An AI Speechwriter is my Product of the Week
Plus: easily automate daily tasks in your life
A weekly newsletter that highlights new and innovative AI products that are worth exploring.
To start things off on a non-AI note, I will be participating in the Seattle to Portland bike ride this weekend. The ride is 200 miles long and will take two days to complete. Fortunately I’ll be riding it on an e-bike to promote my e-bike blog so I’m hoping it won’t be too strenuous. If you are the type of person that enjoys watching GPS dots, you’ll be pleased to read that you can follow my GPS tracker live during the event. Jody, my spouse and business partner, will be sharing the link each morning and posting updates via our Instagram account so be sure to follow us on IG @ebikecommuting.
Now, onto this week’s issue which includes:
An AI speechwriter is my product of the week
The ChatGPT rival that keeps getting better
Easily automate daily tasks in your life
Plus, a recommended read on how the world has learned to handle problems caused by breakthrough innovations
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
After testing dozens of new AI products this week. Here’s my top pick.
Verble: Your AI speechwriter
First off, Verble is more than just an AI assistant for those looking to prepare their next Ted Talk. The product is also designed to help you pitch an idea to a colleague or investor, pitch your company to a potential customer, with more use cases coming soon.
Verble starts by asking you targeted questions that help you share your thoughts, audience, the tone you want to achieve, and message. It’s like you are sitting down and chatting with your own personal speech writer.
Verble then takes all of that and writes a damn good first draft of your speech. You can then jump into individual paragraphs and make changes. I really liked the functionality that let’s you apply a specific speaker technique (eg. ask the audience a question, tell a story, etc) to a specific section of the speech.
I tested Verble on a variety of scenarios and found its results to be surprisingly good. It's definitely important to take the time to answer the initial questions as fully as possible, otherwise, the result can feel a bit too generic. Here's a video of me using Verble to write a 5-minute speech for an imaginary conference with the topic being what I learned in my five years at Reddit:
Two more AI products that are worth your time.
Claude v2: The ChatGPT rival that keeps getting better. Anthropic launched Claude v2 earlier this week in the US and UK. In terms of LLMs, Claude is ChatGPT's closest competitor. Claude outshines ChatGPT in two ways. First, it now allows you to input up to 75,000 words, which is equivalent to the number of words in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This means that you can input entire books into Claude if you want to. Second, Claude's training data cutoff was early 2023, making it more knowledgeable about current events than ChatGPT-4, which has a knowledge cutoff of September 2021.
Nekton: Automate your daily tasks. Nekton is a platform that simplifies the automation of various workflows by stringing together AI commands. To use it, simply describe your ideal workflow in plain text and let Nekton convert it into code that runs in the cloud. Nekton integrates with thousands of online services and can perform most tasks that their APIs provide. It is optimal for small, well-defined tasks, and you don't need to know how to code to use it. I believe that tools like Nekton will be adapted for a broad range of use cases. If you end up using it to automate something in your life, please reply and let me know.
OTHER AI THINGS HAPPENED
Some other notable news and product launches from this week.
The FTC opened an investigation into ChatGPT over consumer harms and OpenAI’s security practices. A bit surprising since Sam Altman spent so much time in Washington earlier this year glad-handing with politicians.
Elon Musk launched his OpenAI competitor, xAI. Not much is known, but it’s been fun to watch Musk burn even more cash…
KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, has announced a partnership with Microsoft to invest $2 billion into AI. As part of the partnership, KPMG will have early access to Microsoft 365 Copilot and will leverage AI to make their employees more efficient. They will also work to help other businesses adopt AI.
Google announced that it is going to begin rolling out a new note-taking tool that is aimed at delivering you insights from all of your notes
Turns out Google has a medical version of it’s Bard chatbot and it’s already being tested in hospitals. While I don’t think something like this will ever replace doctors it can certainly be impactful if everyone in the world had access to this rather than just googling their symptoms.
Wildfire detection startup Pano AI raised $17m. Earlier this month they reportedly were able to identify a wildfire in Oregon using their software and notify the authorities 14 minutes before the first 911 call.
Shopify announced a “sidekick” for the entrepreneurs using Shopify to build e-commerce businesses.
WHAT I'M READING
If you only read one thing this week let it be this.
The risks of AI are real but manageable by Bill Gates
“The risks created by artificial intelligence can seem overwhelming. What happens to people who lose their jobs to an intelligent machine? Could AI affect the results of an election? What if a future AI decides it doesn’t need humans anymore and wants to get rid of us? These are all fair questions, and the concerns they raise need to be taken seriously. But there’s a good reason to think that we can deal with them: This is not the first time a major innovation has introduced new threats that had to be controlled. We’ve done it before. Whether it was the introduction of cars or the rise of personal computers and the Internet, people have managed through other transformative moments and, despite a lot of turbulence, come out better off in the end…” GATES NOTES
Until next week!
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