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Expand chart
Adapted from CB Insights; Chart: Axios Visuals

Artificial intelligence startups generated their highest level of funding ever in this year's second quarter, according to research firm CB Insights.

By the numbers: The number of deals in the startup AI space rose to 488, the second-highest number on record, trailing only the 513 deals notched in the second quarter of 2018.

  • More than 3,600 AI startups have raised $66 billion since 2013 in over 70 countries, data shows.
  • At least 10 companies raised $100 million "mega-rounds" during the quarter. Eight of the top 10 were U.S. companies, with China's Face++ and France's Meero also on the list.

Go deeper: AI learns to write headlines (but not this one)

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

4 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.