Huge Week For AI, Not Humanity

Oh boy. It felt like the clock was wound back a couple of hundred years as SIR Jacob Rees-Mogg and Ghengis Khan’s long lost cousin, DAME Priti Patel, strode forward to receive their honorary gongs at Windsor Castle. It could only be for services to nastiness. Meanwhile, Cruella Braverman was busy in Washington incinerating Britain’s 70 year leadership on human rights with a shocking 30 minute speech of fascist fantasy. Wow. And there we were, all worried about the threat to humanity from AI. In fact, the bots might be taking advantage of the recent low ebb for our species. Check out recent business and market activity in the AI space and you’d be forgiven for thinking the bots are on the march. Certainly, in this writer’s opinion, the past week or so has been the most significant week for generative AI since ChatGPT hit our screens nearly a year ago. Consider the following:


  • OpenAI’s generative AI model, ChatGPT, has moved on from answering your questions in text (on your screen) to responding in voice. Think about hey Google or Alexa as voice assistants, but now on super-human steroids. That was quick. And speed means money…


  • Microsoft, has already committed $10 billion to its collaboration with OpenAI but, when that news broke at the beginning of the year, the valuation of OpenAI was buoyed by market giddiness to potentially $20 billion. Fast forward a few months(or centuries in Jacob’s case) and the same company is raising a new round of funding with a $90 billion valuation. For context, that might amount to the current market value of two Stripes in depressed fintech funding conditions.


  • Amazon, in the same cloud business as Microsoft isn’t holding back either. It’s ploughing just the $4 billion into OpenAI competitor, Anthropic, and its large-language-model(LLM) version of ChatGPT, the smoother sounding Claude. Speaking of smooth voices……


  • Spotify has announced some of its top ranked podcasts will now be available to listen to in 6 or 7 different languages…..but with the same voice as the actual host. No wonder writers, actors and artists want to nail down their creative rights as soon as possible. Things are clearly moving very fast and it’s not just sounds and voices.


  • Getty Images have launched their own AI-powered image generator taught by its enormous library of copyright protected images. Getty Images is so confident its models are independent from any copyrighted content that it will cover any IP disputes for its customers. By the way, the chips being used to power this AI generator are made by our latest trillion dollar baby, Nvidia. And there are more babies on the way…


  • According to VC research firm, Crunchbase, former employees of Nvidia have raised a total of $1.4 billion and founded 72 companies. Indeed the same Crunchbase data shows that three of the four biggest VC deals done last week were in the AI sector – MapBox($280m), Pyron($100m) and Writer($100m) – and would seem to challenge the narrative that the AI craze may be cooling.


So, the big bets on the future still look pretty significant from here. However, get ready for some anxious conversations in the board room as competitors start to demonstrate greater productivity and speed combined with lower costs. Does this sound like something you’d read on the side of a red bus in 30p Lee’s constituency? Yes, and no. It’s a promise, but my sense is this time there will be delivery.

The adoption of Googles’s AI assistant, Duet, looks like a no-brainer for busy users of Gmail, Docs or Sheets. In the same vein, the Microsoft AI assistant, Copilot, is due for launch in November and likely to make a quick impact at future-ready teams. Keep an eye out for that news flow and prepare yourself for AI to continue gathering speed in capability and financial markets. And, if you don’t, please avoid blaming the Channel dinghies, meat taxes or the “7 bins” routine. It will be too late; ChatRishi is already all over that delusional race back in time.

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