New AI Launches Announced!

We’ve launched 🚀 a new product and it’s 🔥

Happy Thursday everyone! It’s Calin, starting today's newsletter with a special announcement.

We’re excited to let you know that we launched a new product today! <applause, sirens, bells, someone bursting into song> Yes…thank you, thank you.

We’ve built a smart search on top of Lenny’s Podcast, enabling you to search for topics and experts within the transcripts of Lenny’s podcast episodes. We’re live on Product Hunt today and would love your support - so please, please do engage with our launch post here:

Now, over to Matt to see what else is cooking in our space. Matt? <swift news anchor passover>

Thanks Calin! You’re looking sharp today. Excited to finally have the first broadn drop out in the world 🌎 Like the man said, test it out, spread the word, and if you’re so inclined, give us an upvote on Product Hunt. 🔥

What do we have for you today?

No Person Left Behind — how Generative AI is helping people with disabilities and needs for alternative learning methods. The Teacher's Pet — Gen AI’s upside for EdTech and educators willing to dive head-first into the tech. You Have A Way With Words — text-to-speech is having an explosive week, from Apple to Microsoft.

A Love-Hate Relationship With AI

A Reddit thread made its rounds across Twitter where students are sharing testimonies on how generative AI, like ChatGPT, is actually making them stronger students. Particularly with students who have ADHD or self-identified learning disabilities. However, the tech is still considered controversial though as we knew it would. Institutions like NYC public schools and Australian universities have already banned it, in fear of plagiarism and negative educational development.

Trung Phan on Twitter shared in a thread that these social anxieties of new technology aren’t new. Every generation is afraid of some new technology it seems. In matter of fact, a prime example being the calculator! I learned it took nearly 20 years for calculators to become mainstream and acceptable for use in classroom settings. Another funny example: novels! They were absolutely frowned upon initially in the 1700s as they grew in popularity; even considered evil or harmful to one’s health.

As we continue to keep our pulse on the AI world, it would be nice to see less fear and more embracing. The technology is here to stay. There are other things to be concerned about: insane grocery hikes, gas price increases, and how about housing.

Teacher's Pet: How Gen AI Can Help Educators

Speaking of Gen AI anecdotally helping students become “better” students the technology can also be used to help educators! Evan Dunne created a booklet for educators on how ChatGPT can be leveraged to supercharge and streamline many tasks teachers do day-in and day-out.

His resourceful PDF demonstrates how ChatGPT can assist with tasks such as: lesson planning and delivery, sessions for personalized or collaborative learning, creating assessments, and generating materials and resources, to name a few. See teachers, it ain’t such a bad thing now, am I right?

EdTech is having a field day with Gen AI! We can expect to see many ripples in the educational vertical of generative AI in 2023. And actions like Evan’s are effective ways to gain trust and confidence from others in education. Great individuals, teachers, and institutions will be able to flip the perspectives of naysayers with products that show how Gen AI is actually unlocking our knowledge potential. Hmm, just me or does this vision sounds familiar? 💭

Well Aren't You A Smooth Talker

My neck is hurting from constantly turning left and right to keep up with new Gen AI breakthroughs. Earlier this week Microsoft unveiled VALL-E. The new AI is a text-to-speech model capable of “simulating anyone’s voice with 3 seconds of audio.”

Despite music being the obvious go-to for VALL-E’s use (as shared by this tweet), many have already commented how difficult that can be to accomplish. Capturing an artist’s style, delivery, tone, emotion, and melody will be complex. But not impossible! According to the VALL-E example site, the AI is able to preserve the speaker's emotion, vocal timbre, and acoustic environment in synthesis.

More excitement comes from coupling this tech with others like Apple’s recent AI-narration tool to build out audiobook empires and clearer, easier speeches. Regardless, this announcement obviously raised ears when it comes to ethics and safety, especially as it pertains to identity risk and impersonation. Microsoft assures us it will abide by Responsible AI Guidelines as it continues to grow VALL-E and other AI tech (…like its interest in investing $10B more into OpenAI by end of this month).

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

What caught our eye? 👀Based in NYC, the data solutions Gen AI startup raised a sizeable seed round co-led by Conviction Partners and Battery Ventures. Seek AI wants you to have “smarter data” by asking it anything in a chatbot-interface (without messing with the raw data!) and unveiling new insights and answers to your questions.

What caught our eye? 👀The Dallas-based generative AI startup has now raised a total of $60M. Inbenta is providing generative AI to companies to optimize their search optimization and UX. To ride the explosive interest in conversational AI, their toolkit and services include: AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT, knowledge management, and search engine tools.

What caught our eye? 👀Headquartered in Cologne, Germany, the AI language translation as a service startup raised €100M (when converted is well over $100M as of today’s rates) and has an implied valuation of +$1B. DeepL aims to be “the world’s best instant translator” and the platform is available for business (their primary audience) and individual use. Fun facts: DeepL powers translation on Mastodon right now and the new funds will be used to introduce a writing improver service (think: like Grammarly).

New developments to spam your #random Slack channel 💬

Things to learn when you need a raise

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

Before you go

The future of shopping online? See how AI + AR could come together to revolutionize the way we shop and try-on items.

That's all I have for today folks! More drops are coming soon and thank you for helping us develop a strong AI community. Tell a friend.

Matthew J. Sánchez (@matthewjsanchez)