Science & Technology

Softbank Reportedly Considers Investing in Mistral AI

The media reported that SoftBank, which is based in Japan, is currently considering investing in the French startup Mistral AI.

Softbank Reportedly Considers Investing in Mistral AI

According to journalists, the Japanese telecommunications and media corporation is showing interest in providing financing to a French firm as part of the next round of raising funds. The media published the relevant data, referring to insiders who were aware of SoftBank’s preliminary plans, official statements about which have not yet been made in the public space. Currently, there is also information that any such deal could potentially value Mistral AI at north of $2 billion. This was reported by insiders.

The media has sent requests for comment on the data received from insiders, but so far neither the corporation nor the startup has responded.

Mistral AI was founded by Google and Meta veterans. The startup positions itself as a significant player in the artificial intelligence industry, which can challenge the dominance of the United States in this area.

Last December, Mistral AI was valued at around $2 billion. Before that, the startup managed to raise investment funds for $415 million. Last month, Microsoft officially announced its intention to provide the company with $16 million in financing. The tech giant has also added the latest artificial intelligence model, developed by startup specialists, to its Azure cloud service. This digital product is available to users of the mentioned service.

The partnership between Microsoft and Mistal AI was in the spotlight of the European Commission, which announced its intention to examine the deal between the tech giant and the startup. It is worth noting that this regulator is currently implementing large-scale efforts to investigate the cooperation of major players in the technology sector with firms that specialize in the development of artificial intelligence in the sphere.

Brando Benifei, a member of the European Parliament, said that new products in the AI industry are evidence that the authorities should not weaken their ambitions for the security of general-purpose virtual thinking models in the context of countering systemic risks. In this case, he separately noted the legitimate but strong lobbying by firms such as Mistral AI.

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said last year that by the end of the current decade, artificial general intelligence in terms of cognitive capabilities will be ten times more powerful than the whole of humanity. In this case, computer systems are meant, for the process of virtual thinking which corresponds to the algorithm of functioning of consciousness inherent in a person. Also, general artificial intelligence can operate with information within the framework of those methods that are characteristic of human logic. Masayoshi Son separately stated that those who do not use advanced computer systems will be left behind.

Currently, there is also an increase in the popularity of small language models (SLM). The one of advantages of these artificial intelligence configurations is a high level of efficiency. Also, the mentioned developments may potentially become even more in demand among consumers due to low energy consumption compared to the same indicator of large language models (LLM). Currently, the issue of energy efficiency is a kind of topic of critical importance among experts and environmentalists. As the capabilities of artificial intelligence models expand and enhance, the need for computing power necessary for training and subsequent functioning of AI configurations increases. For this reason, electricity consumption is growing, which increases the carbon footprint of the advanced technology industry.

It is worth noting that Mistral 7b, developed by Mistral AI specialists, belongs to the SLM category.

As we have reported earlier, Apple Reportedly Acquires AI Startup.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.