Amplifying Intelligence, Cybertrucks, Spotify Wrapped, and Language Translation
Weekly Roundup of AI, Technology, and UX
Here’s the latest news, resources, and use cases from the world of product, UX, AI and technology. Let’s go:
📻 AI Podcast
🤖 App of the Year
🔅 Shiny Objects
🎧 Spotify Wrapped
From the early days of AI and AI assistants, Kevin has spent his career building technology and companies. With his experience at General Magic paving the way for OnStar, Siri, and Alexa, to modern applications of AI, we discuss Nobel prize winning auction theory, biometric cybersecurity, and AI driven software testing, along with lessons learned and what is coming next.
In this episode, we explore AI tools that amplify productivity today, from coding to finding bugs in software, and how these tools will become as intertwined in our lives as computers or the internet. We also discuss becoming an expert in a field and applying expertise from one field into other areas of your life, whether in business or personal, like music or theater.
News and Useful Reads
The Cybertruck is finally here, and it is very much…an electric truck. Much like ones available on the market today. But with much worse execution in so many ways. And if you’re hoping to get one, you can likely expect to wait a few more years. Tesla doesn’t expect to really begin churning them out until 2025. But if you value your life or the lives of those around you, don’t get one.
Two years after Tesla was due to deliver its first electric trucks, the Cybertruck is really, truly here—and the base model costs $61,000. That’s about $21,000 more than CEO Elon Musk promised when the Cybertruck was first introduced four years ago. And that cheapest model won’t be available until 2025.
Apple and Google avoid naming ChatGPT as their ‘app of the year,’ picking AllTrails and Imprint instead
Probably not a surprise that Google and Apple wouldn’t pick one of their biggest rivals as ‘app of the year’. ChatGPT certainly deserves high honors. But AllTrails is no slouch either.
Both Apple and Google today announced their best apps and games of the year, with the hiking and biking companion AllTrails winning as Apple’s iPhone App of the Year in 2023, while the educational app Imprint: Learn Visually won as Google Play’s best app. Meanwhile, Apple and Google agreed on their Game of the Year, as both picked Honkai: Star Rail as their winner.
It is easy to chase after the new, shiny object. It happens to most of us, and all of us have experience with this in our organizations as new technology comes out that everyone “needs to have.”
This is happening in AI and one of the clearest examples we can find of this vicious cycle of frenzy is Q*, the supposed AI breakthrough that OpenAI researchers reportedly discovered recently, presumably leading to the eventual boardroom coup that ended in CEO Sam Altman’s firing (only for him to be promptly reinstated afterward).
Spotify wrapped is a genius concept. Taking our data and packaging it up in a pretty way and giving it back to us in a fun dashboard is a beautiful marketing tool for Spotify. I don’t understand why more companies don’t do this. I’ve built very successful user metrics like this for platforms, though not nearly as consumer focused or with the reach of Spotify, and they almost always are winning products. Now we just need to see how much money goes to artists…
While some recoil at the sheer amount of time they’ve spent on the app, averaging 118 mins per day for the typical user, others are surprised by what they’ve been listening to — so much so that 7 in 10 people are reportedly too embarrassed to share their Wrap sheets (although ‘Spotify Wrapped’ still received 400 million mentions on Twitter within 3 days of its 2022 release).
Language is where LLMs shine, so real-time translation should be something we expect soon. And that is what Meta researchers are working on:
The Seamless translator represents a new frontier in the use of AI for communication across the blog. It combines three sophisticated neural network models to enable real-time translation between over 100 spoken and written languages while preserving the vocal style, emotion, and prosody of the speaker’s voice.
Other Interesting Finds
I had a meeting with a potential guest recently and they were using Firflies.ai for their notes, so I had to look into it some more. I’m not using it myself yet, but may have to experiment with it some more. If you don’t have a tool for taking notes, this may be one to test.