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Robotic Automations

Webflow acquires Intellimize to add AI-powered webpage personalization | TechCrunch

Webflow, a web design and hosting platform that’s raised over $330 million at a $4 billion valuation, is expanding into a new sector: marketing optimization.

Today, Webflow announced that it acquired Intellimize, a startup leveraging AI to personalize websites for unique visitors. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. But a source familiar with the matter tells TechCrunch that the purchase price was in the “eight-figure” range.

The majority of the Intellimize team — around 50 people — will join Webflow. But some staffers either took outplacement packages or were let go and given severance; Webflow wouldn’t say how many.

Vlad Magdalin, the CEO of Webflow, said Intellimize was a natural fit for Webflow’s first-ever acquisition because its product meets a need many Webflow customers share: personalizing and optimizing their websites.

“The common thread among our many customer segments is that they’re building professional websites that are meant not only to look great, but ultimately to drive business results — and tons of our customers and partners have been asking us to help them improve how well their websites are able to bring them new customers beyond the initial build phase,” Magdalin said. “Intellimize quickly emerged as a really impressive product in this space that many marketing and growth leaders raved about — and it soon became very evident that combining the forces of our respective products and our teams can create a much more powerful combination.”

Guy Yalif, former head of vertical marketing at Twitter, co-founded Intellimize in 2016 with Brian Webb and Jin Lim. While in a previous exec role at Yahoo, Yalif worked with Lim, Yahoo’s VP of engineering at the time, and Webb, who was an architect on Yahoo’s personalized content recommendation team. (Full disclosure: Yahoo is TechCrunch’s corporate parent.)

With Intellimize, Yalif, Webb and Lim — drawing on their combined marketing know-how — set out to build a platform that could generate personalized webpages for visitors on demand.

The motivation? Seventy-four percent of customers feel frustrated when a website’s content isn’t customized, according to stats cited by Porch Group Media. Companies that do personalize report not only increased revenue, but more efficient marketing spend.

Intellimize taps AI to generate pages, automatically making adjustments in response to how users behave (and where they’re coming from). Companies create a website template, then Intellimize’s AI runs experiments, fiddling with various knobs and dials is it were before delivering the top-performing results to visitors.

Now, Intellimize isn’t the only one doing this.

Amazon’s Personalize can drive tailored product and search recommendations on the web. Sstartups such as Evolv AI and Episerver-owned Optimizely automate certain forms of A/B web testing with algorithms. That’s not to mention generative AI-driven platforms like Adobe’s GenStudio, Movable Ink, Mutiny and Blend, which are hastening in new and novel forms of experience personalization.

But Intellimize — whether on the strength of its tech, partnerships or advertising — manage to establish a sizeable foothold in the market for AI-powered marketing.

At the time of the acquisition, Intellimize — which had raised over $50 million from investors like Cobalt Capital, Addition, Amplify Partners and Homebrew — had several tentpole customers including Sumo Logic, Dermalogica and ZoomInfo.

“The Intellimize team had already built most of the personalization and optimization tools that we were considering building in-house, and had an impressive roster of enterprise customers using their solution,” Magdalin said. “Their team and product demonstrated world-class expertise in machine learning and AI to power website personalization and conversion rate optimization, which we believe would be a very powerful addition to Webflow’s existing platform.”

So what changes can Intellimize customers expect as the company joins the Webflow fold? Not many disruptive ones, Yalif stressed. Intellimize will continue to be sold standalone to non-Webflow customers, but it’ll increasingly link to — and integrate with — Webflow services. Yalif, meanwhile, will join Webflow as “head of personalization,” guiding — what else? — personalization product efforts at Webflow.

“Joining Webflow allows us to scale and significantly accelerate our forward momentum,” Yalif said. “Webflow is building out its integrated solution for website building, design and optimization. Intellimize is the foundation of the personalization and optimization pieces of that vision. Together, we can take on larger, much more expensive, harder-to-use players in the digital experience space.”

Here’s Magdalin’s take:

“Integrating Intellimize expands our primary audience beyond designers and developers … For the initial phase [of the merger], we’re focusing on natively integrating both of our products together — so customers should expect the best of Webflow and the best of Intellimize to be available as one unified product experience later this year.”

