⚙️ Big days for Amazon and Google

Good morning. A clever developer just turned vacuuming into a VR/AR game, so now you can zap dust bunnies in style. Who knew even cleaning could level up with AI?

In today’s newsletter:

🤖 Amazon introduces Rufus: an AI shopping revolution in your Pocket

🎨 Google Introduces ImageFX: A leap in AI image generation with built-in safeguards for ethical creativity

⛔️ FCC proposes ban on AI-generated robocalls: A step towards silencing deceptive voice cloning

📌 Google Maps' AI Evolution: From navigation to discovery, unveiling a world of possibilities


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❓️ Misc:

Sam Altman’s one-person billion-dollar company (link)

Marques Brownlee cooks AI article writers (link)

📊 Funding:

Luma raises $34M (link)

Thentia raises $38M (link)

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🤖 Rufus: Amazon's AI leap into personalized shopping

Amazon is stepping into the AI assistant game with the launch of Rufus, an AI-powered shopping assistant designed to enhance the shopping experience on its mobile app. Initially rolling out in beta to a select group of U.S. customers, Rufus aims to simplify product discovery, comparison, and recommendations by leveraging Amazon’s extensive product catalog and a wealth of web-based information. Trained on Amazon's data and publicly available data from across the web, Rufus promises to provide personalized shopping assistance, answering queries ranging from product specifics to gift recommendations. Learn more about Rufus ⬇️ 

Beyond Basic Searches

Rufus represents Amazon's latest foray into integrating AI technologies to improve consumer interactions, following other AI-powered tools aimed at optimizing fit predictions, summarizing product reviews, and aiding advertisers. This generative AI chatbot is built on a specialized internal large language model (LLM) tailored for shopping, capable of engaging with customers at various stages of their shopping journey. From initial inquiries about what to consider when purchasing specific items to detailed product comparisons, Rufus seeks to make online shopping more interactive and informative.

Beta Testing Begins

Despite its potential to revolutionize how consumers interact with Amazon’s vast product offerings, the company acknowledges that it's early days for generative AI, and Rufus may not always deliver perfect results. Amazon plans to refine Rufus over time, inviting customer feedback to enhance accuracy and utility. Initially free of advertising, future updates may expand Rufus's capabilities, provided they continue to add value for users. As Rufus becomes more widely available in the U.S., its effectiveness and impact on the shopping experience will be closely watched.

🎨 Google launches expressive AI Image generator

Google has unveiled ImageFX, an AI-driven image generator built on its advanced Imagen 2 model from DeepMind, offering a unique interface for creating and editing images through prompts and "expressive chips" for exploring different creative avenues. Despite concerns over misuse, Google emphasizes robust safety measures, including filters against inappropriate content and a watermark, SynthID, to identify AI-generated images. ImageFX joins Google's suite of AI experiments in the AI Test Kitchen, alongside the expansion of Imagen 2 across Google services, enhancing capabilities from search to productivity tools while navigating the complex legal landscape of AI and copyright. Check out ImageFX and how it compares to Midjourney👇️ 

🚫 FCC targets AI-generated robocalls for outlaw

The FCC is taking decisive action against AI-generated robocalls, particularly those using voice cloning technology to impersonate figures like President Biden, proposing to categorize such tech as fundamentally illegal. This move aims to simplify the legal process for charging operators of fraudulent robocalls, which have increasingly been used for deceptive purposes despite some robocalls being legal and even desirable. The FCC's initiative, leveraging the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, marks a significant step in adapting legal frameworks to combat emerging technological abuses, ensuring consumer protection remains a priority in the face of rapidly evolving digital communication tools.

🗾 Google Maps leverages generative AI for enhanced discovery

Google Maps is integrating a generative AI feature to enhance place discovery. Leveraging large language models, this feature sifts through data from over 250 million locations and input from 300 million Local Guides to offer tailored suggestions. Users can now conduct conversational searches, like looking for "places with a vintage vibe in SF," receiving organized recommendations, photo carousels, and review summaries. Initially accessible to select U.S. Local Guides, it aims for broader availability soon. This update marks a shift towards making Google Maps a tool for discovery in addition to navigation, promising more AI-powered enhancements in the future.

Oops 😅 Bot Buddy made a little mistake with the prompt on Wednesday - good catch! IYKYK…

Nice attention to detail!

Here’s the prompt we used today:

“A dark and empty theatre

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  • Quillbot: The best AI-powered writing platform (link)

  • Numerous AI: ChatGPT within Excel and Sheets (link)

  • GoSearch: AI-driven enterprise instant search (link)

  • iApply: AI Career Finder (link)

  • Coursebox: AI course creator (link)

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