GigaBrain scrapes Reddit data to create my product of the week
Plus: can Wikipedia help teach AI chatbots to get their facts right?
A weekly newsletter that highlights new and innovative AI products that are worth exploring.
My Seattle to Portland e-bike adventure went very well last weekend! The only issue was that I lost feeling in two of my fingers... but hey, who needs touch? Turns out you do need it for typing. Typing has been troublesome for me because I can't tell which keys those fingers are on, but my physical therapist said it should come back soon 🤞🤞
Now, in this week’s issue:
GigaBrain scrapes Reddit data to create my product of the week
Playtext summarizes 100+ books
WonderSlide creates AI enhanced slide decks differently
Plus, a recommended read on whether Wikipedia can help teach AI chatbots to get their facts right — without destroying itself in the process
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
After testing dozens of new AI products this week. Here’s my top pick.
GigaBrain: Get answers to your questions from real people on Reddit
As a former Reddit employee, I strongly believe that online communities are the ideal place for real authentic conversations. This makes Reddit is a great platform to get genuine answers from real people to your questions. Many people search for answers and product reviews by typing a question or product into Google and adding "Reddit" to the end.
GigaBrain built what, to be honest, I think Reddit should have built. GigaBrain have scanned billions of discussions on Reddit to find the most useful postings and comments for your questions. You simply ask a question, such as "What's the best Korean barbecue in San Francisco?" or "How do I become an AI engineer?" and GigaBrain provides you with an AI-generated answer based on actual human responses, complete with citations that link to the individual posts on Reddit so that you can read more.
As GigaBrain says, it's "Reddit search that actually works." I've tried it out, and it works very well. Rather than reading individual posts, GigaBrain summarizes information across multiple posts, making it a convenient way to get the information you need.
Here’s a demo of me asking it for the best way to ask my manager for a raise:
Two more AI products that are worth your time.
Playtext: AI summaries of 100+ books. I'm an avid reader, and sometimes I come across business or productivity books that interest me, but I don't really want to sit down and spend 5 to 10 hours reading through them. Other times, I'll read a business book and think, "this should have been a blog post... it didn't need to be a book." Enter Playtext. They offer AI-generated cliff notes for 100+ books on business, science, and productivity. I've read a few summaries on their site, and they seem very comprehensive. That being said, sometimes you need a book with all the anecdotes to make a topic really stick, but hey, Playtext seems like a good place to start. P.S. They also offer a chrome extension that enables you to save articles and have them read aloud with AI-generated voices.
WonderSlide: Make better presentations. WonderSlide is different from most of the other AI slide deck solutions out there because it doesn't write your slides for you. Instead, it focuses on making your slides look damn good. It's sort of like having your own in-house designer. I appreciate that they are focusing on leveraging AI for the visual elements of the presentation rather than the content, because in general I’ve been underwhelmed by the AIs that have tried to write my slides for me. To use WonderSlide, all you need to do is upload your basic slide deck into WonderSlide, pick your brand colors and style options, and then WonderSlide will produce amazing graphics and reformat the slides to make them way better.
OTHER AI THINGS HAPPENED
Some other notable news and product launches from this week
Meta released Llama 2 as a free download for research and commercial use. It’s a foundational, 65-billion-parameter large language model. Kudos to Meta for following through with their promise to open source it.
Google is testing an AI tool that is able to write news articles. It’s been pitched as an assistant for journalist and was shown to execs at NYTimes, Washington Post, and WSJ.
Apple is testing a ChatGPT-like AI chatbot. Don’t hold your breath that Siri will be replaced anytime soon by something useful. With Apple’s cautious approach to product releases I doubt this would be released for at least another year or two.
A new study describes how some GPT-4 capabilities have degraded. OpenAI says that’s not the case and that it’s simply that we are figuring out the limits of GPT-4.
Silicon Valley darling Superhuman launched a suite of AI products for their email inbox. I still don’t get why it makes sense to pay $30 per month for an inbox, but maybe these AI features will push me over the edge. Demo video.
Typeform announced a “formless” form-builder powered by AI. The AI will interact with your respondents in a conversational tone and then pull out the structured data from the conversation. Intriguing. Join the waitlist.
Microsoft is going to start charging $30/month per person for access to it’s AI tools in 365. I’m a bit surprised by this because I thought it would have been better for Microsoft to include these AI tools as part of the standard 365 bundle so that they could take market share from Google Workspace.
WHAT I'M READING
If you only read one thing this week let it be this.
Wikipedia’s Moment of Truth by Jon Gertner
"In early 2021, a Wikipedia editor peered into the future and saw what looked like a funnel cloud on the horizon: the rise of GPT-3, a precursor to the new chatbots from OpenAI. When this editor — a prolific Wikipedian who goes by the handle Barkeep49 on the site — gave the new technology a try, he could see that it was untrustworthy. The bot would readily mix fictional elements (a false name, a false academic citation) into otherwise factual and coherent answers. But he had no doubts about its potential. ‘I think A.I.’s day of writing a high-quality encyclopedia is coming sooner rather than later,’ he wrote in ‘Death of Wikipedia,’ an essay that he posted under his handle on Wikipedia itself. He speculated that a computerized model could, in time, displace his beloved website and its human editors, just as Wikipedia had supplanted the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which in 2012 announced it was discontinuing its print publication. Recently, when I asked this editor — he asked me to withhold his name because Wikipedia editors can be the targets of abuse — if he still worried about his encyclopedia’s fate, he told me that the newer versions made him more convinced that ChatGPT was a threat..." NYTIMES
Until next week!
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