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Google brings AI-powered editing tools, like Magic Editor, to all Google Photos users for free | TechCrunch

Google Photos is getting an AI upgrade. On Wednesday, the tech giant announced that a handful of enhanced editing features previously limited to Pixel devices and paid subscribers — including its AI-powered Magic Editor — will now make their way to all Google Photos users for free. This expansion also includes Google’s Magic Eraser, which removes unwanted items from photos; Photo Unblur, which uses machine learning to sharpen blurry photos; Portrait Light, which lets you change the light source on photos after the fact, and others.

The editing tools have historically been a selling point for Google’s high-end devices, the Pixel phones, as well as a draw for Google’s cloud storage subscription product, Google One. But with the growing number of AI-powered editing tools flooding the market, Google has decided to make its set of AI photo editing features available to more people for free.

Image Credits: Google

There are some caveats to this expansion, however.

For starters, the tools will only start rolling out on May 15 and it will take weeks for them to make it to all Google Photos users.

In addition, there are some hardware device requirements to be able to use them. On ChromeOS, for instance, the device must be a Chromebook Plus with ChromeOS version 118+ or have at least 3GB RAM. On mobile, the device must run Android 8.0 or higher or iOS 15 or higher.

The company notes that Pixel tablets will now be supported, as well.

Magic Editor is the most notable feature of the group. Introduced last year with the launch of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, this editing tool uses generative AI to do more complicated photo edits — like filling in gaps in a photo, repositioning the subject and other edits to the foreground or background of a photo. With Magic Editor, you can change a gray sky to blue, remove people from the background of a photo, recenter the photo subject while filling in gaps, remove other clutter and more.

Previously, these kinds of edits would require Magic Eraser and other professional editing tools, like Photoshop, to get the same effect. And those edits would be more manual, not automated via AI.

Image Credits: Google

With the expansion, Magic Editor will come to all Pixel devices, while iOS and Android users (whose phones meet the requirements) will get 10 Magic Editor saves per month. To go beyond that, they’ll still need to buy a Premium Google One plan — meaning 2TB of storage and above.

The other tools will be available to all Google Photos users, no Google One subscription is required. The full set of features that will become available includes Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, Sky suggestions, Color pop, HDR effect for photos and videos, Portrait Blur, Portrait Light (plus the add light/balance light features in the tool), Cinematic Photos, Styles in the Collage Editor and Video Effects.

Other features like the AI-powered Best Take — which merges similar photos to create a single best shot where everyone is smiling — will continue to be available only to Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

a16z-backed Rewind pivots to build AI-powered pendant to record your conversations | TechCrunch

In 2022, Rewind had just raised $10 million from a16z and was building a personal data recording service that promised to privately record your activity and let you search through your own history. But that was before OpenAI launched ChatGPT.

Today, generative AI can make what Rewind had built previously — a searchable record of your activity — far more useful. It’s not so surprising, then, to see the startup pivoting to integrate AI more deeply into its product. The company has rebranded to “Limitless,” and is now offering an AI-powered meeting suite and a hardware pendant that can record your conversations.

Company co-founder Dan Siroker first posted the idea of a conversation-recording pendant last October and started accepting orders at $59. In January, he posted that the company had finalized a design and aims to ship the product in Q4 2024.

Siroker posted the final design this week, along with the news of the company’s pivot. The $99 pendant was posted on X earlier this week. The company is accepting preorders and aims to ship the first batch in August. Siroker said that the company plans to honor the initial preorders at $59. Earlier on Wednesday, he posted that the startup has already received more than 10,000 preorders for the product.

Product features and the pivot

The Limitless pendant can easily attach to your shirt like a wireless mic, or tie it like a necklace with a string and record conversations. The primary use case is recording and transcribing meetings, so you don’t have to take notes. The company claims that the device is weather-proof, has a 100-hour battery life and can be charged easily through a USB-C port.

The hardware also has a “consent mode,” which doesn’t record the other person in the conversation unless they expressly agree to be recorded. It’s not clear if this mode would be on by default.

