WTF is a Bard? Google’s “Second Mover” Advantage

Not much to say other than, February is off to a great start. Innovation and ideas flowing like no other. Oh and WTF is a Bard? Bardon me good sir. I’m Bard Simpson. Ok, I’ll stop before they get worse.

What do we have for you today?

Google said step aside loser, you’re in the way, Bard is here. We’ve also seen how AI is entering the workplace and enterprises…but what if AI could run enterprises? What if they could run firms and funds? Ok, things just got weird.

You thought Google was going to stay silent? Ha!

It was a matter of time. Despite playing nonchalant, we knew legacy tech couldn’t stay away. Google announced its conversational AI for Google Search built on LaMDA this week. We present, Bard. It will be made public in the coming weeks.

Google debuts Bard at a time that isn’t surprising for the company. Its revenues were declining, Generative AI as a space is gaining mass popularity and familiarity, and newcomers challenging the search experience (their bread & butter) are being birthed and funded. Fortunately for Google, they’re Google.

The introduction of Bard (hey, umm, maybe let’s put a pin in this name and circle back) is an excellent example of the “Second Mover” advantage theory. With the “first mover”, OpenAI, leading the way, Google’s been able to absorb and analyze public interest, tech potential, and its own faults and capabilities. It’ll be rewarding to see both (and others!) grow and evolve.

Some are supportive and excited for Google. Others just want someone else to win for once — like Microsoft’s Bing (as OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman, put it Google is a “lethargic search monopoly”) or some fresh meat. Where do you fall in line?

AI-Run corporations, wait is this legal?

AI as a field of study fascinates me because many things become questionable and tested. For instance, Are Autonomous Entities Possible? is not only an academic essay but a valid question suitable for right now. And it turns out, this reality could end up not entirely hypothetical.

Artificial Intelligence can legally run a company. Though this isn’t the best idea at this time (LLMs don’t exactly have the capabilities to do this exceptionally well), the U.S. allows single-member Limited Liable Corporations (LLCs). What would happen next is getting approval that an AI, like a company, can be an entity.

LLCs in the U.S. can be governed entirely by autonomous systems with absolutely no ongoing human oversight according to Professor Shawn Bayern. The sheer idea of this is oddly reminiscent of Charles Stross’ Sci-Fi novel, Accelerando, with its autonomous corporations.

Now we wait as the first autonomous company forms their own LLM lobbyist to advocate for AI company tax breaks. I'm kidding! Please, don't let this happen.

AI-Run Funds? Ok, slow down. Things are getting weird

The daring (and VC hating) asked the monumental question, “what if a VC firm was run by AI?” And thus the curiosity behind an AI-run fund was born.

Some feel venture capital is perfect to replace with AI because the “employees are overpaid, [there’s] pattern matching, inefficient processes, and personal biases.” Some snarkily feel AI makes for a great replacement because like VC ”[AI is] already set up to reward bullsh*t that’s only right 10% of the time, by design.”

Structurally, like AI-run LLCs, an AI-run fund is possible. Is it smart to do now? No. Humans are the secret sauce that makes the VC space what it is. A Generative AI bot would desperately need human involvement because there are certain humanly aspects and intuition it might not understand nor fully capture. Therefore, the analysis and due diligence it can help with. But human oversight would be a must for final decisions. We’ll have to settle for the “Mini Yoheis” of the world for now.

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

What caught our eye? 👀Magic is the “software that builds software”, teaching AI to act in its natural habitat, the computer. The SF-based, AI-powered software development product company raised its $5M seed last summer and has the lofty (maybe problematic?) goal of designing a "future for people, not workers", automating nearly everything.

What caught our eye? 👀The British AI game developer closed its fundraising co-led by Spark Capital and Root Ventures. Latent Technology uses RLHF methods to train motion capture data to enable video game characters to react to virtually anything that happens in a game. In other words, Latent let’s users prompt their desires for their animated assets similar to users writing a prompt for ChatGPT to output a summary, in a specific style, on a specific topic.

New developments to spam your #random Slack channel 💬

  • 🎡 LondonAI is hosting an in-person event March 9th @ 6:30pm GMT exploring general intelligence, security, and biology

  • 🧬 Modulari-T is working to teach your immune system to attack and cure cancer

  • 🌎 Quazel, the Generative AI language learning app for natural and unscripted conversations

  • 🌉 Homebrew AI Club & Circlelabs are hosting a Generative AI Meetup in SF on 2/27 @ 6pm PST

Things to learn when you need a raise

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Before you go

What happens when you change one letter of a movie title and feed it to Midjourney? A sample below ("Top Nun" instead of "Top Gun") and the creator's others found here.

That's showtime. We crossed 500+ new subscribers between this issue and the last (only 3 days apart). Love to see it! If you have stories, companies, launches, tips, events, things along these lines to share, slide in my Twitter DMs.

— Matthew J. Sánchez (@matthewjsanchez)