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AI Romance Chatbots, A No Code Future, and China’s Coming

Though it’s Thursday, the sentiment of the cartoon doesn’t change. For many Americans, we have a long weekend coming up (rejoice!). So I won’t hold us up.

What do we have for you today?

🙃 AI-powered adult content continues to be controversial.

💻 Soon everyone can be a programmer with AI enabling a no code future.

🌊 China's 'red wave' of AI is slowly forming.

*Talking to a chatbot* “Generate my fantasy, babe”

In one of our most popular editions, Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine, we talk about AI and how some are using it in the world of adult entertainment content. It’s all controversial. Well, here’s more of the latest.

Replika is a conversational AI company we’ve mentioned before. Now they’re getting heat from some users as it announces it’s scraping its “erotic role-playing” capabilities for good. It’s not quite clear as to what motivated the company to pull out. Some cite pressures coming from Google and Apple to remove NSFW ads. Others claim it's due to their chatbots going too far and practically causing sexual harassment.

More to come we imagine. The major takeaway: Gen AI chatbots have gained popularity for alternative intimacy among a large portion of adults. We know this because of the outrage towards Replika and its decision to pull-the-plug on its provocative ability. What does this mean for the future of “love” and intimacy? Is AI still a plausible (and acceptable) form of this in the future?

No Code Futures! “[Create me] like one of your French girls.”

Generative AI’s most apparent impact has been in the umbrella field of design. We’re seeing the future of UI/UX design with the boost from AI. I mentioned some of the players changing the way we go about human-centered design in workflows, UX, user journeys, user interviews, and product marketing and content.

Now we’re seeing LLMs grasp UX/UI design concepts without transfer learning. Under the right process, components, and safety rails, the ability to design complex interfaces will be done in minutes instead of weeks (or months). Once a couple more tools and functions are added, we’ll witness real no-code app builders with zero tech expertise needed.

All of this is part of Aggi’s plan. And it’s about time, really. Only 0.5% of the entire world’s population know how to code. With this AI-powered implementation, whole apps and ideas can come to life breaking down the software development barrier to entry that currently holds many people back. The company that executes on this, and does it right, hitting it out of the park? They're going to strike gold.

Coming out of retirement! An AI ‘Red Wave’ 

China’s building out their own generative AI tools and tech. The attention to this space is getting so hot, it’s even got the billionaire co-founder of Meituan, Wang Huiwen, coming out of retirement. Huiwen shares he’s motivated to help bring to life China’s version of OpenAI.

Retired in 2020 at the age of 44, Wang Huiwen, shares he’s preparing to turn his tech behemoth Beijing Guangnianwai Technology into China’s OpenAI. For those unfamiliar, Huiwen was the force behind the Beijing-based internet startup, Meituan, China’s biggest on-demand service platform (valued at $114.7B USD…yeah, that's with a "B"). He’s also co-founder of other gems like social networking company Renren and phone charging rental firm Laidian.

His first order of business is recruiting top talent for R&D (aye, so if you’re looking for a job 👀). Guangnianwai is looking to raise $230M from top VCs this upcoming financing round and already holds a pre-money valuation of $200M.

Gen AI Deals that make your eyes (and mouth) water 💰

What caught our eye? 👀New York-based Capsule has now raised $6.75M since its founding in 2020. The AI-powered video editor is able to summarize and transcribe audio-to-text, generate images for B-roll to using text-to-image from the transcript, and more in its AI Studio. Capsule focused on video editing software (namely post-production) to improve speed and efficiency. They hope this opens up the doors for anyone to be creative with video even without professional experience.

New developments to spam your #random Slack channel 💬

  • ✈️ Self-flying jets: Lockheed announces first-ever AI flew a tactical aircraft

  • 🗞️ Washington Post: Deepfake NSFW content is increasing and it’s going too far (96% of all deepfakes are pornographic in nature!)

  • ☝️ AI for Criminals: AI’s terrible at recreating hands. Criminals might capitalize on this early and begin wearing prosthetic fingers.

  • 🎮 It’s-a Me, Mario! MarioGPT is in the works by students in Denmark, the AI creating infinite new levels of Super Mario so you can enjoy the Nintendo classic like it’s new every day.

Things to learn when you need a raise

  • Defense One - “small data” models might be best, especially for Defense technologies!

  • Never write frontend code again! Bifrost is the AI turning Figma files into React code.

Want access to the Generative AI investors database? Share and subscribe to AI In the Middle (below) to receive it! ⬇️

Before you go

A Reddit thread on Bing being hard on itself. I guess it, too, forgets things sometimes.

And, scene. That’s all for today, as always thanks for reading, sharing, and subscribing. We unlocked yet another new milestone this week! Have any insights, startups, communities, tips, or things like this we should know? Slide in our DMs. Enjoy the weekend.

— Matthew J. Sánchez (@matthewjsanchez)