While the company is a few months away from shipping the hardware product, it has already released an app — available on the web, Mac and Windows — to record meetings. The app uses system audio and a microphone to record, so there is no need for a bot to join these meetings.

The app has features we have seen in meeting tools like Otter, Zoom, TimeOS and TLDV. Siroker told TechCrunch that the company aims to differentiate with tools like real-time automated notes and automatically generated meeting briefs based on the participants and previous meetings.

The app is free and comes with unlimited audio storage and 10 hours per month of AI features like transcription, summary and notes. Unlimited AI features are $29 per month, or $19 per month if paid annually.

Image Credits: Limitless

Siroker said one of the major differentiators is the company’s new confidential cloud product that stores data in an encrypted format. While Rewind was largely a local product, the new cloud feature allows users to access data anywhere.

Siroker said the company had Leviathan Security Group perform a third-party audit on its solution to measure security.

“Confidential Cloud might sound like an oxymoron, but it isn’t. It is private by design. Unlike the traditional cloud, your employer, us as a software provider and the government cannot decrypt your data without your permission, even if given a subpoena. Only you control the decryption of your data,” he told TechCrunch.

The way ahead

On its website, Rewind says it has raised more than $33 million in funding from backers, including a16z, First Round Capital and NEA. The company said it hadn’t used any money from last year’s unusual Series A round — where it called for investors by posting a video on X — so it doesn’t plan to raise any new money.

The company said it will continue to support Rewind in its current state but will not actively add new features. This means the startup won’t ship the Windows app it had promised to build last year.

“We don’t have any plans to shut down or merge Rewind into Limitless. We plan to reimplement many of our users’ favorite Rewind features directly into Limitless,” Siroker said.

“Users can even use both products side-by-side and decide which one they like better. We hope that over time, they will agree with us that the Limitless approach is better and that they will use that exclusively.”

The company has said that the hardware product will answer questions through an AI-powered bot based on meeting recordings, connections with personal accounts and information on the web. It will also offer a platform for developers to build apps or experiences surrounding the product.

But Limitless’ larger vision is to build AI agents to do things on your behalf. This seems to be the trend for startups working with AI. Hardware startups like Humane and Rabbit are trying to make devices with AI tools in them that promise to be powerful enough to take care of some tasks for you.

Browsers like The Browser Company’s Arc and YC-backed SigmaOS are also building agents to browse the web for you. However, there are a lot of unknowns as output by AI bots is still full of errors, and at times, it is hard to make AI understand the context and intentions of your query. AI-powered agents doing some work on behalf of you sure sounds dreamy, but we might have to wait for a while to get there.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

eBay adds an AI-powered 'shop the look' feature to its iOS app | TechCrunch

eBay on Tuesday launched a new generative AI-powered feature to appeal to fashion enthusiasts: a “shop the look” section within its iOS mobile app that will suggest a carousel of images and ideas, based on the customer’s shopping history. The company says its recommendations will be personalized to the end user and will evolve as the customer shops more. The idea is to introduce how other fashion items may complement their current wardrobe.

To do so, “shop the look” will include interactive hotspots that, when tapped, will reveal similar items and outfit inspirations, with the resulting looks including both preowned and luxury items that match the user’s personal style. The feature is powered by, and was developed in collaboration with the company’s Responsible AI team and RAI Principles, eBay notes.

Image Credits: eBay

“Shop the look” will appear to any eBay shopper who has viewed at least 10 fashion items over the past 180 days, the company notes. It will display both on the eBay homepage and the fashion landing page.

For eBay, the addition offers a way to showcase its wide expanse of inventory available for sale differently than before — and one that could potentially encourage more sales, if successful. eBay says it plans to explore expansions to other categories over time and will continue adding more personalization elements to the feature over the new year.

eBay isn’t the only one exploring how AI can improve the fashion shopping experience. Google last summer introduced a way for consumers to virtually try on clothes using a new AI shopping feature, for example. Amazon has also turned to AI to help customers find clothes that fit when shopping online. In those cases, the AI features were meant to help customers find the right fit or size, whereas eBay’s new feature is more focused on fashion inspiration — meaning finding the right style. That can be harder to do, given that personal style is subjective.

