⚙️ Influencers are Fake!?

Good morning. The push for AI regulation is reaching a critical point, as experts like MIT's Max Tegmark call for a pause in the uncontrolled development of powerful AI systems. Investments in AI continue to soar, but without oversight, a few tech giants could jeopardize our shared future…

In today’s newsletter:

  • 📸 Luminar Neo: The Adobe Alternative for Hobbyist Photographers

  • 🤖Virtual Vanguard: How 1337 is Changing the Influencer Game with AI

  • ✍️Direqt Raises $4.5M to Empower Publishers with Custom AI Chatbots

  • 📸 Amazon: Revolutionizing Ads with AI

  • 📊 Outset: Streamlining Surveys Through GPT-4 Technology

  • 🎧 Cisco: Elevating Webex Experience with New AI Tools


Luminar Neo: The Adobe Alternative for Hobbyist Photographers

Adobe has a new challenger in the AI photo-editing space: Luminar Neo by Skylum. Originally founded as Macphun in 2008, Skylum has shifted from iOS apps to Luminar, a desktop app offering generative AI tools for Mac and Windows users. With AI features like GenErase and GenSwap, the software is user-friendly and eliminates the need for text prompts, unlike Adobe's Generative Fill. Alternatively, the user highlights a section of the image they want to delete and hits Erase. However, in contrast to Adobe's Generative Fill, which provides multiple outcome choices, the user must press the "Erase" button again to see a different result.

Why all the AI, you ask? To make photo editing a breeze, Skylum plans to roll out a new generative AI tool each month until the end of 2023. GenSwap for replacing elements and GenExpand to expand a canvas are next in line, scheduled to launch on November 16 and December 14, respectively.

Privacy & Power: Skylum promises cloud-based processing without storing any images, ensuring user privacy. With a resolution of up to 1536x1536, it even outperforms Photoshop’s 1024x1024.

Tiers for Fears: Luminar Neo isn't free, but it's versatile. Pricing starts at $14.95/month or $119/year, with a lifetime pass available for $299. But there's a catch; the lifetime pass limits the new generative AI features until August 2024. Already a user? Upgrades cost less, starting at $79 for the first year.

Bottom line: Skylum aims to differentiate Luminar Neo with user-friendly interfaces and advanced AI capabilities. The software has a strong appeal for hobbyist photographers, but don't overlook it—some pros use it as a plugin for Lightroom or Photoshop. It seems Luminar is trying to give Adobe a run for its pixels.


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Virtual Vanguard: How 1337 is Changing the Influencer Game with AI

Virtual influencers aren't new, but 1337 (or “leet”), a startup fresh out of stealth mode with $4 million in funding, is putting a unique spin on it. Instead of merely AI-generated personalities, 1337 lets users co-create these influencers, known as "Entities," who cater to niche communities from gardening to emo music. Click the video below to learn more about these entities.

Why? CEO Jenny Dearing says it's about combining human interaction with early-stage AI to engage users in entirely new ways, escaping the impersonal and overly commercial influencer space. The startup is even paying users for their contributions, although the amounts are undisclosed.

A Little Help From My AI Friends: 1337 uses GPT-4 and Midjourney art for written captions and image creation, ensuring Entities are not just realistic but also engaging. With 50 debut Entities, each has a unique set of skills, interests, and even an Instagram account.

Future Plans: The Entities will officially launch in January 2024, and future updates will include spoken audio, allowing them to host podcasts and produce videos. The company will also roll out a revenue-sharing model for "super creators" who can build their own Entities.

In a nutshell: 1337 is changing the rules of the influencer game by offering the co-creation of virtual personalities. It’s not just about following an influencer anymore; it's about shaping their very existence.

After a long time since our last win… we finally fooled the majority!

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✍️ Direqt Raises $4.5M

Direqt, a startup specializing in AI chatbots for publishers, has raised $4.5 million to enhance direct audience engagement and content monetization. The company offers customizable chatbots that integrate with popular messaging apps, boasting a clickthrough rate of 24.16%.

🛍️Amazon's AI-Enhanced Ads

Amazon is beta-testing a generative AI tool for advertisers to create dynamic product backgrounds. The tool aims to streamline ad creation and boost performance, and Amazon claims it could increase click-through rates by 40%.

📊 Outset's AI-Powered Surveys

Outset is using GPT-4 to autonomously conduct and analyze user interviews for market research. The Y Combinator-backed startup aims to make qualitative research faster and more accessible. Early success includes a project with WeightWatchers, where over 100 interviews were synthesized in 24 hours.

🎧 Cisco's Webex AI Innovations

Cisco unveils a range of AI tools to enhance the Webex experience, including a real-time media model (RMM) for advanced audio and video processing. The updates also feature an AI-powered audio codec for bandwidth efficiency and the Webex AI Assistant, which aids in tasks like message crafting and meeting summaries.

  • Shortform: Read best-selling nonfiction books faster and summarize everything on the internet with Shortform AI – (get 20% off.)

  • Mindpal: MindPal is a personal repository and second brain tool that helps users store and chat with all their files like a second brain. (link)

  • Backtrack: Backtrack is a Mac app designed to help people remember meetings, conversations, and other collaborative sessions. (link)

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