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What's brewing in AI #33

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OpenAI’s voice cloning tool, Microsoft leadership changes, Hume’s empathic AI, ChatGPT without signing up and other AI news this week you don't want to miss.

Creator of whatplugin.ai & the What's Brewing in AI newsletter
Apr 2, 2024

Howdy, wizards – and welcome to the 203 new subscribers who joined last week.

I’m launching a separate monthly edition of this newsletter only about GPTs (recent developments, newcomers, trending ones, etc). Look out of for the GPTs Roundup for March hitting your inbox tomorrow.

What’s brewing in AI #33

  • Dario’s Picks: OpenAI’s voice cloning tool, Microsoft leadership changes, Hume’s empathic AI, ChatGPT without signing up
  • In Focus: why chatbots won’t kill Google
  • GPTs: the latest top arrivals in the GPT store
  • Bytes: the other AI news this week you don’t want to miss

Dario’s Picks

I. OpenAI previews its new voice cloning tool

OpenAI is sharing previews of a model called Voice Engine, a voice cloning tool that takes 15-second audio clips and generates speech that closely resembles the original speaker. It’s the same model that powers the voices inside ChatGPT.

They shared examples of how early testers, a small group of trusted partners, have been using the model to build tools for reading assistance, translation and therapeutic applications like those suffering from degenerative speech conditions.

OpenAI also shared some of what they’re doing to safeguard this new tech, including watermarking and monitoring.

Why it matters

There’s still no info on public release for this model. With the emphasis on safety measures in their blog post, that’s likely due to the risks associated with making high-quality voice cloning widely accessible.

II. Microsoft continues changing leadership with AI in mind

via The Verge

Last week, the company hired Inflection AI co-founder Mustafa Suleyman to lead its new AI division, along with most of the staff from Inflection. The talent acquisition was part of a broader licensing deal, crafted to avoid being seen as an acquisition.

Now, Head of Bing and advertising, Mikhail Parakhin, is stepping down while Pavan Davuluri becomes chief of Windows and Surface. The Windows team will work closely with the AI division to approach the company's systems, experiences and devices holistically.

Why it matters

Microsoft's new AI division will be leading well-known products, including Bing, Edge and Copilot. The recent talent acquisition from Inflection and these important changes  in leadership in Windows (that'll have significant overlap with AI) is a notable ramp up from Microsoft to ensure AI is at the forefront of its products.

III. Hume’s new chatbot EVI is here to make AI more empathic

via Hume AI

Hume AI’s new chatbot called EVI (Empathic Voice Interface) understands the tone of your voice and adapts its response accordingly. 

It's great at knowing when to speak since it can accurately detect when you stop speaking. On the other hand, it stops speaking if you interrupt it. It also notices the nuances in your reaction to its responses and improves over time.

API is currently in early access for developers.

Why it matters

There's already AI voices that sound highly realistic, but the lack of empathy still makes it clear you’re chatting to a robot. The market for AI companions displays massive potential, and could definitely make use of models like this.

IV. ChatGPT can now be used without signing up

OpenAI is gradually rolling out an update that enables anyone to use ChatGPT without the need to sign up.

The ability to opt out of model training (ie your input being used to train OpenAI’s models) is still available whether you create an account or not.

However, using ChatGPT without logging has more safeguards (censorship) than when creating an account.

Why it matters

This move enables anyone that is curious about AI to try ChatGPT, without the friction of creating an account. ChatGPT now has 100m weekly users, and this might boost traffic (and sign-ups) somewhat, especially since most of the other top performing AI chatbots do require a sign-up step to be accessed.

In Focus

Why chatbots probably won’t kill Google

AI for search seemingly growing fast. AI chatbots, especially those specialised in search like Perplexity have been touted as potential “Google-killers” ever since ChatGPT was launched.

This brilliant piece in The Verge really shines light on why it’s very unlikely that AI will overtake Google any time soon – at least in its current form. I’m adding to the topic by summarising and illustrating key points from the article.

Google results work better for several popular types of search queries, but AI wins in some cases:

| Type of Google query | Examples | Google vs AI | |----------------------|---------------------------------|---------------------------------------------------| | Navigational | "Youtube", "Gmail" | Google wins on accuracy, speed and brevity | | Informational (real-time) | "NFL scores", "Weather now" | Google wins on accuracy and details | | Informational (evergreen) | "How many weeks in a year?" | AI wins due to its synthesising abilities | | Exploratory | "Why were chainsaws invented?" | AI wins for its ability to synthesise information |

However, the reason Google isn’t likely to be overtaken by chatbots is its flexible interface. For the most popular questions, you often get a tailored interface to best serve the information for the specific query:

Google’s result pages (SERP) for “weather now” and “what to watch”

Google is quite good at understanding when the blue links simply aren’t the most helpful solution, and can tailor the interface accordingly.

“Ten blue links isn’t the answer for search, but neither is an all-purpose text box.”
David Pierce for The Verge

My take on this

AI is proving exceptionally good at answering questions, but when it comes to what the go-to platform will be for search in the future, the user interface is likely just as relevant. I’d argue Google is still one big step closer to this than chatbots. Here’s what I’m pondering:

Why is it mainly the links in the search results of Google or the text inside ChatGPT that varies when I search for or ask about something? Why can’t the whole user interface be tailored exactly to what I’m searching for? I think that’s the direction we’re heading.

GPTs

Top new arrivals in the GPT store

Highly rated, new GPTs featured in OpenAI’s official GPT store (from the last week)

Featured GPTs (Sponsored)

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Submit your GPT to whatplugin and get featured in the newsletter.

 Bytes 

  • Beautiful article that explains the most used terminology in AI and shows how these terms have been trending in the last 10 years.
  • Elon Musk’s xAI announced Grok-1.5, with improved reasoning skills and a large context window of 128k tokens. It will soon be available to users on X.
  • Claude 3 Opus has overtaken GPT-4 Turbo on the LMSys leaderboard, the most widely referenced comparison of LLM models.
  • Bloomberg: Apple's WWDC starts June 10th and is anticipated to be focused around AI, particularly an AI-upgraded version of iOS 18.
  • OpenAI gave access to Sora selected artists and filmmakers a few weeks back. They’re now sharing 7 examples of how Sora can be used in the creative process. In particular, I recommend checking out the air head one which is made a bit like a Pixar short film 🎈
  • The FTX bankruptcy estate is selling most of its shares in Anthropic for $884 million to institutional investors.

That’s a wrap for this week!

Fellow sorcerers – join me on LinkedIn.

Until next time,

Dario Chincha 🧙🏼‍♂️

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