“Shop the look” will initially be available on iOS in the U.S. and U.K., with support for Android coming later this year.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Watch: Spotify rolls out an AI-powered playlist feature

Spotify is building on its AI DJ feature, adding a new AI-powered playlist feature. No, this is not merely asking Spotify to spit out, say, metalcore classics from the 2010s, but instead something more of a “my dog is sad and I love the color purple please make me a list of songs sort of thing. You can prompt it, and Spotify will come up with a list of tunes for you. How far you can push it remains to be seen, but I do intend to test its guardrails when I get the chance.

Spotify’s AI work nests into its other efforts to differentiate its service from rivals like Apple Music and offerings from Amazon. The European tech giant has also pushed into audiobooks, podcasting and even edtech in recent years.

Starting in just a few countries, the new AI playlist feature will roll out to more markets over time. How long it will take to reach your hands is not clear, if you, like myself, are not located in the feature’s launch countries. Some Spotify users have complained that the rollout of new products can take longer than they want to reach their home market, it’s worth noting.

The AI wave crashing into the world of music has yet to make artistry obsolete, but it does appear to be working toward finding a place in how we discover and consume art itself. Perhaps that’s a good working compromise.

By now you may be a little tired of hearing about AI all day, every day. Not that there’s anything wrong with AI news per se; lots of tech companies are working hard to infuse new AI tech into their products and services. It’s a big business story at a minimum. Then there’s the consumer angle, where AI comes closer to our daily lives. But for those of us who aren’t mega-ChatGPT users, AI can seem ever so slightly remote from our regular existence. Tools like Spotify’s latest can bring AI more into how we do our regular, mundane tasks like queueing up new tunes. Or not-so-new tunes, at least according to some users who view Spotify’s playlist work as part of a recurring effort to promote the same songs time and again.

Hit play, let’s have some fun!

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Snap plans to add watermarks to images created with its AI-powered tools | TechCrunch

Social media company Snap said Tuesday that it plans to add watermarks to AI-generated images on its platform.

The platform is adding a logo of a small ghost with a sparkle icon to denote an AI-generated image. The company said the watermark would appear when the image is exported or saved to the camera roll.

Snap plans to show a Ghost logo with sparkle on AI-generated images using its tools. Image Credits: Snap

On its support page, the company said removing Snap’s Ghost with sparkles watermark violates its terms. It’s unclear how Snap plans to detect the watermark removal. We have asked the company for more details and will update the story when we hear back.

Other tech giants such as Microsoft, Meta, and Google have also taken steps to label or identify images created with AI-powered tools.

Currently, Snap allows users to create or edit AI-generated images with Snap AI for paid users and a selfie-focused feature called Dreams.

In its blog post outlining its safety and transparency practices around AI, the company explained that it shows gen-AI powered features such as Lenses with visual markers like a sparkling logo.

Snap lists indicators for features powered by generative AI. Image credits: Snap

The company also added context cards with AI-generated images from tools like Dream selfies to better inform the user.

In February, Snap partnered with HackerOne to stress its AI image-generation tools by adapting a bug bounty program. The company said it has also created a review process to remove problematic problems when AI-powered lenses are in development.

“We want Snapchatters from all walks of life to have equitable access and expectations when using all features within our app, particularly our AI-powered experiences. With this in mind, we’re implementing additional testing to minimize potentially biased AI results,” the company said on its blog.

Snapchat landed in hot water soon after introducing the “My AI” chatbot last year. A Washington Post report noted the bot was returning inappropriate responses to users. Later, the company rolled out controls in the Family Center for parents and guardians to monitor and restrict their teen’s interactions with AI.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

StealthMole raises $7M Series A for its AI-powered dark web intelligence platform  | TechCrunch

StealthMole, an AI-powered dark web intelligence startup that specializes in monitoring cyber threats and detecting cybercrime, announced Thursday that it has raised a $7 million Series A funding round.

The Singapore-headquartered startup with an R&D office in South Korea will use the fresh capital to establish additional R&D centers and support more commercial uses of its technology in the B2B sector and geographical expansion.

