Meet Pi, a $225 million chatbot that outshines ChatGPT
Plus: Unleash your creativity with Microsoft Designer, harness the power of AI in CRM with folk 2.0, and more
A weekly newsletter that highlights new and innovative AI products that are worth exploring.
For those that celebrate it, Happy Cinco de Mayo! I’m headed over to a neighborhood party this afternoon so my day is going to be spent going from store to store looking for one that still has guacamole left…that’s what I get for procrastinating.
In this week’s issue:
Pi, a $225 million chatbot that outshines ChatGPT, is my product of the week
Unleash your creativity with Microsoft Designer
Harness the power of AI in CRM with folk 2.0
Plus, a recommended read on the looming threat of AI to Hollywood
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
After testing dozens of new AI products this week. Here’s my top pick.
Pi: A more friendly and empathetic chatbot. Pi is a new chatbot competing with OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard. The name Pi stands for "personal intelligence." It’s built by Inflection AI, a startup that has raised $225 million and was founded by Mustafa Suleyman, who sold his previous AI company, Deepmind, to Google in 2014. The Inflection AI board includes Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn co-founder and former board member of OpenAI. Hoffman recently left OpenAI to reduce potential conflicts, demonstrating his focus on Inflection AI.
Inflection AI is positioning Pi as a chatbot that is more empathetic towards users, better at active listening, and asking follow-up questions.
In my experience playing with Pi, it is definitely much better at listening and engaging in a conversation. It asks more follow-up questions and engages in more back-and-forth when presented with a problem or challenge. ChatGPT on the other hand, often spits out a multi-paragraph answer based on a single text prompt. Pi feels like you are having a conversation with someone who is interested in learning more about you before giving you their opinion.
Suleyman stated in a Forbes interview, “[AI is] this new class of thing that is coach, confidant and advisor, a digital personal assistant, all in one. That’s the new era we are in that everybody is adapting to.” Pi seems to be closer to embodying these features than ChatGPT, but time will tell. ChatGPT's underlying technology continues to impress, and with their plugins ecosystem quickly growing, ChatGPT is becoming more and more useful every day.
Here’s a little GIF of me asking it, “As someone in their mid-30s with young kids. How do I make new adult friends? I recently moved to a new city during the pandemic. Kids take up a lot of my free time.”
[Beta | Free]
Two more AI products that are worth your time.
Microsoft Designer: AI-powered design tool competing with Canva and Adobe. Microsoft continues to expand its lineup of AI-powered products with the introduction of Designer. It enables users to simply input text into a prompt, which then generates high-quality designs such as social media posts, invitations, flyers, menus, and more. I tested it by creating an animated Instagram giveaway post, something that I had been procrastinating on for the past month. Designer created it in 2 minutes. The tool provided a Pinterest-style board of design options, allowing me to select and tweak my preferred design. Very cool. [Public Launch | Free]
folk 2.0: AI + CRM = F*ck Yeah. I always love me a good CRM. This week, folk 2.0 launched with an AI-upgrade and it’s impressive. I think it’s standout feature is prospecting within LinkedIn, it extracts contact information of potential leads, and seamlessly integrates them into your folk crm. Additionally, it generates personalized emails to your contacts. I’ve been playing around with it for the past day and they do a good job striking the balance between a simple and powerful interface. [Public Launch | Paid or Free Plans]
OTHER AI THINGS HAPPENED
Some other notable news and product launches from this week.
OpenAI released a new plugin called Code Interpreter that appears to be able to do many tasks a data analyst can do. Upload a CSV and watch ChatGPT analyze the data, make visualizations, run statistical tests, do regressions, and highlight key insights.
The ‘Godfather of AI’ who won the Nobel Prize of computing for his work on neural networks quit his job at Google so that he could speak freely about the risks of AI. Eeek.
AI’s first public company victim. Chegg, the education company, saw it’s share price plummet on Tuesday after the CEO said that ChatGPT contributed to their sluggish growth.
Nextdoor launches a ChatGPT powered ‘assistant’ that will help users write their posts. I’m very skeptical that this will help improve the quality of posts on Nextdoor, but then again, the quality bar is really low.
Microsoft is enhancing Bing Chat with features like image and video results, new actions, persistent chat, and crucially, plug-in support. Partnering with OpenTable and WolframAlpha, Microsoft aims to demonstrate the chatbot's extended capabilities at the upcoming Build conference.
OpenAI's ChatGPT was tested on accounting exams by researchers from 186 universities, achieving a 47.4% average score compared to students' 76.7%. Despite its limitations, the AI chatbot shows promise in enhancing teaching and learning in the future.
WHAT I'M READING
If you only read one thing this week let it be this.
The looming threat of AI to Hollywood, and why it should matter to you by Alissa Wilkinson
"‘Beating up on screenwriters,’ John Gregory Dunne wrote in 1996, ‘is a Hollywood blood sport; everyone in the business thinks he or she can write, if only time could be found.’ To put it another way, everybody in show business thinks they could do what writers do, given a little uninterrupted headspace. ‘That writers find the time is evidence of their inferior position in the food chain,’ Dunne quipped. He knew the territory; by 1996, he and his wife, Joan Didion, had been working as Hollywood screenwriters for about 30 years. In those decades, they’d also participated in four writers strikes, labor stoppages by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the union that bargains on behalf of Hollywood’s many working writers. All these years later, Dunne’s words read prophetically in the face of yet another Hollywood writers strike. The idea that screenwriting is easy stuff, that anyone can do it, that writers are dispensable — this is all old news. But the attitude takes on a new dimension when you’re presented with a tool that could enable the studios to crop writers right out of the picture, or at least minimize the need to pay them, and an entertainment landscape that might not mind the results..." VOX
FRIENDS OF AI PRODUCT REPORT
A highlight of cool people doing cool things.
In today’s issue, I want to give a shoutout to Sam Dickie and his newsletter Creator Club! Sam is a self-described 90's internet surfer who devourers business, finance, tech, and general nonsense online and brings the best of it to the masses. Join over 7k Creator Club readers for a free monthly newsletter for curious minds in tech and business. You can expect a highly curated monthly newsletter which includes stuff such as the latest software products, early access betas, digital trends, learnings, weird internet subcultures and much more.
Until next week!
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