, but that might actually boost emissions, given that they’d be operating continuously, and warm engines are cleaner than cold ones.

“Existing investigation does not draw clear or constant conclusions,” says Alexander-Kearns. Kinda the opposite: Some research show wonderful potential, others predict doom. When the EPA looked at the problem, Christopher Trundler, head of the agency’s Workplace of Transportation and Air Good quality, stated the technology could develop “utopia or dystopia for the atmosphere.”

The CAP report, nonetheless, offers much more than a ¯_(ツ)_/¯. The authors contact for much more rigorous investigation, far more data collection, far more sophisticated pc modeling tools that could reveal far more about how these automobiles would interact with every other and their human-driven counterparts in a assortment of scenarios, which includes different degrees of penetration.

“We shouldn’t be waiting until autonomous vehicles are everywhere to start off asking the truly important questions,” Alexander-Kearns says.

A single portion of this equation, nevertheless, ought to be effortless to solve: How much every single autonomous vehicle pollutes. Provided you are starting with the right renewable energy sources, if the vehicles are electric, none of this matters very as considerably. These days, just about every future-facing notion combines autonomy with electric power.

But if policy makers don’t keep an emphasis on fuel efficiency and electrification, if they do not encourage the infrastructure necessary to make each of these technologies feasible, then automakers will run their self-driving automobiles on dino juice.

“We actually do want to emphasize the outstanding chance this is to function on electrification,” says Miranda Peterson, who co-authored the report. Otherwise, the future might not feel very as future-y.

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