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Voysis, a a platform that will help companies stand up their own voice AI systems, today announced that is has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Polaris Partners. Part of the proceeds will be used to double its 15-person team. Some of those hires will be in Boston, but the company plans to keep R&D efforts in its home country of Ireland. Here's the rationale, from Voysis CEO Peter Cahill:

"Europe has had big challenges in languages, so European governments have funded a lot of language research. That means we have a lot of graduates who specialize in language, whereas the U.S. has focused and spent a lot less on it."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America is anxious, angry and heavily armed

Data: FBI; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Firearms background checks in the U.S. hit a record high in 2020.

The big picture: This past year took our collective arsenal to new heights, with millions of Americans buying guns for the first time. That trend coincides with a moment of peak political and social tension.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

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.

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