AI Will Save Humanity, Meta, Photo Apps, and Meetings
This week’s update:
Here’s this week’s news, product applications, and philosophical implications. So here we go:
🧑🤝🧑 AI Will Save Us
🤳 Photo Apps
Meetings and AI
Latest News and Updates
We talk a lot about the potential of AI. The amazing productive potential but also the incredible destructive potential. If you’re looking for a good dose of optimism, Marc Andreessen has you covered:
What AI offers us is the opportunity to profoundly augment human intelligence to make all of these outcomes of intelligence – and many others, from the creation of new medicines to ways to solve climate change to technologies to reach the stars – much, much better from here.
We know AI will transform many aspects of our technology and our lives. And making things faster and better while using less power is a great start:
AlphaDev uncovered a faster algorithm for sorting, a method for ordering data. Billions of people use these algorithms everyday without realising it. They underpin everything from ranking online search results and social posts to how data is processed on computers and phones. Generating better algorithms using AI will transform how we program computers and impact all aspects of our increasingly digital society.
Zuckerberg announced plans to put AI into everything Facebook is doing.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a plan to employees on Thursday that will see it put generative AI text, image and video generators into its flagship products, such as Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook's parent company has been at the forefront of generative AI research, but has been somewhat slow to put those technologies into its products.
In line with the announcement from Meta, we got more details on Instagram’s approach from a leak this week. Following Snap’s lead, Instagram may be getting ready to launch its own AI tools:
A screenshot shared by leaker Alessandro Paluzzi on Twitter shows what seems to be an intro screen for the new Instagram feature. It says the chatbots will be able to answer questions, give advice, and help users write messages. It also says that users will be able to choose between “30 AI personalities and find which one you like best.”
Are we at risk of having all our content be AI produced? It doesn’t seem like it yet. While ChatGPT and other tools can write pretty good documents and excel in certain areas, they aren’t likely to take over real creative endeavors soon.
“I’ve toyed around with ChatGPT a bit," Brooker reveals in the new issue of Empire. "The first thing I did was type 'generate Black Mirror episode' and it comes up with something that, at first glance, reads plausibly, but on second glance, is shit. Because all it’s done is look up all the synopses of Black Mirror episodes, and sort of mush them together. Then if you dig a bit more deeply you go, 'Oh, there’s not actually any real original thought here.' It’s [1970s impressionist] Mike Yarwood — there’s a topical reference.”
This makes sense, especially when we understand how LLMs work. But a Black Mirror episode written by ChatGPT would be on brand for sure. If it was anything close to passable.
Useful Tools & Resources
This week I explored tools to help with photos. This is a broad topic, so we’ll have more to come. I’ll be creating a library of these tools soon, so remember to check back for everything soon.
We are about to have a high school reunion, so that has meant many of us from our class are busy scanning photos. Which led me to naturally look at some of the tools available. I haven’t had a chance to use all of them, but let me highlight a few things.
I took this photo from our yearbook and scanned it in using the Reimagine AI app:
I then colorized it and enhanced it:
It definitely sharpens the image. Unfortunately, it didn’t get the color of the shirts right. They were bright yellow. And some of the faces, on close inspection, aren’t quite right.
They look good from afar, and are recognizable, but are just different enough that it feels a little strange. Especially knowing exactly how everyone should look.
Overall, though, I thought the app did a good job. It has some things that need to be worked out, but it’s pretty solid, especially comparing to the Photoscan app (from Google) that is generally my go-to.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Artem Koren and discuss a topic that I think is incredibly pertinent and fascinating: AI and meetings.
Artem is the Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Semby AI, a SaaS platform that uses proprietary AI algorithms to transcribe and analyze meetings. Artem has 16+ years of product management experience and has applied AI learning to his work since 2009.
We had a fascinating discussion about Sembly AI and meetings in general. As Artem put it, "technology has been facilitating meetings in the workspace, but not really understanding what they're about--the content of that."
Meetings are part of the normal workday for all of us. But they are almost always less than optimal. I explored this in a post a while back:
But AI presents a new possibility for solving the problems with meetings. From Tech Brew:
As companies grapple with how to put generative AI tech to work in the office, taking notes on meetings is emerging as a clear use case.
Salesforce said last month it would roll out a suite of tools including a summarization feature for calls and messages in Slack; Zoom recently teamed with OpenAI and Anthropic to offer similar tools for video meetings; and Microsoft now includes AI-generated recaps in its subscription tier for Teams.
Sembly AI has also been doing this for years, along with some other cool things.
One of the most interesting things for me, is how does the ability to have an AI agent for meetings or conversations or other scenarios take us? If your AI agent can attend meetings for you soon, what’s next?
Beyond meeting summaries, Patel sees generative AI as a major shift in the technology landscape that will ultimately transform the way people interact with computers in the workplace and beyond.
We discussed these ideas on the podcast. Why wouldn’t you be able to begin to have AI only meetings? And what comes after that?
It’s a fascinating space, and we’ve got more coming very soon. You’ll want to listen to the whole conversation and stay tuned for several more that dive into these areas.