“Having an R&D office in South Korea allows us to gain critical insights into how hackers from East Asia operate,” Simon Choi, chief technology officer (CTO) at StealthMole, told TechCrunch. “Similarly, having researchers from various backgrounds in Singapore for Southeast Asia, or in other unique locations, will aid us in analyzing data related to neighboring countries.”

StealthMole was co-founded in 2022 by Louis Hur (CEO), an enterprise IT security expert and serial entrepreneur in cybersecurity, and Choi (CTO), a threat investigator and open source intelligence (OSINT) profiler who previously worked as an adviser for the National Intelligence Service South Korea, the National Police Agency, and the Ministry of National Defense in South Korea.

The startup serves over 50 clients across 17 countries in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Its current customer base mostly includes government and law enforcement agencies for national security and cybersecurity teams within enterprises, which manage cybersecurity incidents, analyze threats, and provide cybersecurity guidance and support.

“StealthMole came about from a critical market gap I encountered while working in cybersecurity and white-hat hacking: a severe lack of data points and information networks, specifically within Asia,” Hur said in the company’s statement. “At the same time, data leaks, anonymized transactions, and all manner of cybercrimes were spiking — both due to malicious intent and human error. To better understand digital threats, it’s crucial for law enforcement, intelligence agencies, corporate security teams, and cybersecurity experts to analyse regional contexts and their impact on illicit activities.”

The outfit says it traces criminals using 255 billion analyzed data points from the dark web, deep web and various hidden sources, including leaked databases, cybercriminals’ blogs and Telegram.

One differentiator from its competitors in the cybersecurity industry is its unique expertise in Asia-related threats, Kevin Yoo, chief operating officer (COO) at StealthMole, told TechCrunch. According to a report by Check Point Research, Asia witnessed the highest year-on-year surge in weekly cyberattacks in the first quarter of 2023 due to rapid digital transformation; the rise of the hybrid workforce and Asia’s manufacturing industry, like semiconductors that hold intellectual property, could be a target for cyber espionage.

“The high demand for Asia-oriented threat information underscores the uniqueness and value of our dataset for customers worldwide, within and beyond Asia,” Yoo said. 

Korea Investment Partners led the Series A round with participation from Hibiscus Fund (a joint venture between RHL Ventures, Penjana Kapital and KB Investment) and Smilegate Investment.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Orchard vision system turns farm equipment into AI-powered data collectors | TechCrunch

Agricultural robotics are not a new phenomenon. We’ve seen systems that pick apples and berries, kill weeds, plant trees, transport produce and more. But while these functions are understood to be the core features of automated systems, the same thing is true here as it is across technology: It’s all about the data. A huge piece of any of these products’ value prop is the amount of actionable information their on-board sensors collect.

In a sense, Orchard Robotics’ system is cutting out the middle man. That’s not to say that there isn’t still a ton of potential value in automating these tasks during labor shortages, but the young startup’s system is lowering the barrier of entry with a sensing module that attaches to existing hardware like tractors and other farm vehicles.

While plenty of farmers are happy to embrace technologies that can potentially increase their yield and fill in roles that have been difficult to keep staffed, fully automated robotic systems can be too cost prohibitive to warrant taking the first step.

As the name suggests, Orchard is starting with a focus on apple crops. The system’s cameras can capture up to 100 images a second, recording information about every tree they pass. Then the Orchard OS software utilizes AI to build maps with the data collected. That includes every bud/fruit spotted on every tree, their distribution and even the hue of the apple.

“Our cameras image trees from bud to bloom to harvest, and use advanced computer vision and machine learning models we’ve developed to collect precise data about hundreds of millions of fruit,” says founder and CEO Charlie Wu. “This is a monumental step forward from traditional methods, which rely on manually collected samples of maybe 100 fruits.”

Mapped out courtesy of on-board GPS, farmers get a fuller picture of their crops’ success rate, down to the location and size of the tree, within a couple of inches. The firm was founded at Cornell University in 2022. Despite its young age, it has already begun testing the technology with farmers. Last season’s field testing has apparently been successful enough to drum up real investor interest.

This week, the Seattle-based firm is announcing a $3.2 million seed round, led by General Catalyst. Humba Ventures, Soma Capital, Correlation Ventures, VU Venture Partners and Genius Ventures also participated in the raise, which follows a previously unannounced pre-seed of $600,000.

