AI round-up: Week of April 22, 2024

I finally finished Mustafa Suleyman’s book ‘The Coming Wave.’ In the time it took me to finish it, he was named the CEO of Microsoft AI. Reading his thoughts on how we should be preparing for AI’s arrival and impact felt like the calm, steady (albeit somewhat scary) voice that I needed. Because honestly, there are days when I’m trying to digest everything I’m seeing and I have to ask – “are we meant to comprehend all of this”.

This was one of those weeks, again. My mind is racing, trying to process all of the news, the new tools and the old arguments. Remember the old ‘anxiety meter’ I used to feature? It would be firmly on ‘high’ this week. Let’s dig in.

The Big 5

1.    Microsoft turns photos into talking videos. And it’s insane.
I caught this Chris Smith piece in the Dave Fleet newsletter. Microsoft uses
its, checks notes, VASA-1 software to turn photos into talking videos. And you have to
see it. Fortunately, it will not be available to the public (mmmm ok).

Now, I’m sure all those hours of us on Teams the past four years didn’t contribute to
this in any way. But I have to wonder if Mr. Sulyeman had taken over sooner … would
we be seeing this? Does this even technically fall under Microsoft AI?

Just read the article.

2.    Tupac is alive. And he helped Drake diss Kendrick Lamar.
We’ve come a long way in our rapper/hip-hop feuds. (Variety)

So follow along with me…

=Drake used AI to make a song with Tupac and Snoop Dogg

=In that track, he has Tupac and Snoop Dogg diss Kendrick Lamar

=Drake is mad that Kendrick dissed him, so he has put out a response.

=Kendrick is waiting to put his own response out because he didn’t want to step on Taylor Swift’s new album

=Drake is growing impatient, so he enlisted his AI friends to drop this new diss song

=Gotta say … it’s a pretty good song

Just read the article.

3.    Moderna and OpenAI are expected to partner and yada, yada, yada AI is going to cure every disease.

OpenAI will train on Moderna data. Moderna will build GPTs to help develop new products. It's not as juicy as deceased rappers dissing people, but it will still change the future. (WSJ)

4.    In case you forgot, Sora is awesome.
I really … don’t know what to say. This whole thing was generated by AI for TED Talks to show how they will evolve in the next 40 years. I think we’ll get there sooner, but hey, I get it.

5.    Finally, maybe the biggest for last – Meta AI, built with Llama 3, is here.
And it’s badass. For the cost of a Facebook account, you can see for yourself.
There are so many people more qualified than me to talk about how incredible this is … and why. As I do almost every week, I’d suggest you start with Paul Roetzer and the Marketing AI Institute.

Learn a little

Do you need a Chief AI Officer (CAIO)?

That is a good question posed by Shelly Palmer. And honestly, I’m not sure where I come down on this. Forcing myself to make a decision, I’d err on the side of progress/the curve and move ahead with appointing one. The other thing is … the main reason to not have one, according to what Shelly states in the article, seems to come down to an organization’s appetite for actually doing what you say you’re going to do.

If you’re seriously considering a CAIO but aren’t sure if you want to dedicate the resources, I think you know your answer, no?

Did you hear about…

…Perplexity is raising money and worth a lot more? (Tech Crunch)

…Adobe’s new Firefly tool and its impact on Photoshop? (The Verge)

…LA is using AI to predict homelessness? (CNBC) No,  it’s not as ‘Minority Report’ as it sounds.

…Snap adding watermarks to images created with its AI tools? (Tech Crunch)

…Mustafa Suleyman did a TED Talk

…AI washing becoming a thing? (Forbes)

…Meta’s AI spending leading to shares falling? (Reuters)

Must read/must discuss:

Most global tech leaders see their companies as unprepared for AI. (Bloomberg)

Admit it. You don’t have to be a tech leader to feel this way. There are very real challenges to ‘being prepared’ for AI (and honestly, no one ever will be … don’t believe me? Again, read ‘The Coming Wave’…).

But there are things you can do to start the journey. Akhia’s focus has been on helping companies get up to speed on the last 14 months and start preparing for the next four months. (Why four? Well, anything more than that would be a waste … that’s how fast this is moving.)

Where do you see yourself on this chart? I think it’s a great breakdown from Ringer Sciences.

AI Acceleration Journey

Spend some time with it. Really ask yourself:

1.    Do I want my strategy to be ‘ignore this, and it will go away or work itself out’?

2.    If not, what do I need to do to start the journey? (Hint: the beginning is always a good place to start.)

Thanks for reading. Remember, I’m always here if you want to talk with a good ol’ fashioned human.


As a reminder, this is a round-up of the biggest stories, often hitting multiple newsletters I receive/review. The sources are many … which I’m happy to read on your behalf. Let me know if there’s one you’d like me to track or have questions about a topic you’re not seeing here.