AI takes a breather

Everything you need to know in AI this week

Hello from NYC! I’m currently at Microsoft’s Surface and AI event (which has been jam packed with announcements so far—keep reading for more). Silicon Valley may get all the attention in AI, but the Big Apple has the potential to become a big AI hub if it can keep up the reputation as a global talent pool. Side note…any bagel recommendations while I’m here?


The Internet Walked So AI Could Run?

Andreessen Horowitz partner Marc Andreessen. Via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Andreessen Horowitz (aka a16z/one of the most influential tech VCs) recently released a report detailing the massive impact generative AI will have on startups…and the entire global economy, for that matter. Here are the biggest insights:

Argument 1: Generative AI will be as disruptive to the global economy as the invention of the microchip and the internet.

Just like the microchip brought the marginal cost of computing to zero and the internet brought the marginal cost of distribution to zero, generative AI will bring the marginal cost of creation to zero, according to a16z. This could mean more jobs, more economic expansion, and better products for consumers.

Argument 2: Traditional AI didn’t work for startups.

Until generative AI joined the party in earnest last year, it was tough for startups to leverage AI tech at scale, a16z said. That’s because traditional AI models and startups didn’t mesh well—pre-generative AI, the tech was super expensive, super dependent on manual engineering, and super resource depleting. Not great for startups (90% of them fail, after all).

Argument 3: Generative AI is way different—and way more lucrative.

A16z believes that generative AI can actually live up to its economic potential, unlike older AI tech. Here’s why:

  • Generative AI has already produced some of the fastest-growing companies, products, and projects in the history of tech.

  • It’s more economically feasible for more startups because generative AI is less bogged down by 100% accuracy, which can be costly. It’s more about creating images and stories, virtual companionship, and brainstorming—not getting everything right all the time.

  • Generative AI is really good at doing sophisticated white collar work at a fraction of the cost and time of humans.

And biggest of all? We want to use it and we’re willing to pay to do so. ChatGPT has reportedly closed some $500 million in annual revenue from U.S. subscribers alone.

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🗞️ Other AI News & Articles

A Big Week for Big Tech and AI

It’s been a busy week for significant AI product updates and announcements from major tech companies. Here are the highlights:

  • OpenAI announced DALL-E 3 on Wednesday. The new version of the generative AI visual art platform lets us use ChatGPT to create prompts and includes more safety options.

  • Microsoft made lots of announcements for Copilot—the AI assistant will be available for Microsoft 365 users starting in November, and Microsoft is also launching a version of Copilot across all of its apps and services.

  • YouTube unveiled a slew of AI tools (such as AI-generated video backgrounds), paving the way for 1) more AI-generated content on the platform and 2) more content creators using AI regularly in their production stacks.

Taking a Breather

Google DeepMind researchers developed a peculiar new technique for crafting the most effective prompts: human-style encouragement. They found that an LLM’s ability to solve mathematical word problems drastically increased when prompted to “take a deep breath and think step by step.”

Why does this work? Researchers believe that adding phrases like "let's take a deep breath" or "think step by step” allows LLMs to produce more carefully reasoned solutions—provided their training data sets include resources like Q&A forums, where those phrases are more commonly used than mathematical reasoning.

Everything else:

  • A public release of Gemini, Google’s highly anticipated flagship AI, could be coming soon.

  • Intel announced a new chip on Tuesday that will allow users to run generative AI chatbots directly on their laptops instead of tapping into cloud data centers for computing power.

  • AI is helping Canada battle wildfires.

  • Amazon’s Alexa now has its own LLM.

  • LimeWire has acquired Midjourney competitor BlueWillow.

  • John Grisham, George R.R. Martin, and Jodi Picoult have joined the ranks of authors who’ve sued OpenAI for copyright infringement.

📺️ This Week’s Videos to Watch:

Big updates: Google is rolling out a series of major updates for Bard. Here’s the breakdown.

Food for thought: Google’s DeepMind co-founder has some interesting perspectives on the dangers of AI. Do you agree with him?

And that’s a wrap! Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the new format with me—I want to evolve the newsletter with your ideas at the forefront. I’ll be back in your inbox Wednesday with a fresh roundup of cool new AI tools. See ya then!

—Matt (

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You rock! See ya next week. :)

P.S. This newsletter is 100% written by a human. Okay, maybe 96%.