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Musk Launches ‘Spicy’ Chatbot
xAI, Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, has launched its first chatbot. Called Grok, the company has said it will “answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems”. The platform has “real-time access” to X, formerly Twitter. It will launch as a premium service after testing. Meanwhile, Beijing has given the green light to Ant Group, Alibaba’s [BABA] fintech unit, for the public launch of Bailing, its own large language model.
KKR to Buy Telecom Italia
Junk-rated former monopoly Telecom Italia (TIM) [TIT:MI] on Sunday approved the €19bn sale of its fixed-line network to US private equity firm KKR [KKR], in a deal that could be worth as much as €22bn. Selling its landline grid was a key element of CEO Pietro Labriola’s drive to reverse TIM’s fortunes; it is the first major European national telecom to do so. Vivendi [VIVHY], TIM’s largest shareholder, may try to block the move, however.
Klarna Caves to Union
Sweden’s privately owned Klarna Bank, a world-leading buy-now-pay-later provider, has staved off a strike by signing a collective bargaining agreement with the Financial Sector Union of Sweden. At the weekend, Klarna announced it had set up a new holding company in the UK, which some have interpreted as a first step towards its hotly anticipated IPO.
Polestar Deal; New Tesla
Swedish electric vehicle (EV) maker Polestar [PSNY] announced on Monday that it has signed a deal with South Korea’s SK On, which will supply it with battery cell modules. These will be used in its soon-to-be-released Polestar 5 EV. Elsewhere in the EV space, Reuters reported that Tesla [TSLA] plans to build a new €25,000 model at its factory outside Berlin.
Indian edtech firm Byju’s is set to sell Epic! Creations, its US digital reading platform for children, to Joffre Capital for approximately $400m. Bloomberg reported that Duolingo [DUOL] was also interested in buying the platform. Byju’s needs the funds to pay down a $1.2bn loan on which it has missed an interest payment, having taken it out during Covid-19 in order to acquire a number of businesses.
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