Funding will go toward increasing headcount, R&D and accelerating Orchard’s go-to-market efforts.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Meta is testing an AI-powered search bar in Instagram | TechCrunch

Meta is pushing ahead with its efforts to make its generative AI-powered products available to more users. Apart from testing Meta AI chatbot with users in countries like India on WhatsApp, the company is also experimenting with putting Meta AI in the Instagram search bar for both chat with AI and content discovery.

The search query in the search bar leads you to a conversation in DM with Meta AI, where you can ask questions or use one of the pre-loaded prompts. The design of the prompt screen prompted Perplexity AI’s CEO, Aravind Srinivas, to point out that the interface uses a design similar to the startup’s search screen.

But beyond that, it could also help you discover new content on Instagram. For instance, a video on Threads posted by a user indicates that you can tap on a prompt like “Beautiful Maui sunset Reels” to search for Reels related to that topic.

Separately, a few users TechCrunch talked to were able to ask Meta AI to search for Reels suggestions.


This means that Meta plans to tap the power of generative AI beyond text generation and use it for surfacing new content from network like Instagram.

Meta confirmed its Meta AI experiment on Instagram with TechCrunch. However, the company didn’t specify if it is using generative AI tech in search.

“Our generative AI-powered experiences are under development in varying phases, and we’re testing a range of them publicly in a limited capacity,” a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch.

You can find a ton of posts about the quality of Instagram search. So, it would not be surprising if Meta wants to use generative AI to improve search.

Also, Meta would want Instagram to have better discoverability than TikTok. Last year, Google introduced a new perspectives feature to surface results from Reddit and TikTok. Earlier this week, reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi noted on X that Instagram is working on an option called “Visibility off Instagram” to possibly show posts as part of search engine results.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Indeed announces AI-powered work experience writer and support for multiple resumes | TechCrunch

Hiring portal Indeed has redesigned the profile page for users, allowing individuals to use an AI-powered writer to fill up work experience, and also added support for multiple resumes. The company has also launched a set of smart sourcing suites for recruiters with features like AI-powered candidate summaries and custom messages.

Recruit Holdings-owned Indeed is revamping its profile page and adding AI-aided features to better compete with rivals like LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter. The new AI-powered work experience writer helps people form better descriptions of different projects.

The company is also adding support for saving up to five resumes so that an individual can easily pick the most relevant copy when applying for different kinds of roles. Both the features will roll out soon, Indeed said.

Image Credits: Indeed

The job seeking portal already had a toggle to make a user’s profile visible to recruiters. But now the company is turning it on by default and making it easily accessible on the settings page.

On the other side, the company is releasing a smart sourcing suite for recruiters to reduce what they are calling “irrelevant outreach” — when employers reach out to candidates that don’t match the job profile. Apart from advanced search filters, companies can also access AI-powered candidate summaries.

Image Credits: Indeed

Indeed is also adding AI-powered smart messaging and automated interview scheduling. The AI-assisted messaging tool enables hiring managers to create or modify communication with job seekers. During the testing phase, the company said it observed that recruiters that used the smart sourcing feature for hiring saved up to six hours per week.

When we asked the company about how it avoids biases or ensures that AI-powered summaries don’t miss out on key details, Indeed said that it employs a responsible AI team to thwart harm.

Indeed’s rival LinkedIn has also infused AI into multiple aspects, such as learning, recruitment, marketing, sales, messaging and profile enhancement.

Deepti Patibandla, senior director of Product at Indeed, told TechCrunch over a call that the company wants to continue its focus on getting people hired.

“While LinkedIn is more of a professional social network or a platform, at Indeed, we want to get more people hired. That is the core value of our business. As a differentiator, we want to make the hiring process easier,” she said.

“We want to make sure that people are getting the right jobs and not getting inundated by random jobs. Those two are our main focal points for now. Long term we see the opportunity for users to come to Indeed to set their career trajectory path.”

Last year, Indeed laid off 2,200 employees, or 15% of its staff. At that time, CEO Chris Hyams said that the organization was “simply too big for what lies ahead.”

Software Development in Sri Lanka