Clarity presents at Tel Aviv University 2024 AI Day

February 6, 2024

Michael Matias, Co-Founder and CEO of Clarity, presents leading Deepfake detection on Tel Aviv University’s main stage

On February 6th, leaders from the Artificial Intelligence space convened at Tel Aviv University to discuss leading and innovative technology that is propelling society forward. Amongst the speakers were Yoav Shoham of AI21Labs, Professor Meir Feder, Professor Karine Nahon and others. Michael Matias presented Clarity’s technology to detect deepfakes, scalably and in real-time. 

In 2022, amidst the burgeoning AI revolution, our CEO Michael Matias, then a student and research fellow, witnessed the transformative power of generative AI technologies first-hand. The founding of our company was propelled by a pivotal moment during a lecture on democracy at Stanford University. Michael was moved by Professor Larry Diamond's passionate discourse on the fragile state of democracy and the existential threats it faces. This encounter, combined with Michael's deep dive into AI and cybersecurity, illuminated the urgent need for solutions to safeguard the integrity of our digital communications. Our company was thus founded with a mission to preserve trust in digital media, driven by a realization that the accelerating pace of AI advancements necessitated immediate action to address the burgeoning threat of deepfakes and misinformation.

Deepfakes represent a formidable challenge, blurring the lines between reality and fiction with alarming ease and precision. These AI-generated fabrications, capable of mimicking human likeness and speech, are rapidly becoming more accessible and sophisticated, threatening to undermine the fabric of truth itself. The evolution from requiring actual video or audio sources to merely needing an image or text for fabrication marks a significant leap in the potential for misuse. As these tools become democratized through platforms like DeepFaceLab, the potential for harm escalates, manifesting in various forms—from fraudulent impersonations to the manipulation of democratic processes. This scenario underscores the urgency of our task: to develop robust defenses against the tide of synthetic media poised to inundate our digital landscapes, thereby protecting the foundational elements of trust and authenticity that underpin our societal structures.

Our response to the deepfake dilemma is both innovative and comprehensive. At the core of our strategy lies a platform approach, utilizing cutting-edge AI to develop resilient and adaptive detection systems. These systems are designed to be integrated seamlessly into both offline and real-time communication channels, ensuring broad and effective coverage. By treating deepfakes as a cybersecurity virus, we've adopted a dynamic and multifaceted defense mechanism, akin to an AI firewall, comprising a foundational layer of models supplemented by specialized detectors. This approach not only addresses the diverse and evolving nature of deepfake threats but also positions us to offer tailored solutions across various sectors. Our collaboration with leading media publishers, governments, and other organizations exemplifies our commitment to securing digital ecosystems against the insidious spread of AI-generated misinformation, thus safeguarding the integrity of digital media for all.

Founding Team

Michael Matias, CEO
Michael served as an Officer (was first-in-class) at 8200 (received the Cyber Excellence Award for 2019) and founded two AI teams that received the National Defense Prize. Michael then studied AI at Stanford University and led AI teams at Hippo Insurance. He is an angel investor in more than 70 deep-tech startups, and was on the investment team for multiple VCs, including Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors. He is the founder and host of a technology leadership podcast (20MinuteLeaders) with 1000+ episodes and authored 150+ articles in a leading Israeli financial newspaper.
Natalie Fridman, CTO
Natalie has over 10 years of management experience in AI and research, with expertise in collective intelligence, deep learning, and modeling autonomous agents. Natalie was previously the Senior VP of R&D (from inception to IPO) at ImageSat International and has a Ph.D. in AI and Collective Intelligence. She has published over 25 papers, was a leading computer science lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and has multiple patents in AI algorithms.
Gil Avriel, CSO and COO
Gil is a former Senior Executive in the Israel’s National Security Council, Office of the Prime Ministers. (14 years). Advised 8 National Security Advisers and 4 Prime Ministers on strategic national security issues while serving as the Legal Advisor to the NSC. Led complex multi-party negotiations on behalf of the Israeli government on complex national security issues. Served in the 8200 intelligence corps. Graduated from Harvard Kennedy School and Georgetown Law School (first-in-class).
About Clarity
Clarity is an AI cybersecurity startup with a mission of protecting against deepfakes and new social engineering and phishing attack vectors of Generative AI. Founded by AI and cyber experts from 8200, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, and Israel’s National Security Council, Clarity is advised and backed by global leaders in the AI and cyber industries.
About Walden Catalyst Ventures
Walden Catalyst is a venture capital firm helping early-stage companies in the U.S., Europe, and Israel build the next generation of category-defining businesses in deep tech. The firm is led by Young Sohn and Lip-Bu Tan, deep-tech industry pioneers who between them have invested in more than 600 startups across the globe, of which 136 have gone on to IPO. Walden Catalyst’s inaugural fund has announced a closing at over $550 million and is focused on early stage deep-tech investments and their team of innovators and entrepreneurs are passionate about disruptive technologies and committed to excellence. For startups, this translates into unparalleled access to operational expertise, global reach, and a network of industry captains eager to help build and scale the companies of the future. Visit our website here:
About Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners helps entrepreneurs lay strong foundations to build and forge long-standing companies. With more than 145 IPOs and 300 portfolio companies in the enterprise, consumer and healthcare spaces, Bessemer supports founders and CEOs from their early days through every stage of growth. Bessemer’s global portfolio has included Pinterest, Shopify, Twilio, Yelp, LinkedIn, PagerDuty, DocuSign, Wix, Fiverr, and Toast and has $20 billion of assets under management. Bessemer has teams of investors and partners located in Tel Aviv, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York, London, Hong Kong, Boston, and Bangalore. Born from innovations in steel more than a century ago, Bessemer’s storied history has afforded its partners the opportunity to celebrate and scrutinize its best investment decisions (see Memos) and also learn from its mistakes (see Anti-Portfolio).