May 21, 2024 We're this close to AGI

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Deeper Learning

Written by Aaron O’Leary and Sarah Wright.

Hey folks! Before we get into today’s AI news, we wanted to invite you to our next event: An evening with three AI investors. Join us in SF on Thursday, May 30 for a panel discussion about investing in AI startups. There will also be pizza and demos.

Now, let’s go deeper.


This AI tool negotiates your event contracts for you

Event planning is a hustle. It requires aligning budgets, the needs of various stakeholders and attendees, and a ton of vendors, down to every little detail. Nowadays (#4 product of the week) is a new assistant to make corporate planning easier, and not just by generating an event brief.

Who it’s for: Anyone planning a corporate event. Nowadays has planned events ranging from Amazon’s client dinners in NYC to Supabase's company offsite in Thailand.

How it works: After you log in to Nowadays, you can input details about your event. Say it’s a company offsite in Mexico — You’ll put in the dates, a few potential cities, budget, attendees, and how many meeting rooms you’d like. You can browse and favorite venues, leave comments/notes, and then, with a single button, send requests for proposals to all those top choice venues. Within 24 hours, your Nowadays dashboard is updated with proposals from the venues. AI summarizes the highlights for you. Choose that “Hilton in Cancun” for your offsite, and you’re good to go.

The team: Co-founders Anna Sun and Amy Yan have a seasoned tech history having worked in Product, SWE, and Business Operations at Datadog, Google, Facebook, and DoorDash.

The tech: Nowadays is powered by GPT-4o (OpenAI) and Claude (Anthropic). Anna told us how the team uses AI for everything from image classification to personalization and emails. You can read more here.

Mercury goes beyond banking and financial software and provides access to the knowledge and network you need to succeed.

With Mercury Raise, you can get answers from industry experts, find your community, and pitch hundreds of top-tier investors. As a builder in AI, you’ve got a lot to focus on, from competing for talent to landing your fundraise. Keep your focus, get answers, and access perks on tools like AWS, Google Cloud, and more.

Plus, get $500 when you sign up and deposit $10K in your first 90 days.


💼 It’s all coming out: Remember when the OpenAI board suddenly fired Sam Altman late last year? It was a dramatic and totally unexpected turn of events which eventually led to Sam coming back with a ton of public support, and removing said board. Well, now an ex-OpenAI board member has gone public with the reasoning behind the firing.

🤖 AI Emojis: Ever since AI exploded onto the tech scene, one question has remained: Where is Apple? The tech giant has been decidedly quiet on the AI front but according to some inside sources, they might have something big under their sleeves. Drum roll please…. AI-generated emojis.


Chat to Google with this new feature from the Browser Company

Do you remember the “If Google was a guy” College Humour (now Dropout) skit? In it, the Google search we all know and love gets a human face, and would-be Googlers show up to ask this human Google to do their searches for them. It gets pretty wacky, fast.

The Browser Company’s latest launch feels like the company saw the video and said, “Hey, let’s make it a feature.”

Announced last week, Call Arc is a new feature in Arc Search, the company’s AI-powered mobile search companion. Picture this: You’re in your kitchen trying to remember a recipe to cook tonight. You pick up your phone, and instead of typing, you put it to your ear, and ask for an “authentic carbonara recipe.” From there, Arc Search will play some hold music before providing a verbal answer and standing by for another question. 

It even looks like a regular phone call. Pull it away from your ear, and you’ll see an iPhone-esque splash screen complete with a caller ID, hang-up button, loudspeaker option, and read more button. 

Arc Search first launched in January of this year and initially made waves because of its ‘browse for me’ option. This AI-powered function allows users to get a summarized version of their search instead of the more typical browsing experience they’re used to. Arc’s been working to add more personality to web surfing, and we think it’s safe to say they did it. 


“How close are we to AGI, really?”

Ask Kitty is where we answer your questions about AI. Today’s question was voted on in a previous newsletter.

I can answer this question for you in four words: No one knows, really. 

That’s not fun or helpful, but it’s the truth. So let me try to be helpful. First off, I’ve identified that discrepancy across AGI estimates comes down to three things:

  • How you define AGI 

  • How you measure intelligence 

  • How fast you think we’re moving on both of those things 

Let’s look look the first today. 

What AI tech leaders say about AGI

The biggest, brightest brains in AI have weighed in. The results: We’re anywhere from a year to 50 years away from AGI. 😹

How close we are to AGI according to AI expertss

The experts at the top of the chart get a lot of media attention. This is in part because they have a more narrow view of how intelligence is defined (i.e. “Can AI complete X task or test”), and in part because they’re more bullish on how quickly we’re moving on developing the tech to get machines to be able to replicate “intelligence.”

But let’s look at the bottom of the chart…


For Work

  • Frontly combines AI + a drag-and-drop no-code builder for creating apps.

  • Helpmee is an AI tool for helping parents and grandparents achieve tech independence. 

For Life

  • Outtloud is an AI reading assistant for summarizing text, turning it into audio, and more. 

  • Jector kills the black hole of AI picture generation, giving you node-based creation flows instead.

  • Supaclip automatically turns all of your videos into knowledge bases.

  • Trip Tunes uses AI to generate Apple Music playlists for your next road trip.

For Developers

  • TonicTextual is a data lakehouse for LLMs, preparing your unstructured data for generative AI.

  • Scoopika lets you add personal AI assistants to your next app.

Thanks for going deeper with us!

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