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Vicarious, a seven-year-old startup in Silicon Valley startup working on artificial general intelligence, has raised $50 million Series C funding led by Khosla Ventures, bringing its total to $122 million.

A.I. for robots: What Vicarious is building is ambitious—artificial intelligence for robots, the kind you imagine with arms, that can box up orders in warehouses or help prepare food. According to co-founder and CEO D. Scott Phoenix, Vicarious's technology will be "super general and adaptable," enabling robots to use one skill, such as picking up an object, to do similar tasks.

Deployment: Vicarious is "on the cusp of starting to do field testing with customers," Phoenix tells Axios.

Though Phoenix declined to discuss the Vicarious's plans to showcase its technology, he did say it has plans to do additional demos later this year. It recently released a program that can play Atari and in 2013, it released one that can solve CAPTCHA.

Not a "science project:"

Vicarious has plenty of skeptics, of course. For one, its lack of extensive publication of papers is a red flag for some. Others point to the company's many years of stealthy research without releasing any products (yet), though Phoenix says that Vicarious has always planned to build commercial products. In fact, the $50 million it recently raised will be enough to get the company to product commercialization, he said in a bold statement. "From the very beginning we said, 'here are the things that we can apply A.I,'" he says. "But to get there you have to do a lot of applied research."

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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